Please wait a minute...
   2012, Vol. 44 Issue (6) : 818-829     DOI:
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)
Download: PDF(433 KB)  
Export: BibTeX | EndNote | Reference Manager | ProCite | RefWorks    
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
E-mail this article
E-mail Alert
Articles by authors
MA Hua-Wei
Cite this article:   
MA Hua-Wei,YAO Qi. Subordinates’ Trust in Supervisors: As a Kind of Willingness of Action[J]. , 2012, 44(6): 818-829.
URL:     OR
[1] FU Chao, ZHANG Zhen, HE Jinzhou, HUANG Silin, QIU Jianyin, WANG Yiwen.  Brain dynamics of decision-making in the generalized trust game: Evidence from ERPs and EEG time-frequency analysis[J]. Acta Psychologica Sinica, 2018, 50(3): 317-326.
[2] WANG Xiujuan, WANG Na, HAN Shangfeng, LIU Shen, ZHANG Lin. The influence of facial trustworthiness on helping behavior: The role of attachment type[J]. Acta Psychologica Sinica, 2018, 50(11): 1292-1302.
[3] LIU Baogen, LI Feifei, LI Ruiqin, JIANG Hui .  Trust and subsequent use of oral and print information for 4~6 year-old children[J]. Acta Psychologica Sinica, 2017, 49(8): 1053-1062.
[4] WANG Yiwen, FU Chao, REN Xiangfeng, LIN Yuzhong, GUO Fengbo.  Narcissistic personality modulates outcome evaluation in the trust game[J]. Acta Psychologica Sinica, 2017, 49(8): 1080-1088.
[5] ZHANG Shuwei.  Social justice, institutional trust and public cooperation intention[J]. Acta Psychologica Sinica, 2017, 49(6): 794-813.
[6] LIU Shixiong, BI Xiaopei, HE Kaibin.  The impact of internet language copy on consumers’ attention and perceptions of the advertisement[J]. Acta Psychologica Sinica, 2017, 49(12): 1590-1603.
[7] TU Xingyong; ZHANG Qi; WANG Zeyin; HE Xin. Trust climate, perceived insider status and employee’ in-role performance: A mediated moderator model[J]. Acta Psychologica Sinica, 2017, 49(1): 83-93.
[8] ZHANG Lin; LIU Shen; XU Qiang; WU Xiaoyan; YANG Mengyuan. Long-term effect of violence exposure in real-life on aggressive behaviors: A moderated mediation model[J]. Acta Psychologica Sinica, 2017, 49(1): 50-59.
[9] LI Tingyu; LIU Li; ZHU Liqi. 4~6 year-old children’s trust in economic game and its influencing factors[J]. Acta Psychologica Sinica, 2017, 49(1): 17-27.
[10] LI Caina; SUN Ying; TUO Rui; LIU Jia. The effects of attachment security on interpersonal trust: The moderating role of attachment anxiety[J]. Acta Psychologica Sinica, 2016, 48(8): 989-1001.
[11] ZHONG Yiping; YANG Zilu; FAN Wei. The Effects of Self-other Overlap on Helping Behavior: Moderating of Perspective Taking[J]. Acta Psychologica Sinica, 2015, 47(8): 1050-1057.
[12] WANG Yiwen; ZHANG Zhen; YUAN Sheng; GUO Fengbo; HE Shaoying; JING Yiming. The Decision-making and Outcome Evaluation during a Repeated Trust Game[J]. Acta Psychologica Sinica, 2015, 47(8): 1028-1038.
[13] ZHANG Mei; XIN Ziqiang; LIN Chongde. Routines in Three-Person Problem Solving: Measurement and the Effect of Different Collaborative Level[J]. Acta Psychologica Sinica, 2015, 47(6): 814-825.
[14] WANG Pei; WANG Xuefeng; CHEN Qingwei. Emotional Regulation of Implicitly Measured Stereotypes: Automatic and Controlled Processes[J]. Acta Psychologica Sinica, 2015, 47(1): 93-107.
[15] TU Yidong; LU Xinxin; GUO Wei; WANG Zhen. What Benefits Do Ethical Leaders Gain? Ethical Leadership, LMX Mean and Leaders’ Benefits[J]. Acta Psychologica Sinica, 2014, 46(9): 1378-1391.
Full text



Copyright © Acta Psychologica Sinica
Support by Beijing Magtech