Contrats de Recherche

Trust Development in Leadership Relationships


In October 2012, the project "Trust Development in leadership Relationships" has received the approval and funding of the French National Research Agency, ANR (http://www.agence-nationale-recherche.fr/Intl), under the reference ANR-12-JSH1-0007-01. It is a three-year "Jeunes Chercheurs - Jeunes Chercheuses" project coordinated by a young researcher, Caroline Manville.
The “Trust development in leadership relationships” project examines how trust relationships between leaders and followers develop, deteriorate, and rebuild. It is an essential project because: organizations are based on leader-follower relationships; these relationships demand research investigation; trust is fundamental to the relationship; and we therefore need to understand how trust is developed, violated, and restored.
The project contributes to understanding the leader-follower relationship by focusing on the role of trust in the relationship between a leader and his subordinates. Particularly, understanding both the processes involved in initial trust development as well as the re-establishing of trust in leadership relationships will guide in developing new theories and practices moderating potential drawbacks related to trust-related issues.
The project is a series of studies using multiple methods to examine how trust develops in leadership relationships. The theoretical framework is based on trust and the research will explore how trust develops and specifically how people react to violations of trust. This program of research has several objectives around the central goal, which is to create greater understanding of the process by which trust develops in organizational settings.
  •  Understand the implications of these various types of violations for the relationship.
  • Identify mechanisms for restoring trust.
  • Weave an understanding of how the context and the individuals intertwine in trust violation and recovery.
The research team draws from different countries (France, New Zealand and Pakistan) and even though the main objective of the project is not to investigate trust development in leadership relationships though the lens of culture, it cannot be possible to disregard the effects on culture on trust development. Since each culture's "collective programming" results in different norms and values, it is possible that the processes people use to decide whether and whom to trust depends on a society's culture. Indeed, one of the greatest impacts of culture is on how information is used to make decisions (Triandis, 1972), and the present project investigates how followers make inferences about the behaviors of their supervisors. Specifically, they try to know whether their direct leader is competent, benevolent and honest (Mayer, Davis, & Schoorman, 1995).