Chapter 2: A Picture of Trust in UK Business Organizations
Les Worrall, Cary L. Cooper and Margaret Lindorff* INTRODUCTION There is a growing body of literature that explores trust in organizations, much of which argues that trust plays a central role in the development and maintenance of employees’ psychological contracts; that high trust is associated with better organizational performance; that badly managed organizational change can violate trust; and that the most senior managers in organizations have a major role in establishing trust because the behaviours they reveal through their actions and their leadership styles are instrumental in forming the context in which human resource management (HRM) policies and practices are defined. The purpose of this chapter is to explore these issues. More specifically, the aims of this chapter are, first, to paint a picture of trust among managers in UK business organizations; second, to look at the effects of senior managers’ leadership styles on trust in senior managers; third, to look at the effects of large-scale organizational change on trust; and, finally, to examine which aspects of organizational climate and which organizational practices most affect trust in senior managers. Throughout the chapter comparisons will be made between the experiences of UK and Australian managers in order to identify similarities and differences. The chapter is highly empirical and makes use of data derived from the 2007 Quality of Working Life project (Worrall and Cooper, 2007) which was run in parallel with a study in Australia (Worrall et al., 2008). The Australian data allow us to put the UK study into an...
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