Trust in organizational contexts has received sustained attention from management scholars and practitioners, particularly in light of the growing number of organizational scandals and failures. Since the second half of the 20th century, research on trust has proffered conceptualizations of trust that include multiple bases and relationship stages, differentiated the construct from other related concepts such as trustworthiness and risk taking, and identified the processes that lead to trust and trusting behaviors. As the field continues to mature, research has further distinguished among different referents of trust in organizational contexts, as individuals can trust a coworker, a supervisor, and the upper management in an organization, among others. While some commonalities exist, these different trust referents have been shown to be related to divergent antecedents and outcomes. More recently, the field has turned its attention to the levels-of-analysis issues, understanding that trust can reside not only within individuals but also within teams and organizations, such that members in a team may share their trust in one another or in the leader. At the same time, trust of individuals within a group or a system is likely to be influenced by a common set of factors, ranging from the climate of the group or other broader contexts to mutual third parties who are not directly involved. The momentum of trust research continues, as recent research has examined the notions of trust transfer, trust spiral, and the dark side of trust and being trusted. These advances underscore the need for future research to continue examining the incredibly complex and nuanced reality of trust in the ever-changing organizational landscape.
A number of articles provide good overviews of the state of the literature with different foci. Schoorman, et al. 2007 identifies critical issues within the research on trust. Lewicki, et al. 2006 examines different models of trust development. Korsgaard, et al. 2014 considers both parties in interpersonal trust and its dyadic nature. Burke, et al. 2007 focuses on trust in leaders, while Costa, et al. 2017 focuses on trust in teams. As trust can deteriorate and violations can occur, Kramer and Lewicki 2010 identifies contributing factors of trust repair and enhancement of general trust expectations. Finally, Fulmer and Gelfand 2012 provides a multilevel-multireferent review that identifies similarities and differences in the antecedents and consequences of trust across organizational levels.
Burke, C. S., D. E. Sims, E. H. Sims, and E. Salas. “Trust in Leadership: A Multi-level Review and Integration.” Leadership Quarterly 18 (2007): 606–632.
Considers multilevel factors of trust in leaders, including leader characteristics, follower predisposition, and team and organizational factors. It also discusses the effects of trust in leaders on individuals and teams.
Costa, A. C., C. A. Fulmer, and N. Anderson. “Trust in Work Teams: An Integrative Review, Multilevel Framework, and Future Directions.” Journal of Organizational Behavior 39 (2017): 169–184.
Provides a review on trust in teams at both the individual and team levels. The article also offers a framework that integrates trust in teams at the two levels and their antecedents and outcomes.
Fulmer, C. A., and M. J. Gelfand. “At What Level (and in Whom) We Trust: Trust across Multiple Organizational Levels.” Journal of Management 38 (2012): 1167–1230.
Organizes the trust literature using the levels-of-analysis approach and differentiates between the theoretical and analytic level of trust (individual, team, or organizational) and the referent of trust (coworkers, team members, leaders, management, or another organization).
Korsgaard, M. A., H. H. Brower, and S. W. Lester. “It Isn’t Always Mutual: A Critical Review of Dyadic Trust.” Journal of Management 41 (2014): 47–70.
Identifies three approaches in examining dyadic trust: reciprocal trust, where trust in one party influences the other’s; mutual trust, where trust is shared between individuals; and asymmetric trust, where trust differs between individuals.
Kramer, R. M., and R. J. Lewicki. “Repairing and Enhancing Trust: Approaches to Reducing Organizational Trust Deficits.” Academy of Management Annals 4 (2010): 245–277.
In light of the prevalent trust deficit in organizations, the article discusses different ways to repair trust and support generalized trust among organizational members.
Lewicki, R. J., E. C. Tomlinson, and N. Gillespie. “Models of Interpersonal Trust Development: Theoretical Approaches, Empirical Evidence, and Future Directions.” Journal of Management 32 (2006): 991–1022.
Discusses different models of trust development: behavioral and psychological. The psychological models include a unidimensional approach of trust and distrust, a two-dimensional approach of trust and distrust, and a transformational approach of trust.
Schoorman, F. D., R. C. Mayer, and J. H. Davis. “An Integrative Model of Organizational Trust: Past, Present, and Future.” Academy of Management Review 32 (2007): 344–354.
Discusses extensions of trust research in relation to levels of analysis, violation and repair, affect and emotion, and cross-cultural issues.
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content on this page. Please subscribe or login.
