Publication Type

Journal Article

Publication Date

1-2003

Abstract

Hypotheses asserting that reward structures - an omnipresent element of the work context - have a strong influence on interpersonal trust are tested, and the cognitive and behavioral routes through which the effects may occur are explored. Specifically, attribution theory is used to identify several core processes including social perception, self-perception, and attributional biases that may explain trust development. A 3 x 2 experimental design in a problem-solving task was used to examine the hypotheses. The results suggest that reward structures have a strong influence on trust, and that the effect is mediated by causal schemas, suspicion effects, and self-perception. Some support was also found for the prediction that the impact of mixed reward structures on trust is biased by individuals' preexisting expectations about their partners' trustworthiness. The theory and results suggest that attribution theory provides a useful framework for understanding the complex, diverse, and multiple routes through which trust may develop.

Keywords

Attribution Theory, Computer-Mediated Communication, Cooperation Competition, Interpersonal Trust, Rewards

Discipline

Business | Organizational Behavior and Theory

Research Areas

Organisational Behaviour and Human Resources

Publication

Organization Science

Volume

14

Issue

1

First Page

18

Last Page

31

ISSN

1047-7039

Identifier

10.1287/orsc.14.1.18.12809

Publisher

INFORMS

Additional URL

http://dx.doi.org/10.1287/orsc.14.1.18.12809

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