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Interpersonal trust and formal controls in hierarchical relationships

conference contribution
posted on 2004-01-01, 00:00 authored by Samson Ekanayake
This paper examines the influence of the level of interpersonal trust between superior and subordinate managers on the control behaviour of the former. On the basis of a questionnaire survey and interviews of senior managers from business organisations in Sri Lanka, and a survey of managers in Beijing-China the study explores the control behaviour of superior managers when their trust in a subordinate is high or low. Sri Lanka and China, societies in which the dependence on interpersonal trust is believed to be high, were chosen for the study to maximise the effect of interpersonal trust.

The findings of this study indicate that a superior’s high (low) trust in a subordinate is associated with a low (high) level of monitoring and a high (low) level of social interactions. The hypothesis that a superior’s high (low) level of trust is associated with a low (high) level of reliance on formal control was supported only in the Sri Lankan sample. These findings are at least indicative of control behaviour of superior managers in Sri Lanka and China and possibly of other countries in Asia. An understanding of the trust-sensitive control behaviour of managers in this region is particularly important for designing and implementing effective control systems for international organizations operating in the region.

History

Title of proceedings

Proceedings of the 2004 ABAS International Conference

Event

Academy of Business and Administrative Sciences. Conference (2004: Montreux, Switzerland)

Pagination

1 - 21

Publisher

[Academy of Business and Administrative Sciences]

Location

Montreux, Switzerland

Place of publication

[Montreux, Switzerland]

Start date

2004-06-12

End date

2004-06-14

Language

eng

Publication classification

E1 Full written paper - refereed

Editor/Contributor(s)

R Appa

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