- Abusive Supervision
- Adverse Impact and Equal Employment Opportunity Analytics
- Alternative Work Arrangements
- Applied Political Risk Analysis
- Approaches to Social Responsibility
- Assessment Centers: Theory, Practice and Research
- Authentic Leadership
- Bayesian Statistics
- Behavior, Organizational
- Behavioral Approach to Leadership
- Behavioral Theory of the Firm
- Between Organizations, Social Networks in and
- Brokerage in Networks
- Career Studies
- Charismatic and Innovative Team Leadership By and For Mill...
- Charismatic and Transformational Leadership
- Compensation, Rewards, Remuneration
- Competitive Dynamics
- Competitive Heterogeneity
- Computational Modeling
- Conditional Reasoning
- Conflict Management
- Considerate Leadership
- Corporate Social Performance
- Counterproductive Work Behavior (CWB)
- Cross-Cultural Communication
- Cross-Cultural Management
- Cultural Intelligence
- Culture, Organization
- Data Analytic Methods
- Decision Making
- Emotional Labor
- Employee Aging
- Employee Engagement
- Employee Voice
- Empowerment, Psychological
- Entrepreneurial Firms
- Entrepreneurship, Corporate
- Entrepreneurship, Women's
- Equal Employment Opportunity
- Faking in Personnel Selection
- Family Business, Managing
- Financial Markets in Organization Theory and Economic Soci...
- Findings, Reporting Research
- Fit, Person-Environment
- Global Leadership
- Global Talent Management
- Goal Setting
- Hofstedes Cultural Dimensions
- Human Capital Resource Pipelines
- Human Resource Management
- Human Resource Management, Strategic
- Human Resources, Global
- Human Rights
- Humanitarian Work Psychology
- Humility in Management
- Impression Management at Work
- Innovative Behavior
- Intelligence, Emotional
- International Economic Development and SMEs
- International Economic Systems
- International Strategic Alliances
- Job Analysis and Competency Modeling
- Job Crafting
- Job Design
- Job Satisfaction
- Knowledge Sharing and Collaboration within and across Firm...
- Leader-Member Exchange
- Leadership Development
- Leadership Development and Organizational Change, Coaching...
- Leadership, Ethical
- Leadership, Global and Comparative
- Leadership, Strategic
- Management History
- Management In Antiquity
- Managerial Discretion
- Meaningful Work
- Multinational Corporations and Emerging Markets
- Neo-institutional Theory
- Neuroscience, Organizational
- Organization Design, Global
- Organization Development and Change
- Organization Theory
- Organizational Adaptation
- Organizational Behavior, Emotions in
- Organizational Citizenship Behaviors (OCBs)
- Organizational Control
- Organizational Corruption
- Organizational Identity
- Organizational Justice
- Organizational Legitimacy
- Organizational Networks
- Organizational Performance, Personality Theory and
- Organizational Responsibility
- Organizational Surveys, Driving Change Through
- Organizations, Big Data in
- Organizations, Political Ideology in
- Organizations, Social Identity Processes in
- Paternalistic Leadership
- Pay for Skills, Knowledge, and Competencies
- People Analytics
- Performance Appraisal
- Planning And Goal Setting
- Proactive Work Behavior
- Psychological Contracts
- Psychological Safety
- Regional Entrepreneurship
- Reputation, Organizational Image and
- Research, Ethics in
- Research, Longitudinal
- Research Methods
- Research Methods, Qualitative
- Resource-Dependence Theory
- Response Surface Analysis, Polynomial Regression and
- Role of Time in Organizational Studies
- Safety, Work Place
- Selection, Applicant Reactions to
- Self-Fulfilling Prophecy In Management
- Self-Management and Personal Agency
- Sensemaking in and around Organizations
- Service Management
- Shared Team Leadership
- Social Cognitive Theory
- Social Evaluation: Status and Reputation
- Status in Organizations
- Strategic Alliances
- Strategic Human Capital
- Strategy and Cognition
- Structural Contingency Theory/Information Processing Theor...
- Team Composition
- Team Conflict
- Team Design Characteristics
- Team Learning
- Team Mental Models
- Team Newcomers
- Teams, Global
- Technology and Innovation Management
- Technology, Organizational Assessment and
- the Workplace, Millennials in
- Theory X and Theory Y
- Time and Motion Studies
- Training and Development
- Training Evaluation
- Trust in Organizational Contexts
- Unobtrusive Measures
- Virtual Teams
- Work and Family: An Organizational Science Overview
- Work Contexts, Nonverbal Communication in
- Work, Mindfulness at
- Workplace Coaching
- Workplace Commitment
- Workplace Gossip
- Workplace Meetings
- Workplace, Spiritual Leadership in the
- World War II, Management Research during