University of Twente Student Theses


Determinants of employees trust in their daily supervisors

Wortel, C. (2014) Determinants of employees trust in their daily supervisors.

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Abstract:This research focuses on the different determinants that could positively influence the trust of employees’ in their daily supervisors. Current trust literature mostly focuses on the trust of customers in organizations. Whereas this research is about trust within organizations, namely trust in daily supervisors. There are already many researcher who identified one or several determinants in their studies that have a positive influence on employees’ trust towards their supervisors but not all together in one research. This research gives a comprehensive overview of the possible determinants that are influential on employees’ trust. Thereby is focused on if some determinants are more important than others when all determinants are put into one research. Out of the trust literature three categories of influencing trust determinants can be defined; (1) Context-based determinants, which includes all determinants that can be influenced by a situation an employee or supervisor is in. The context-based determinants in this research are: relationship length, participation in decision making, value congruence and contact frequency. (2) Trustee-based determinants, includes all determinants that have to do with the daily supervisor, the person to be trusted. Competence, availability, consistency, information quality, information quantity and transparency belong to this category. The last category (3) Trustor-based determinants have to do with the trusting party, in this research employees are the persons who trust or distrust their daily supervisor. The only determinant in this category is propensity to trust. Hypotheses are formed to find out if the different determinants have a positive influence on employees’ trust in their daily supervisors. An online questionnaire was distributed via social media networks and the network of the researcher in the Netherlands. Snowball sampling was used to get as many respondents as possible. A total response of 210 completely filled in surveys was realized. To analyze the data Cronbachs alpha was measured, which showed that all measured constructs are reliable. Furthermore single- and multiple regression analyses were performed. It was expected that all constructs would have a positive significance in the single regression since all used determinants are researched before with positive results. However in this research, availability and information quantity were not confirmed as significant. After this, a multiple regression analysis was performed to find out if some determinants are, according to employees more important than others for trusting daily supervisors. Next to availability and information quantity, in the multiple regression it turned out that contact frequency was not confirmed to have a positive effect on employees trust in their daily supervisors. Value congruence and information quality were only confirmed on a .05 significance level. Whereas the other determinants (participation in decision making, competence, consistency, relationship length, transparency, propensity to trust) were al confirmed at a .01 significance. Participation in decision making, competence and consistency showed the strongest significant score. These determinants are valued as more important than the other determinants by the respondents of this research. Daily supervisors and managers can become aware of the importance of some trustee determinants that employees value as important for trusting their supervisor. Giving these determinants enough attention in practical work situations could lead to increased trust of employees in their daily supervisors. For other researchers this research summarizes and defines, in one overview, which determinants are important instead of various different articles were only one or a few determinants are discussed. This is also a research that can be performed in different countries and more specific situations as, a specific organization or working sector so that one can find out if this gives different results in the importance of the determinants.
Item Type:Essay (Master)
Faculty:BMS: Behavioural, Management and Social Sciences
Subject:05 communication studies
Programme:Communication Studies MSc (60713)
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