The effects of technical and social conditions on workplace trust

Blunsdon, Betsy and Reed, Ken 2003, The effects of technical and social conditions on workplace trust, International journal of human resource management, vol. 14, no. 1, pp. 12-27, doi: 10.1080/09585190210158493.

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Title The effects of technical and social conditions on workplace trust
Author(s) Blunsdon, Betsy
Reed, Ken
Journal name International journal of human resource management
Volume number 14
Issue number 1
Start page 12
End page 27
Publisher Routledge
Place of publication London, England
Publication date 2003-02
ISSN 0958-5192
Keyword(s) Organizational trust
Workplace trust
Technical conditions of work
Social system
Human resource practices
Summary This paper investigates the extent to which the technical and social contexts of organizations independently affect levels of workplace trust. We argue that, in an organizational context, trust is not just a relationship between an individual subject (the truster) and an object (the trustee) but is subject to effects from the conditions of the work relationship itself. We describe the organizational context as comprising both a technical system of production (where work gets done through the specification of tasks) and a social system of work (where problems of effort, compliance, conformity and motivation are managed). We analyse the relationship between trust and these two aspects of workplace context (technical and social systems). We also operationalize this in terms of differences between industries,  occupational composition and human resource management practices. The model is tested using data drawn from the 1995 Australian Workplace Industrial Relations Survey. The results confirm that differences in industry, occupational composition and HRM practices all impact on levels of workplace trust. We review these results in terms of their implications for future research into the problem of analysing variation in trust at both the workplace and individual levels.
Language eng
DOI 10.1080/09585190210158493
Field of Research 150305 Human Resources Management
HERDC Research category C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal
Copyright notice ©2003, Taylor & Francis Ltd
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Document type: Journal Article
Collections: Faculty of Business and Law
Deakin Business School
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