I was just reading an article about the Dean campaign's IT infrastructure, and there's an interesting quote from their IT manager, Harish Rao:
"I believe in three principles", he said. "First I always make sure I hire people I can trust 100%. Second, I always try to hire people who are smarter than I am. Third, I give them the independence to do as they see fit as long as they communicate about it to their other team members. We've had a lot of growing pains, a lot of issues; but we've been able to deal with them because we have a high level of trust, skill and communication."
I know for myself that when I (1) don't feel trusted, and/or (2) am not given independence to do what I see as necessary to do my job, I don't communicate with my superiors about my actions, and I also get lazy about my job because I don't feel my work is valued.
Fortunately, I feel that in my current work situation, my employers followed the same principles as Rao, and I've felt more productive and appreciated than I've felt in any previous job.