ISSN 0439-755X
CN 11-1911/B

Acta Psychologica Sinica ›› 2017, Vol. 49 ›› Issue (1): 83-93.doi: 10.3724/SP.J.1041.2017.00083

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Trust climate, perceived insider status and employee’ in-role performance: A mediated moderator model

TU Xingyong; ZHANG Qi; WANG Zeyin; HE Xin   

  1. (School of Management, Lanzhou University, Lanzhou 730000, China)
  • Received:2015-12-14 Published:2017-01-25 Online:2017-01-25
  • Contact: TU Xingyong, E-mail:


Given the severe intense competitive environment as well as unpredictable technological changes, an increasing number of organizations realize that trust climate is a key element to help the organization to get competitive advantage and trust climate is also an important prerequisite for employees promote their performance. Many studies have showed that employees’ in-role performance has been considered as a critical factor of organizational continuous innovation and breakthrough. The way to improve employee’s in-role performance is, therefore, one of the important problems in theory and practice circles. Although existing research suggests trust climate can help employee promote performance, the effect of trust climate on employees’ in-role performance did not provide comprehensive explanations. Empirical studies show mixed results and this relationship has remained ambiguous and contested. It is still unclear whether there is a positive relationship between trust climate and employees’ in-role performance. In view of the existing research gaps, in this research, we examined a model based on the self concept theory and role identity theory. To better understand the mechanisms of trust climate, we proposed and tested a mediated moderation model in which trust climate influenced employee in-role performance, with perceived insider status as a mediator and psychological safety as a moderator. To test the model, data were collected from 330 members within 31 productive enterprises in Xiamen, Shanghai and Yinchuan with the assistance of the human resource managers. The results showed that: (1) trust climate was positively related to in-role performance; and (2) trust climate was positively related to perceived insider status; (3) perceived insider status partially mediated the relationship between trust climate and in-role performance; (4) psychological safety moderated the relationship between trust climate and perceived insider status; that is, the higher the psychological safety, the stronger the mediated relationship was. Furthermore, our research indicated that the mediated moderation model could better explain the mechanism of trust climate on employee in-role performance, which not only enriches and extends the scope of related management, but also provides a beneficial enlightenment to the employee’s in-role performance management practices. These conclusions contribute to the literature in several ways. First, this research offers a new approach to the influence of trust climate by examining employee in-role performance. Second, our results involving the moderating effect of perceived insider status on the relationship between trust climate and perceived insider status contribute to the integration of self concept theory and role identity theory. To sum up, this study deepens our understanding of trust climate by examining the mediating effect of perceived insider status and moderating effect of psychological safety under a unified theoretical framework. However, the limitations of our study suggest that the necessity of future research. The paper only examines the technological corporations in China, which represent the highest level of industrial development in China. So, cautions should be exercised in generalizing our findings to other industries in the country.

Key words: trust climate, perceived insider status, in-role performance, psychological safety