The path(S) to employee trust in direct supervisor in nascent and established relationships: A fuzzy set analysis

M. Lance Frazier, Christina Tupper, Stav Fainshmidt

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

10 Scopus citations


While many of the propositions advanced by Mayer, Davis, and Schoorman's (1995) integrative model of interpersonal trust have been supported empirically, we still know little about how time impacts the relative importance of the model's elements. In addition, there may be situations in which trust can develop with lesser degrees of any of the trustworthiness facets or propensity to trust. Hence, we apply a configurational set-theoretic perspective to examine what combinations will be sufficient to produce the presence of trust in a direct supervisor across nascent and established relationships. We find three distinct configurations associated with trust in supervisor, which allows us to elaborate theory and provide novel insights to trust research. In particular, we find that in both nascent and established relationships, perceptions of high supervisor ability, benevolence, and integrity constitute a sufficient configuration for high trust in supervisor. In established relationships, however, there were two paths to high trust in supervisor: (i) perceptions of high supervisor ability and integrity, or (ii) perceptions of high supervisor ability and benevolence, accompanied by high propensity to trust. As such, in established relationships, perceptions of high supervisor benevolence and high propensity to trust may be substitutable with perceptions of high supervisor integrity.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1023-1043
Number of pages21
JournalJournal of Organizational Behavior
Issue number7
StatePublished - Oct 1 2016


All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Applied Psychology
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Psychology(all)
  • Organizational Behavior and Human Resource Management

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