System Trust

Researching the Architecture of Trust in Systems

  • Patrick Sumpf

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages I-XVI
  2. Patrick Sumpf
    Pages 1-13
  3. Patrick Sumpf
    Pages 15-39
  4. Patrick Sumpf
    Pages 41-67
  5. Patrick Sumpf
    Pages 97-135
  6. Patrick Sumpf
    Pages 137-217
  7. Patrick Sumpf
    Pages 219-235
  8. Back Matter
    Pages 237-250

About this book


Frequently enabled by digitalization, great transformations are taking place in socio-technical systems such as energy, telecommunications, and mobility. These transformations indicate widespread shifts in societal infrastructure systems, rearranging relations between governments, industries, NGOs, and consumers. In this context, the question of trust in systems – as introduced by sociologists Luhmann, Coleman and Giddens – acquires new urgency, as yet uncommented upon in trust research, or socio-technical systems debates. Focusing on the energy sector, Patrick Sumpf analyzes the meanings of system and trust to develop a framework for both theoretical and empirical research, which is synthesized into an “Architecture of Trust” in systems.


  • The Dualism of System Trust
  • Intersections in Trust Research
  • Open and Closed Systems
  • System Identity
  • Toward an ‘Architecture of Trust’
  • Case Study: Trust in the Energy System

Target Groups

  • Researchers and students in sociology, communications, psychology, management, trust research, and energy research
  • Consultants in energy policy and management

The Author

Patrick Sumpf holds a Dr. phil. in media and communication studies from Mannheim University, Germany. He is a research associate and project lead at the Institute for Technology Assessment and Systems Analysis (ITAS), Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT).


System Trust Systems Theory Confidence Familiarity Acceptance Energy Transition Smart Grid Digitalization Content Analysis Consumer Interviews

Authors and affiliations

  • Patrick Sumpf
    • 1
  1. 1.Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT)KarlsruheGermany

Bibliographic information