Publication Type

Journal Article

Version

Postprint

Publication Date

4-2017

Abstract

Prior research has amply demonstrated that employees’ personal relationship with the organisation influences their trust in it. In this two-study investigation, we examine how employees’ beliefs about the organisation’s legitimacy relate to their organisational trust because legitimacy signals organisational trustworthiness in the impersonal system of the institutional environment. Results from Study 1, which drew on data from one organisation, reveal that employees’ legitimacy beliefs are related to their organisational trust. Furthermore, results from Study 2, which are based on data from five organisations, reveal that employees’ judgment of the organisation’s trustworthiness mediates the relationship between legitimacy beliefs and organisational trust. Overall, our findings create a new avenue for trust research by advancing the idea that employees' trust in their employer organisation derives in part from the reflection of trustworthiness that arises due to the organisation’s association with the institutional environment.

Keywords

Organisational trust, organisational legitimacy, trustworthiness, institutional theory

Discipline

Organizational Behavior and Theory | Organization Development

Research Areas

Organisational Behaviour and Human Resources

Publication

Journal of Trust Research

Volume

7

Issue

2

First Page

129

Last Page

149

ISSN

2151-5581

Identifier

10.1080/21515581.2017.1304220

Publisher

Taylor & Francis (Routledge): SSH Titles

Copyright Owner and License

Authors

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.

Additional URL

https://doi.org/10.1080/21515581.2017.1304220

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