Interorganizational trust: Implications for public utility commissions and investor owned utilities

by Gray, Gerald R., Ph.D., CAPELLA UNIVERSITY, 2011, 174 pages; 3449687


The public utility commission (PUC) is one of the most important stakeholders in the external environment of the regulated investor-owned utility (IOU) due to its role as approver of rates charges and obligations that a PUC may impose on a utility that may increase operating expenses. It is therefore imperative that the utility understands the motivations of the commission so that it can better serve this stakeholder. Building on prior research into interorganizational trust, a qualitative methodology was employed to examine the perceptions and motivations of commissioners and those at the investor-owned utility that play a liaison role, and examine how interorganizational trust may modify these variables. This research revealed that while there appears to be a high degree of trust between the IOU and PUC among study participants, there is still cause for concern regarding the ramifications should a trust violation occur. This study also found that each party should avoid surprising the other to reduce the chance for trust violations to occur and that experience was an important modifier in regard to trust expectations.

AdviserJohn Hannon
Source TypeDissertation
SubjectsManagement; Public policy; Organizational behavior
Publication Number3449687

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