Designing and validating a model for analyzing determinants of transcendent trust in Tehran Municipality: A society-centered versus institution-centered approach

Document Type : Research Paper


1 Faculty of Management, Qazvin Branch, Islamic Azad University, Qazvin, Iran

2 Faculty of Management, Tehran South Branch, Islamic Azad University, Tehran, Iran


Trust has recently become the main tool in achieving collaboration in inter-organizational and inter-individual relations and it has raised the social capital volume. The present study aimed to design a transcendent trust model in Tehran Municipality and develop a descriptive paradigm that reveals the way of forming citizens' trust in Tehran Municipality. To achieve the research purpose, dimensions and effective factors of transcendent trust were first extracted in Tehran Municipality using desk studies and taking notes. Thereafter, the most important dimensions of transcendent trust and its determinants in Tehran Municipality were identified using the Delphi technique and the views of 29 experts in this field. Furthermore, the random sampling method (snowball) was applied and the sample size was determined based on the Morgan table and simple random sampling, and 385 clients of Tehran Municipality were selected and received a questionnaire containing dimensions and factors. The data were analyzed using structural equation modeling. The model of effective factors in improving transcendent trust was created with 12 latent variables in two aspects, namely dimensions of transcendent trust (instrumental trust and axiological trust) and their determinants (including e-service quality, public affairs administration communication, accountability, cultural adjustment, legitimacy, online social media, civic engagement, Iranian-Islamic lifestyle, transparency, and citizens' satisfaction). The results indicated that transcendent trust in the municipality was not merely dependent on the functions of municipalities, but other contextual and environmental factors can also play roles in this equation. Therefore, the general authority of Tehran Municipality to the aforementioned background and contextual factors based on the influence of strategic components of the environment where social institutions and other actors operate and interact will generate the best outcome for municipalities to design a relatively comprehensive model in this field.


[1] M. Bagheri, M. Sharepour and Z. Karimi Moghari, A study on the effect of attitudes towards the quality and performance of government institutions on social trust among the citizens of Shiraz (an empirical study of institution-centered theories), Sociol. Soc. Inst. 6 (2019), no. 14, 287–315.
[2] Y.N. Bretzer, How can Institutions Better Explain Political Trust than Capital Does?, XI Nordic Conf. Municipal Research, November 9th - December 1st, Institute for Statskundskab, Odense, Denmark, 2004.
[3] J. Delhey and K. Newton, Predicting cross-national levels of social trust: Global pattern or Nordic exceptionalism?, Eur. Sociol. Rev. 21 (2005), no. 4, 311–327.
[4] C. Galluccio, Trust in the market: Institutions versus social capital, Open J. Politic. Sci. 8 (2018), 95–107.
[5] E. Hajiani, A.A. Rezaei and M.A. Falahzadeh, Social trust in urban management and its determinants, Soc. Stud. Res. Iran 1 (2012), no. 2, 55–90.
[6] A. Heidari, S. Ahmadi and M. Zarei, The relationship between administrative and institutional health of organizations and institutional trust, Sociol. Soc. Inst. 5 (2021), no. 12, 247–268.
[7] F. Herreros and H. Criado, The state and the development of social trust, Int. Politic. Sci. Rev. 29 (2008), no. 1, 53–71.
[8] Y. Jong-Sung, A study of social trust in South Korea, 100th Ann. Meet. Amer. Sociol. Assoc., 2005.
[9] J. Kinghorn, The Internet: An investigation into the contemporary sources of social capital, J. Politic. Int. Stud. 30 (2013), 5.
[10] R. Leonardi, R.Y. Nanetti, and R.D. Putnam, Making Democracy Work: Civic Traditions in Modern Italy, Princeton, NJ, Princeton University Press, USA, 2001.
[11] Y.S. Lincoln and E.G. Guba, Naturalistic inquiry/ Thousand Oaks, CA, 1989.
[12] M.K. Mansourian and H. Ghodrati, Social trust and its determinants: institution-oriented or society-oriented approach?, Appl. Sociol. 20 (2009), no. 2, 189–215.
[13] A.A. Mironova, Trust, social capital, and subjective individual well-being, Sociol. Res. 54 (2015), no. 2, 121–133.
[14] P. Nannestad, G.T. Svendsen, P.T. Dinesen and K.M. Sonderskovnderskov, Do institutions or culture determine the level of social trust? The natural experiment of migration from non-western to western countries, J. Ethnic Migrat. Stud. 40 (2014), no. 4, 544–565.
[15] C. Offe, How can we trust our fellow citizens, Democracy Trust 52 (1999), no. 1, 42–87.
[16] F. Popa, C. Frison, B. Sixand and E. Van Zimmeren, Trust and social capital in the design and evolution of institutions for collective action, Int. J. Commons 9 (2015), 151–176.
[17] S. Richey, The impact of corruption on social trust, Amer. Politics Res. 38 (2009), no. 4, 676–690.
[18] B.G. Robbins, Institutional quality and generalized trust: A non-recursive causal model, Soc. Indicat. Res. 107 (2012), no. 2, 235–258.
[19] B. Rothstein and D. Stolle, The state and social capital: An institutional theory of generalized trust, Comp. Politics 40 (2008), no. 4, 441–459.
[20] A. Saei, Investigation of social factors affecting the increase of social trust in the police, J. Soc. Secur. Stud. (2012), no. 30, 13–25.
[21] Kh. Sardarnia, H. Ghodrati and A. Eslam, The effect of good governance and social capital on political trust: A case study; Mashhad and Sabzevar cities, J. Politic. Sci. 5 (2009), no. 17, 135–165.
[22] Kh. Sardarnia, K. Badri and S. Aminizadeh, The Relationship between Social Networks and Institutional Trust (Case Study: Shiraz University Students)., Strategic Policy Res. 10 (2021), no. 36, 101–127.
[23] M. Saunders, P. Lewis and A. Thornhill. Research methods for business students (7th ed), Pearson Education, 2016.
[24] G. Sechi, A. Tatarko and J. Silters, Perceptions of institutions and social capital accumulation: A social categorization and shared agency-based approach, Evidence from the Russian Federation, Asian J. Soc. Psych. 25 (2022), no. 2, 288–301.
[25] M. Sharepour, A study on the determinants of social trust in police forces (case study: Mazandaran province), Appl, Sociol, 20 (2009), no. 4, 1–16.
[26] M. Sharepour, M. Fazeli and E. Eghrarian, A cross-country survey of determinants of the creation of trust in official institutions, Sociol. Soc. Inst. 1 (2013), no. 1, 35–54.
[27] K.M. Sonderskov and P.T. Dinesen, Trusting the state, trusting each other?, The effect of institutional trust on social trust, Politic. Behav. 38 (2016), no. 1, 179–202.
[28] P. Sztompka, Trust: A sociological theory, Cambridge University Press, 1999.
[29] L. Tamilina and N. Tamilina, The impact of formal institutions on social trust formation: A social-cognitive approach, MPRA Paper No. 63203, Independent Research, Greece, May 2014, Available at:
[30] S. Tarrow, Making social science work across space and time: A critical reflection on Robert Putnam’s Making Democracy Work, Amer. Politic. Sci. Rev. 90 (1996), no. 2, 389–397.
[31] E.M. Uslaner, Volunteering and social capital: How trust and Religion shape civic participation in the United States?, Social capital and participation in Everyday life, London and New York: Routledge, 2001, pp. 104-117.
Volume 15, Issue 3
March 2024
Pages 173-192
  • Receive Date: 06 June 2022
  • Revise Date: 03 August 2022
  • Accept Date: 09 August 2022