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Work team trust and effectiveness

Ana Cristina Costa (Section of Work and Organisational Psychology, Delft University of Technology, Delft, The Netherlands)

Personnel Review

ISSN: 0048-3486

Article publication date: 1 October 2003



This article aims to explore the nature and functioning of trust in work teams. Trust is defined as a multi‐component variable with distinct but related dimensions. These include propensity to trust, perceived trustworthiness, co‐operative and lack of monitoring behaviours. A model was tested relating trust with perceived task performance, team satisfaction, and two dimensions of organisational commitment, i.e. attitudinal and continuance. Survey data from 112 teams(n=395) was collected in three social care institutions in The Netherlands. The results are supportive of a multi‐component structure for trust and of its importance to the functioning of teams and organisations. Work team trust appeared strongly related with team member's attitudes towards the organisation. Trust between team members was positively associated with attitudinal commitment and negatively with continuance commitment. Trust was also positively related with perceived task performance and with team satisfaction. In addition, perceived task performance appeared strongly related to team satisfaction.



Costa, A.C. (2003), "Work team trust and effectiveness", Personnel Review, Vol. 32 No. 5, pp. 605-622.




Copyright © 2003, MCB UP Limited

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