Reciprocity of trust in the supervisor-subordinate relationship: The mediating role of autonomy and the sense of power

Tuija Seppälä*, Jukka Lipponen, Anna Maija Pirttila-Backman, Jari Lipsanen

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

21 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

This article develops and tests a model of reciprocal trust between supervisor and subordinate. Drawing from literature on trust and control and on the approach/inhibition theory of power, the authors present a model in which supervisor trust is suggested to enhance subordinate reciprocal trust through increased work-related autonomy and a heightened sense of power. The mediator analysis using the two-level full structural model confirmed that the relationship between supervisor trust and subordinate trust was partially mediated by the suggested chain of variables. The article responds to a call for empirical studies on reciprocal trust and offers a complementary mechanism for trust building beside characteristics and relationship-based approaches.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)755-778
Number of pages24
JournalEuropean Journal of Work and Organizational Psychology
Volume20
Issue number6
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2011
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed

Keywords

  • Autonomy
  • Reciprocal trust
  • Sense of power
  • Supervisor-subordinate relationship

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