The dark side of feeling trusted for hospitality employees: An investigation in two service contexts

Hongli Wang, Qihai Huang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

26 Citations (Scopus)


Emerging research appears to suggest that feeling trusted by management can facilitate employees’ organizational citizenship behavior (OCB). However, it is possible that feeling trusted can have negative effects on hospitality employees. In this paper, we draw on social exchange theory and self-determination theory to examine how feeling trusted can lead to potentially negative consequences for hospitality employees. We tested the hypotheses using data from two different studies. Study 1 used a time-lagged research design to collect a sample of 349 employee-supervisor dyads in a chain of six economy hotels. Study 2 was designed to generalize the results by examining a sample of 509 employees in healthcare hospitals. The results show that employees' feeling trusted has a direct effect on employee compulsory citizenship behavior (CCB). Furthermore, feeling trusted has an indirect effect on CCB mediated by employee organization based self-esteem (OBSE) and felt obligation, with the latter having a stronger effect. Our research contributes to the literature by examining the dark side of feeling trusted and the mechanism of how feeling trusted influences employee outcomes.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)122-131
Number of pages10
JournalInternational Journal of Hospitality Management
Early online date26 May 2018
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2019
Externally publishedYes


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