Edited by Rosalind H. Searle and Denise Skinner
Chapter 3: The Evolution of Trust and Control as Seen through an Organization’s Human Resource Practices
Karen E. Mishra, Gavin M. Schwarz and Aneil K. Mishra INTRODUCTION Several decades of behavioral research have asserted that trust is essential in organizations. Without a certain degree of trust, it is almost impossible to establish coordinated action within an organization (Kramer and Tyler, 1996), or across organizational boundaries (Sako, 1992). Conversely, control has been even more widely inveighed as a central coordination mechanism in organizational research, promoting efficiency based on decision making and action being resident in the hands of an expert (for example, Weber, 1947). Nevertheless, these two constructs have not been well integrated and a familiar refrain in conceptual work is that little research has comprehensively addressed both at the same time (Das and Teng, 1998; Bachman, 2001). Indeed, these two constructs have often been viewed as a dichotomy (for example, Meyer and Rowan, 1977; Luhmann, 1979; Coleman, 1990), and modeled as independent variables. Although trust and control have been widely studied constructs, especially in organizational studies and human resources, attempts to integrate them have often resulted in contradictions (Skinner and Spira, 2003). More recently, scholars have convincingly argued that trust and control need to be conceptualized in an integrated fashion (Kramer, 2006; Weibel, 2007), and have examined empirically their joint and independent effects on coordination behavior (Costa and Bijlsma-Frankema, 2007). In this chapter, we build on these integrative perspectives by asking, how are human resource (HR) practices in a fast-growing organization reflected in the evolution of trust into control? After establishing the theoretical basis for the...
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