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Crisis, Criticisms, and Damaged Credibility: A Case Study of Organisational Trust Repair by a Victorian Joint-Stock Bank

Research output: Contribution to Journal/MagazineJournal articlepeer-review

E-pub ahead of print
<mark>Journal publication date</mark>8/05/2023
<mark>Journal</mark>Business History
Publication StatusE-pub ahead of print
Early online date8/05/23
<mark>Original language</mark>English


This article uses the organisational trust repair model developed by Gillespie and Dietz to examine how the Royal Bank of Liverpool, which suspended payments during the commercial crisis in 1847, escaped liquidation and resumed business. This case study uses newspaper reports and selected corporate records to explore narratives of trust between bank management and different interest groups over the course of resuscitating the establishment. The case affords three distinct but interlaced conduits enabling analysis of the dynamics of trust repair: reassertion of credibility through appealing to its reputational past; reconciliation of competing expectations from different parties, and renegotiation of boundaries between directors’ powers and stakeholders’ rights. Exploring the professional standpoint, local attributes and moral discourses within which restoration of the bank was situated enables evaluation of the bank’s strategies for rebuilding trust and redeeming corporate legitimacy through a contemporary theoretical perspective, offering lessons for corporate trust repair in the twenty-first century.