Andrew Tucker in the paper he delivered at the IPPRC postulated that there are three varieties of trust that people feel towards organizations.
1. Short term trust – i.e. based on measures like Fortune’s Most Admired – metrics that look at financial performance and product quality.
2. Medium term trust, which he calls reflexive mistrust -- when you don't know someone well enough to trust, but I need to trust you somewhat to do my job or fill my need.
3. And finally long-term trust based on customer loyalty and characteristics identified by Charles Fubrun et al.
I’m thinking that there’s another factor he should consider, something I’ll call reflexive trust. And that’s the situation when you so distrust another source because of their frequent obfuscation or spin that you begin to trust the opposition even though they have little credibility. I found myself listening to an interview on the BBC last night with a representative from Hamas and my usual skeptical response was flipped around. I found that I had more faith in what the Hamas representative had to say than in what was being said by the representative of the US Government. And that was because the US Government has been lying to us so consistently about events in the Middle East that it had totally lost its credibility, thus enhancing the credibility of the opposition. Organizations would be wise to heed this tale. Walmart, are you listening?: If you consistently obfuscate and lie and spin -- at some point, your very statements begin to enhance the credibility of your enemies.