An emic perspective on the trust-control link in Russia

  • Virpi Outila (Speaker)

Activity: Talk or presentation typesConference presentation


The question of whether trust complements or substitutes various forms of control has been debated in the literature. We aim to shed light on this debate by adopting an emic perspective on the trust-control link in Russia. We conduct an interpretive qualitative study of how Russian managers and their subordinates in Russian subsidiaries of a Finnish-owned MNC as well as a group of expatriates working in the Russian subsidiaries perceive trust and control. Our emic perspective on trust in Russia suggests that trust and control co-existed in the daily manager-subordinate relationships, complementing and substituting each other. The Russian proverb “trust but verify” captures the shared perceptions of the trust-control link among the interviewed managers and subordinates. On the other hand, the expatriates regarded trust and control as substitutes of each other. Our conceptual model integrates the complementary and substitutive perspectives as well as the affective and cognitive dimensions of trust into an embedded perspective on the trust-control link. The model suggests that trust is imperative for manager-subordinate relationships and provides the foundation in which control is embedded.
Period4 Aug 20178 Aug 2017
Event titleAcademy of Management Annual Meeting: At the Interface
Event typeOther
Conference number77
LocationAtlanta, United States, Georgia
Degree of RecognitionInternational


  • trust
  • control
  • Russia