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Handbook of Trust Research

Edited by Reinhard Bachmann and Akbar Zaheer

The Handbook of Trust Research presents a timely and comprehensive account of the most important work undertaken in this lively and emerging field over the past ten to fifteen years. Presenting a broad range of approaches to issues on trust, the Handbook features 22 articles from a variety of disciplines on the study of trust in both organizational and societal contexts. With contributions from some of the most eminent names in the field of trust research, this international collaboration is an imaginative and informative reference tool to aid research in this engaging area for years to come.
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Chapter 5: Trust in the Balance: How Managers Integrate Trust-Building and Task Control

Chris P. Long and Sim B. Sitkin


Chris P. Long and Sim B. Sitkin Introduction Researchers have shown that managers’ efforts to build trust comprise key mechanisms for enhancing organizational effectiveness (Barney and Hansen, 1994). Managers who promote organizational trust increase levels of voluntary subordinate compliance, augment subordinate commitment to organizational goals and enhance the willingness of employees to exhibit extra-role behaviors (Barney and Hansen, 1994; Dirks and Ferrin, 2001). As a result, managers who build trust often reduce the time and effort they must take to measure and monitor the work of their employees while enhancing the quality of their subordinates’ contributions and their capacity to achieve organizational objectives (Frank, 1988; Hosmer, 1995; Jones, 1995). The growing amount of research that has shown how managers’ efforts to build organizational and managerial trust are key to organizational effectiveness (Barney and Hansen, 1994) has primarily examined subordinates’ evaluations of managerial activities. While scholars have utilized this perspective to identify various forms of trust and classify their antecedents, trust scholars have generally not directly examined managers’ decisions and actions and thus have not, as yet, developed a clear understanding of the factors that influence managers to act (or not to act) to promote (or fail to promote) organizational trust. We contend, however, that it is important for scholars to develop an understanding of managerial actions since employees may not be able to discern all of the elements that their managers balance in trying to achieve broad organizational outcomes. Several perspectives emerging from the...

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