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Trust antecedents: emotional intelligence and perceptions of others

Anne M.H. Christie (Griffith Business School, Griffith University, Nathan, Australia)
Peter J. Jordan (Griffith Business School, Griffith University, Nathan, Australia)
Ashlea C. Troth (Griffith Business School, Griffith University, Nathan, Australia)

International Journal of Organizational Analysis

ISSN: 1934-8835

Article publication date: 9 March 2015




The purpose of this paper is to examine if teachers’ trust in others is predicted by their perceptions of others and their emotional intelligence. Employees need to trust others to achieve outcomes, and a lack of trust can have a negative impact on workplace performance.


The paper surveys a sample of 84 employed teachers.


Our findings show that perceptions of others’ ability, benevolence and integrity are strongly and positively associated with trust. The emotional intelligence ability to perceive emotions is also related to trust. Regression analysis showed that perceptions of others (ability and integrity) and an individual’s emotional intelligence (perceiving) combined to predict a large portion of the variance in trust.

Research limitations/implications

This study was limited by a small sample size and the use of a cross-sectional design. These issues were addressed in our analysis.


The majority of trust research examines employee-to-manager trust. Our study is one of the few to examine trust among co-workers. This study also contributes to research on the emotional intelligence and trust relationship by showing that the ability to perceive one’s own and others emotions significantly predicts increases in trust. It also reaffirms that perceptions of others’ integrity and ability are strongly linked to trust, but that further investigation of the benevolence construct is required.



Christie, A.M.H., Jordan, P.J. and Troth, A.C. (2015), "Trust antecedents: emotional intelligence and perceptions of others", International Journal of Organizational Analysis, Vol. 23 No. 1, pp. 89-101.



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