Trust, Trustworthiness, and Trust Propensity: A Meta-Analytic Test of Their Unique Relationships With Risk Taking and Job Performance

Jason A. Colquitt, Brent A. Scott, Jeffery A. LePine

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

1055 Scopus citations

Abstract

The trust literature distinguishes trustworthiness (the ability, benevolence, and integrity of a trustee) and trust propensity (a dispositional willingness to rely on others) from trust (the intention to accept vulnerability to a trustee based on positive expectations of his or her actions). Although this distinction has clarified some confusion in the literature, it remains unclear (a) which trust antecedents have the strongest relationships with trust and (b) whether trust fully mediates the effects of trustworthiness and trust propensity on behavioral outcomes. Our meta-analysis of 132 independent samples summarized the relationships between the trust variables and both risk taking and job performance (task performance, citizenship behavior, counterproductive behavior). Meta-analytic structural equation modeling supported a partial mediation model wherein trustworthiness and trust propensity explained incremental variance in the behavioral outcomes when trust was controlled. Further analyses revealed that the trustworthiness dimensions also predicted affective commitment, which had unique relationships with the outcomes when controlling for trust. These results generalized across different types of trust measures (i.e., positive expectations measures, willingness-to-be-vulnerable measures, and direct measures) and different trust referents (i.e., leaders, coworkers).

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)909-927
Number of pages19
JournalJournal of Applied Psychology
Volume92
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 1 2007
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • citizenship
  • commitment
  • integrity
  • trust
  • trustworthiness

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Applied Psychology

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