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The Effect of Delegation on Felt Trust

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Title: The Effect of Delegation on Felt Trust
Author: Hanna, Joshua
Department: Department of Psychology
Program: Psychology
Advisor: Gill, Harjinder
Abstract: Trust between leaders and their subordinates is key to successful interpersonal cooperation at work, and has been related to both performance and organizational citizenship behaviour (Colquitt, Scott, & LePine, 2007). Although research suggests that effective leadership improves a subordinate’s trust in their leader, little work has examined whether a leader’s behaviours can improve their subordinate’s felt trust (Brower, Schoorman, & Tan, 2000; Dirks & Ferrin, 2002; Mayer, Davis, & Schoorman, 1995). The present study used a between-subjects online vignette experiment to examine how subordinate felt trust may be influenced by a) a leader’s task delegation, b) the probability of negative outcomes and c) the importance of avoiding negative outcomes in the task. Participants were n = 1196 people recruited over CrowdFlower. Results indicate that leader’s task delegation improves subordinate felt trust, d = 0.90, 95% CI = [0.78, 1.03]. The probability of negative outcomes for the delegated task did not affect felt trust, d = 0.03, 95% CI = [-0.14, 0.20]. However, delegating more important tasks had a greater positive effect on felt trust than less important tasks, d = 0.57, 95% CI = [0.4, 0.74]. Findings support the relational leadership model; subordinates perceive leader’s risk-taking actions as indicative of trust.
Date: 2017-08
Rights: Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 2.5 Canada

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Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 2.5 Canada Except where otherwise noted, this item's license is described as Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 2.5 Canada