Touchstone of Trust inside Organizations: Antecedents of high-trust manager-employee relationships
Using qualitative and set theoretic methods, we target cognitive processes of why managers install high-trust relationships with their employees, focusing on the leap of faith as the irra-tional touchstone of such trust relationships. In a first step we ‘open the managers’ heads’, as results of our semi-structured expert-interviews reveal five cues prompting them to leap: (1) managers’ expectations of an employee’s trustworthiness, (2) his/her personal disposition to trust (3) factors of the firm’s structure and organization as well as (4) manager’s decision-making errors and (5) his/her motivation to trust. Consequently, our fsQCA follow-up study builds on these insights as we investigate structural combinations of these cues to acknowledge causal complexity of high-trust decisions and to arrive at parsimonious mental models of why managers install high-trust relationships with their employees. Our results reveal four jointly sufficient causal combinations, highlighting the importance of managers’ ‘gut-feelings’, organizational culture and trust-inspiring controls pivotal for making a leap of faith. Moreover, a manager’s idea of his/her subordinates as well as work-related socializa-tion processes appear to be distinctive, when it comes to the question of what type of manag-er finds which way to high-trust.
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9th FINT/EIASM Conference on Trust within and between Organisations
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