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An integrative model of trust and leadership

Markus C. Hasel (EMLYON Business School, Ecully, France)
Steven L. Grover (University of Otago, Dunedin, New Zealand)

Leadership & Organization Development Journal

ISSN: 0143-7739

Article publication date: 7 August 2017




The purpose of this paper is to examine the interplay between different streams of trust and leadership and their impact on motivation and performance. The model answers recent calls for a better understanding of underlying mechanisms in these interactions.


The authors drew from contemporary leadership and trust theories to develop ten propositions teasing out how specific person- and role-oriented leadership behaviors interact with calculus-, identification-, knowledge-based trust, motivation, and performance.


The model accentuates the complexity of the interactions between trust, leadership, and follower outcomes. It guides future empirical research to unravel these intricate relations and accentuates their complexity.

Research limitations/implications

The ten propositions act as guidelines in mastering the complex art of leadership by understanding how behaviors affect followers. An important limitation originates in the detailed analysis of leadership and trust. Focusing on specific leadership behaviors and trust types leaves further scope for future research into additional behaviors and cofounding variables to arrive at a more holistic picture of the underlying mechanisms that make or break an effective leader.


Contemporary theories on leadership and trust frequently view the different streams as overall constructs in lieu of multi-faceted phenomena. The model is a first of its kind in that it fuses contemporary leadership and trust theory to develop a set of propositions based on specific interactions between leadership behaviors and different forms of trust.



Hasel, M.C. and Grover, S.L. (2017), "An integrative model of trust and leadership", Leadership & Organization Development Journal, Vol. 38 No. 6, pp. 849-867.



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