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   2012, Vol. 44 Issue (6) : 818-829     DOI:
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Subordinates’ Trust in Supervisors: As a Kind of Willingness of Action
MA Hua-Wei;YAO Qi
(1Department of Psychology, Tianjin Normal University, Tianjin 300387, China)
(2Department of Social Psychology, Nankai University, Tianjin 300071, China)
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Abstract  Trust within organizations has attracted much attention from researchers in the O/B field. Although regarding trust as willingness to act, a definition proposed by Rousseau, Burt and Sitkin (1998) and Mayer, Davis and Schoorman (1995), has been gradually and widely accepted by researchers, most of the existing trust measures were established based on regarding trust as belief or action. What is more, these trust measures were rarely used repeatedly. The lack of a trust measure consistent with the dominant definition of trust and the little knowledge about the relationships between different aspects of trust (i.e., as belief, willingness and action) have hindered the development of trust research. Given the above shortcomings in trust measurement, the present research focused on subordinates’ trust in supervisors within enterprises and aimed at: First, establishing a validated measure of trust as willingness to act; second, comparing it with existing trust measures and clarifying the relationships between different aspects of trust, Based on the theoretical framework of trust behaviors and outcomes from open-ended questionnaire in pilot study, the Employees’ Trust in Direct Supervisor Inventory (TDSI) was established. In order to test the reliability and validity of TDSI, 412 employees from 4 firms in Tianjin participated Study 1. After robust item analysis, 6 items belonging to 2 dimensions (i.e. reliance and disclosure) were left in TDSI and good psychometric features were demonstrated. Based on the above findings, Study 2 compared the relative validity of TDSI with past trust measures. 553 employees from 8 firms in Tianjin and Zhengzhou participated in Study 2 and completed the TDST, Managerial Interpersonal Trust, Organizational Trust Inventory, Organizational Trust Measure and Job Satisfaction Inventory. Path analysis for latent variables was uses to analyze the data. Findings of competitive models comparisons revealed that: ①Trust as willingness to act was influenced by both cognitive and affective factors; ②trustworthiness partially mediated the relationship between the basis of trust (i.e., cognitive trust and affective trust) and trust willingness; trust willingness fully mediated the relationships between trustworthiness and job satisfaction; ③Trust willingness was the most proximal predictor for trust outcomes among trust relevant constructs (i.e., trustworthiness and basis of trust). Present research not only provided an alternative trust measure for organizational trust research, but also clarified the relationships among trust relevant constructs and corresponding measures, which might facilitate the empirical study on organizational trust.
Keywords trust      measure      trustworthiness      willingness     
Corresponding Authors: YAO Qi   
Issue Date: 28 June 2012
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MA Hua-Wei,YAO Qi. Subordinates’ Trust in Supervisors: As a Kind of Willingness of Action[J]. , 2012, 44(6): 818-829.
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http://journal.psych.ac.cn/xlxb/EN/     OR     http://journal.psych.ac.cn/xlxb/EN/Y2012/V44/I6/818
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