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Antecedents of trust in supervisor-subordinate relationships in the context of large-sized industrial companies

Neises, Yannik (2020) Antecedents of trust in supervisor-subordinate relationships in the context of large-sized industrial companies.

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Abstract:In today’s highly competitive business world, trust in supervisor-subordinate relationships is a constantly fundamental factor to ensure long-term corporate success. Even though the topic has received notable attention from researchers over the past decades, recent studies show that in practice, supervisors still struggle to be perceived as trustworthy by their subordinates. Interestingly, most of the research on the topic so far has been conducted quantitatively. Based on the findings of those previous studies, the present study investigates antecedents of trust in supervisor-subordinate relationships from a qualitative perspective. This study aims to use a mixture of inductive and deductive content analysis to deepen the knowledge about already known antecedents as well as to discover new ones. Therefore, semi-structured interviews with 15 full-time employees from large-sized industrial companies were conducted. The participants were asked to reflect on their relationship with their current and previous supervisors to discover factors that affect the trustworthiness of those. Based on the interviews, several antecedents of trust in supervisor-subordinate relationships were identified. The present study was able to confirm the relevance of some determinants that were suggested by previous research, while also several new ones emerged from the inductive content analysis. A relevant contribution of this study is that supervisors should give their employees a leap of faith to earn their trust. Moreover, it is argued that there might be a certain tension between different antecedents, caused by the individual demands of subordinates. Hence, supervisors must be flexible in their leadership style to meet the individual needs of subordinates. Additionally, the present study suggests directions for future research to develop concepts that help people in charge to set the stage for creating organizational circumstances that facilitate the development of trust between supervisors and subordinates.
Item Type:Essay (Bachelor)
Faculty:BMS: Behavioural, Management and Social Sciences
Subject:05 communication studies
Programme:Communication Studies BSc (56615)
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