ISSN 0439-755X
CN 11-1911/B

心理学报 ›› 2020, Vol. 52 ›› Issue (3): 329-344.doi: 10.3724/SP.J.1041.2020.00329

• 研究报告 • 上一篇    下一篇


陈晨1, 张昕2, 孙利平3, 秦昕1(), 邓惠如1   

  1. 1 中山大学管理学院, 广州 510275
    2 香港中文大学管理学系, 香港 999077
    3 广东金融学院人力资源管理系, 广州 510521
  • 收稿日期:2019-04-03 出版日期:2020-03-25 发布日期:2020-01-18
  • 通讯作者: 秦昕
  • 基金资助:
    * 国家自然科学基金项目(71702202);国家自然科学基金项目(71872190);国家自然科学基金项目(71502179);广东省珠江学者(青年)岗位计划(2018);中央高校基本科研业务费专项资金资助(19wkpy17)

Trust is valued in proportion to its rarity? Investigating how and when feeling trusted leads to counterproductive work behavior

CHEN Chen1, ZHANG Xin2, SUN Liping3, QIN Xin1(), DENG Huiru1   

  1. 1 Sun Yat-sen Business School, Sun Yat-sen University, Guangzhou 510275, China
    2 Department of Management, The Chinese University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong 999077, China
    3 Department of Human Resource Management, Guangdong University of Finance, Guangzhou 510521, China
  • Received:2019-04-03 Online:2020-03-25 Published:2020-01-18
  • Contact: QIN Xin


感知被信任是信任相关研究中的重要组成部分, 近年来逐渐受到研究者们的重视。以往研究大多认为, 下属感知被上司信任对下属自身以及组织整体都会产生积极影响, 却忽视了其潜在的负面影响。基于自我评价理论, 本文采用实验研究(研究1、2)与多时间点、多源的实地问卷调查(研究3), 探讨了下属感知被信任的潜在黑暗面。研究结果表明:下属感知被信任会引发下属心理权利感, 进而增加其反生产行为, 下属感知到信任的稀缺性在这一过程中起调节作用。具体来说, 当下属感知到信任的稀缺性较高时, 下属感知被信任通过心理权利感影响其反生产行为的正向中介效应显著; 而当下属感知到信任的稀缺性较低时, 上述中介效应不显著。本研究发现了感知被信任的潜在负面影响, 并明确了其对反生产行为的作用机制与边界条件, 为感知被信任相关研究提供了更加全面、辩证的研究视角, 同时也扩展了心理权利感和反生产行为的相关研究。

关键词: 信任, 感知被信任, 心理权利感, 反生产行为, 感知到信任的稀缺性


Trust is a crucial part of interpersonal relationships within work environments. Previous research has revealed that feeling trusted, or “the perception that another party is willing to accept vulnerability to one’s actions,” by one’s supervisor benefits both subordinates and organizations in various ways such as enhancing organization-based self-esteem and improving individual and organizational performance. While extant research has provided insightful knowledge to help us understand the beneficial effects of feeling trusted, we know little about its potential drawbacks. We suggest that scholars may have overstated the benefits of feeling trusted and overlooked its potential costs. Thus, several important questions are arisen: When dose feeling trusted induce employees subsequent counterproductive work behavior (CWB), and Why? Drawing upon self-evaluation theory and trust literature, we propose that feeling trusted by their supervisors may promote employees’ psychological entitlement, which leads to subsequent CWB. Furthermore, we consider the perceived rarity of trust as a boundary condition and suggest that when employees perceive the rarity of trust is high, feeling trusted is more likely to make them feel psychologically entitled, thus leading to CWB.
To test our theoretical model, we conducted three studies, including two experiments (i.e., Study 1 and 2) and one multi-wave, multi-source field study (i.e., Study 3) among diverse samples. In Study 1, we invited 115 full-time employees through the alumni networks of several large universities in China to participate our experiment. Participants were randomly assigned to one of two experimental conditions: the feeling trusted condition (n = 58) versus the control condition (n = 57). Feeling trusted was manipulated by the critical incident technique. Each participant was required to recall and describe a recent interaction with their supervisor. Next, participants completed an ostensibly unrelated task (filler task) and reported psychological entitlement, manipulation check, and demographics. In Study 2, we recruited 145 full-time working adults as participants from the United States using Amazon’s Mechanical Turk. Participants first reported the perceived rarity of trust in their organizations. Then, they were randomly assigned to one of two experimental conditions (the feeling trusted condition [n = 73] versus the control condition [n = 72]) and were subjected to the same manipulation and questionnaire as those defined in Study 1. In Study 3, we employed a multi-wave, multi-source design to test our full model in a field setting using a Chinese employee sample. At Time 1, the employees reported feeling trusted, perceived rarity of trust, psychological entitlement, and demographics. Approximately one week later (Time 2), their supervisors were invited to rate subordinates’ CWB. The final sample included 187 employees from 60 workgroups.
The results of the studies revealed that feeling trusted positively influenced subordinates’ psychological entitlement, which in turn enhanced their subsequent CWB. Subordinates perceived rarity of trust moderated the effect of feeling trusted on psychological entitlement. Furthermore, subordinates perceived rarity of trust moderated the indirect effect of feeling trusted on CWB. That is, the positive indirect effect of feeling trusted on CWB via subordinates’ psychological entitlement was significant and positive when perceived rarity of trust was high and did not exist when perceived rarity of trust was low.
This research makes several important contributions. First, we challenge the consensus regarding the universally positive effects of trust by suggesting that feeling trusted may have the potential to induce subordinates CWB. In doing so, this research provides a more dialectical perspective in understanding the effects of feeling trusted. Second, not only do we examine the potentially negative effects of feeling trusted, but we also examine when and why this effect unfolds. By exploring the dynamics of feeling trusted, we answer Bare et al.’s call for more research on feeling trusted. Finally, this research contributes to CWB literature by identifying an important but neglected antecedent of CWB in the workplace. We suggested that beyond leaders’ negative behaviors (e.g., abuse and injustice), their positive behaviors (i.e., expressed trust) may lead to subordinates’ CWB.

Key words: trust, feeling trusted, psychological entitlement, counterproductive work behavior, perceived rarity of trust