Antecedents of Stakeholder Trust: What Matters to Whom?
48 Pages Posted: 22 Feb 2010 Last revised: 2 Nov 2013
Date Written: February 21, 2010
Prior research on organizational trust has not rigorously examined the context specificity of trust, nor distinguished between the potentially varying dimensions along which different stakeholder groups (e.g., employees, customers, investors, etc.) base their trust. As a result, dominant conceptualizations of organizational trust are overly generalized. Building on existing frameworks stemming from research on organizational trust and stakeholder theory, we introduce a more nuanced perspective on the nature of organizational trust. We develop a framework that distinguishes between organizational stakeholders along two dimensions: depth of the relationship (deep or shallow) and locus (internal or external). The framework helps to identify which of six dimensions of trust (benevolence, integrity, managerial competence, technical competence, transparency, and identification) will be relevant to which stakeholder type. We test the predictions of our framework using original survey data from 1,296 respondents across four stakeholder groups from four different organizations. The results reveal that the relevant dimensions of trust indeed vary across different stakeholder types, and provide strong support for the validity of the depth and locus dimensions.
Keywords: Trust, Stakeholder Trust, Organizational Trust, Stakeholder Management
JEL Classification: M00, M1, M10, M14
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation