Feeling trusted and employee outcomes: the double-edged sword of political behaviour

Hongli Wang, Qihai Huang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Purpose: Interpersonal trust between supervisors and subordinates plays an important role in management. The impact of trust from management is through employees’ perception and more specifically their perception of being trusted, termed feeling trusted or felt trust. Politics is associated with the level of trust of organizational members. So far, little is known how employees respond to feeling trusted with regard to political behaviour resulting in employee outcomes. The paper aims to discuss this issue. Design/methodology/approach: The paper develops a conceptual model to examine the double-edged sword effect of political behaviour on employee outcomes. Findings: The authors designed a two-wave survey to test the model. The analysis of 286 supervisor–employee dyads found that feeling trusted is associated with supervisor-rated organization citizenship behaviour (OCB) and overload reported by employees. Furthermore, political behaviour partially mediates the relationship between feeling trusted and supervisor-rated OCB, which may be desired by both the supervisors and employees. It also mediates the relationship between feeling trusted and employee perceived overload, which is undesired by employees. Originality/value: The current research aims to fill in the gap and answer this question: what is the role of political behaviour in the relationship between feeling trusted and employee outcomes? Guided by an “antecedents–behaviours–consequences” framework (Ferris et al., 1989), the paper develops a conceptual model to examine how feeling trusted directly and indirectly influences employee outcomes, with the latter being mediated by political behaviour.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1653-1668
Number of pages16
JournalPersonnel Review
Volume48
Issue number7
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 4 Nov 2019
Externally publishedYes

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