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Sociotechnical trust: an architectural approach

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Abstract

Current approaches in sociotechnical systems consider trust to be either cognitive—referring to actors’ mental models of each other—or technical—referring to an actor’s trust of a technical artifact. In this paper, we take a more expansive view of trust: in addition to the cognitive, we also consider trust in the architectural sense. Broadly, architectural trust applies at the level of roles. Our principal claim is that sociotechnical systems are essentially specified in terms of architectural trust. Whereas previous work has considered dependencies between actors as a fundamental social relation, we claim that no dependency can exist without the corresponding architectural trust.