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A context-specific model of organizational trust: An examination of cognitive and socio-affective trust determinants in unique cultural settings

Carvell N. McLeary (Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology, University of the West Indies, Mona, Jamaica.)
Paula A. Cruise (Faculty of Education, University of Cambridge, Cambridge, UK)

Cross Cultural Management: An International Journal

ISSN: 1352-7606

Article publication date: 5 May 2015

Abstract

Purpose

Employee trust research has been criticized for restricted theoretical conceptualization, limited contextual application and low replication of measures in organizational studies. The purpose of this paper is to expand the theoretical framework underpinning individual-level organizational trust to include cognitive and socio-affective components in order to examine trust determinants in a unique cultural setting.

Design/methodology/approach

A national survey of 653 employees from six companies in Jamaica completed the perceived organizational support scale, perceived organizational justice scale, employee trust propensity scale and the organizational trust measure (Rawlins, 2008) after focus groups revealed the role of socio-cultural values in employee trust relationships.

Findings

Controlling for common methods variance, confirmatory factor analyses revealed that a model of organizational trust that included a combination of cognitive and socio-affective determinants was more valid in the Jamaican culture than a model comprised of cognitive determinants alone. National social values of justice and respect were significant determinants of employee trust. Results also provide validity evidence for the previously non-replicated Rawlins trust scale, thereby, providing future researchers with a measure that can be readily replicated.

Research limitations/implications

Employee trust levels influenced participation and consequently restricted the sample size and industry profile of the survey. Cross-cultural trust researchers are, therefore, encouraged to design studies with similar subject loss projections.

Originality/value

Strict focus on the collectivistic/individualistic dimension of culture restricts researchers’ ability to measure trust effectively across a range of settings. The authors, therefore, propose the uncertainty avoidance dimension as a more valid paradigm to understand inter-cultural differences in trust orientations, particularly in restricted trust domains.

Keywords

Citation

McLeary, C.N. and Cruise, P.A. (2015), "A context-specific model of organizational trust: An examination of cognitive and socio-affective trust determinants in unique cultural settings", Cross Cultural Management: An International Journal, Vol. 22 No. 2, pp. 297-320. https://doi.org/10.1108/CCM-11-2013-0180

Publisher

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Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2015, Emerald Group Publishing Limited