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Investigating Follower Felt Trust from a Social Cognitive Perspective

Zheng, X; Hall, R.J.; Schyns, B.

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B. Schyns


Previous organizational research on trust has focused more on subordinates’ trust in their leaders than on their experience of felt trust from the leader, even though the latter is also an important component of trust relationships. Our paper addresses a recent call for more theoretical explanations of the mechanism through which followers’ felt trust influences their in-role and extra-role performance. Based on social cognitive theory, we proposed that occupational self-efficacy (OSE) mediates the felt trust-performance relationship in workplace settings, and tested these relationships in two empirical studies. Study 1 was a cross-sectional pre-study (N = 189) investigating only the mediating effects of OSE. For the main study, i.e., Study 2 (N = 500), we collected data at three different measurement occasions to minimize response bias. Study 2 investigated the mediation of the felt trust-performance relationship not only by OSE, but also by an additional mediator variable (organization-based self-esteem) that had been identified in previous studies, in order to determine whether the OSE effects remained significant. In both studies, structural equation modelling results supported the proposed mediating effects of OSE on the three performance outcomes for the reliance component of felt trust, but not for the disclosure component of felt trust.


Zheng, X., Hall, R., & Schyns, B. (2019). Investigating Follower Felt Trust from a Social Cognitive Perspective. European Journal of Work and Organizational Psychology, 28(6), 873-885.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Sep 23, 2019
Online Publication Date Oct 16, 2019
Publication Date 2019
Deposit Date Sep 25, 2019
Publicly Available Date Oct 16, 2020
Journal European Journal of Work and Organizational Psychology
Print ISSN 1359-432X
Electronic ISSN 1464-0643
Publisher Taylor and Francis Group
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 28
Issue 6
Pages 873-885
Public URL


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