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《Journal of Psychological Science》 2014-02
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Dyadic Trust between Superiors and Subordinates in Organizations:Impacts and Mechanisms

Ma Huawei;Wang Xin;Department of Psychology,Tianjin Normal University;  
The effect of organizational trust on work outcomes has already been indicated by numerous studies. However,the two directions of trust and its mechanism are not clear yet. This study used a new perspective of subordinates' sense of being trusted instead of superiors' trust in them. Subordinates' sense of being trusted is a kind of trust that they perceived from their superiors,which may be a more critical aspect to their mental and behavioral changes. Moreover,subordinates' sense of being trusted and their trust in superiors are two types of trust that may have different effects on work outcomes. This study focused on the two directions of trust in every individual in an organization. The paper explored the trust relationship between subordinates' sense of being trusted by superiors and their trust in superiors in an organization. The primary aim is to reveal how the dyadic trust affects subordinates' mental and behavioral changes, and the possible mediating effects of psychological safety,gratitude and psychological empowerment.The data was obtained from 737 full-time employees in North China through questionnaire and was analyzed by SEM. The confirmatory factor analysis showed that the measurement had good reliability and validity. The statistical package of Amos 16. 0 was used to examine the hypotheses.A hypotheses model was set accordingly. In the first stage of data analysis,the research tested the hypotheses on the relationship between subordinates' sense of being trusted and their trust in superiors. In order to provide a stringent examination of the hypotheses,an alternative model was established. By comparing the alternative model with the hypotheses model,the result indicated that subordinates' sense of being trusted related positively to trust in their superiors. In the second stage of data analysis,the study explored the mediating effect of psychological safety,gratitude and psychological empowerment between the dyadic trust and outcomes. It was revealed that the effect of trust in superiors on subordinates' job performance and satisfaction is mediated by psychological safety. Results also supported the hypothesis that gratitude mediated the relationship between subordinates' sense of being trusted and their performance and their satisfaction. In addition,the psychological empowerment also mediated the effect of subordinates' sense of being trusted on their job performance and satisfaction.The present study contributes to our understanding of the relationship between the dyadic trust and employees' outcomes. The theoretical implication of this research is that it prepresents a new perspective of investigating the trust between superiors and subordinates.As for the practical implication,the results of this study showed that the two directions of trust are an interactive system,which has an impact on employees' psychology and behavior. It suggested that managers give more trust to their employees,which will play a big role in individual and organizational development.
【Fund】: 国家社科重大招标项目(12&ZD218)的资助
【CateGory Index】: C936
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