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Trust under Pressure

Empirical Investigations of Trust and Trust Building in Uncertain Circumstances

Edited by Katinka Bijlsma-Frankema and Rosalinde Klein Woolthuis

This book challenges the current thinking on trust largely based on studies in stable contexts, by presenting new empirical studies of trust and trust building in a number of less stable, less institutionalized settings. These contexts are gaining in prominence given the globalization and virtualization of organizational relations, development of high velocity markets, and the growing importance of intangible resources.
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Chapter 12: Trust and Contingent Work: A Research Agenda

Dick de Gilder


Dick de Gilder INTRODUCTION The studying of – and theorizing on – trust in organizational settings has taken flight in the past decade (for an overview, see Kramer and Tyler, 1996; Dirks and Ferrin, 2002). Clearly, there is a shared idea by social scientists that trust plays an important role in organizational life, that trust can be managed by organizations, that it could (or should?) be part of the human resource policies of organizations. This idea is supported by a considerable number of studies directed at establishing the importance of trust in organizations. Particularly in the field of leadership, the antecedents and consequences of trust have been well documented. A meta-analysis (Dirks and Ferrin, 2002) has shown that trust in leadership is strongly related to correlates or antecedents such as leadership styles, different justice perceptions and perceived organizational support. Furthermore, trust in leadership appears to be strongly related to hypothesized outcomes, such as organizational commitment, job satisfaction and intent to quit, and less strongly, but significantly, related to organizational citizenship behavior (see Organ, 1988) and job performance. The meta-analysis on 106 independent samples thus yields the strongest support so far for the relevance of the concept of trust, although a critical discussion demonstrates the need for further research and the refining of the trust concept (Dirks and Ferrin, 2002). An important potential limitation of much of the research performed so far, is that the settings that are studied seem to be dominated by samples that are relatively homogeneous. The starting...

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