Numerous organization scholars point out that trust is crucial for well-functioning organizations. However, trust in organizational settings could differ according to the objects of trust. This study compares two conceptually different models: main-effect model and mediation-effect model. The main-effect model assumes that both interpersonal trust and institutional trust promote organizational commitment independently, but the mediation-effect model assumes that institutional trust is cultivated by interpersonal trust and increases organizational commitment. The results of structural equation modeling (SEM) show that the mediation-effect model fits better than the main-effect model and that the structural coefficients of the mediation-effect model are neatly interpreted by social scientific studies of trust. This study's findings have two important implications: First, there seems to be sequential order between different types of trust in organizational settings. Second, interpersonal trust promotes organizational commitment only if it facilitates institutional trust, providing an explanation for the inconsistent findings of previous studies.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
We would like to appreciate the two anonymous reviewers’ thoughtful review. This research was supported by a General Research Fund/Early Career Scheme (Project No.: 9041997) from Research Grants Council of Hong Kong .
© 2014 Western Social Science Association.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Social Psychology
- Sociology and Political Science