The effects of trust in leadership on employee performance, behavior, and attitudes. A meta-analysis.

Publication Type

Journal Article

Publication Date



The idea that trust in leadership has an important effect on employeeperformance, behavior, and attitudes has been recognized across numerous literatures and disciplines. In this paper, we amass and summarize findings of empirical research from the past several decades on the consequences of trust inleadership. We conducted a meta-analysis of 47 samples (12,945 participants) to cumulate and report the relationships between trust in leadership and five important outcomes: job performance, organizational citizenship behaviors, intent to quit, organizational commitment, and job satisfaction. Our analyses indicated thattrust is significantly related to all five outcome variables. The relationship betweentrust and the attitudinal outcomes (job satisfaction and organizational commitment) appears to be considerably stronger than the relationship between trust and thebehavioral outcomes (job performance, organizational citizenship behaviors and turnover intent). Moderator analysis indicated that the referent of trust matters:relationships between trust and several outcomes differ on the basis of whetherthe referent is one's direct leader (e.g., supervisor) versus senior management. Asthe first attempt to amass empirical findings of this literature, our meta-analysis will aid researchers and practitioners alike in better understanding the role of trust inorganizations.


Human Resources Management | Organizational Behavior and Theory

Research Areas

Organisational Behaviour and Human Resources


Academy of Management Best Papers Proceedings






Academy of Management


s. j. havlovic (ed.), ob: h1