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Reciprocity of trust between managers and team members

Vicente Martínez-Tur (Faculty of Psychology and IDOCAL, Universitat de Valencia, Valencia, Spain)
Agustín Molina (Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile, Santiago, Chile)
Carolina Moliner (Faculty of Psychology and IDOCAL, Universitat de Valencia, Valencia, Spain)
Esther Gracia (Faculty of Psychology and IDOCAL, Universitat de Valencia, Valencia, Spain)
Luisa Andreu (Faculty of Economics, Department of Marketing, Universitat de Valencia, Valencia, Spain)
Enrique Bigne (Faculty of Economics, Department of Marketing, Universitat de Valencia, Valencia, Spain)
Oto Luque (Faculty of Psychology and IDOCAL, Universitat de Valencia, Valencia, Spain)

Personnel Review

ISSN: 0048-3486

Article publication date: 15 November 2019

Issue publication date: 6 February 2020

967

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to propose that the manager’s perception of the service quality delivered by his/her team acts as a precursor of his/her trust in team members. In turn, the manager’s trust in team members is related to team members’ trust in the manager. Furthermore, engagement and burnout at the individual level are considered outcomes of trust reciprocity.

Design/methodology/approach

The authors test this trust-mediated multilevel model with a sample of 95 managers and 754 team members working in services for people with intellectual disability. These services are delivered by team-based structures of workers who perform coordinated tasks.

Findings

The findings suggest that service quality delivered by team members is positively and significantly related to the manager’s trust in them. The results also suggest that the manager’s trust in team members leads to the trust that managers received by team members. Finally, team members who trust their managers show less burnout and high engagement.

Research limitations/implications

Previous literature has neglected the reciprocity of trust. In contrast, this research study considered the perspective of both managers and team members and how this reciprocity of trust is related to service quality and well-being at work.

Practical implications

The current study highlights the critical role of service quality and achieving high-quality relationships between managers and team members.

Originality/value

Performance and well-being are compatible because team members’ efforts are compensated by forming relationships with managers based on trust, and the quality of these relationships, in turn, prevents burnout and stimulates engagement among employees.

Keywords

Acknowledgements

The authors would like to thank “Plena Inclusión” and associated centers that participated in the studies. This work was supported by the Spanish “Agencia Estatal de Investigación” (I+D+i projects, PSI2013-48509-P and PSI2016-78158-R) and FEDER.

Citation

Martínez-Tur, V., Molina, A., Moliner, C., Gracia, E., Andreu, L., Bigne, E. and Luque, O. (2020), "Reciprocity of trust between managers and team members", Personnel Review, Vol. 49 No. 2, pp. 653-669. https://doi.org/10.1108/PR-08-2018-0319

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2019, Emerald Publishing Limited

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