Antecedents of Behavioural Indicators of Trust in Subordinates

Upton, Christopher
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University of Guelph

The present study examined how a leader’s behavioural intentions are affected by the trustworthiness of their subordinate using the Affective-Cognitive trust model (Gillespie, 2003; McAllister, 1995). Two-hundred and twenty-five undergraduate students participated in an experimental study that assessed their willingness to engage in reliance and disclosure behaviours based on their perceptions of affective and cognitive trust. Given concerns about the conceptual overlap between trust and liking, we controlled for liking. Consistent with our hypotheses we found that cognitive trust predicted participant’s willingness to engage in reliance behaviours, whereas affective trust predicted participant’s willingness to engage in disclosure behaviours. However, when we controlled for liking, these findings held for disclosure behaviours but did not for reliance behaviours. Limitations of our study and implications for both research and practice are discussed.

Trust, Liking, Leadership, Reliance, Disclosure