Dave Snowden has some interesting comments about trust and what happens when the trust is lost or breaks down: A perverted system.
Trust is such a key element of everything we do in business, and as Dave describes in his article, loss or lack of trust creates all sorts of problems. How many times have you run across procedures that seem arcane only to learn how they developed over time AND that they don't seem to meet the real need of the organization. Similarly, how many times do you see people following the letter of the law but making a mess anyway.
With respect to knowledge management, it is an interesting exercise to talk about the importance of knowledge sharing via communities or storytelling or lessons learned or ..., and then throw into the discussion the topic of trust. What do these things look like in a low trust environment? What do these things look like in a high trust environment? How would an implementation differ at the extremes? What happens in the event of a serious breach of trust?