Trust and Team Performance: A Meta-Analysis of Main Effects, Moderators, and Covariates

Journal of Applied Psychology, Forthcoming

76 Pages Posted: 5 May 2012 Last revised: 10 Mar 2016

See all articles by Bart Jong

Bart Jong

Australian Catholic University (ACU)

Kurt Dirks

Washington University in St. Louis - John M. Olin Business School

Nicole Gillespie

University of Queensland

Date Written: March 7, 2016

Abstract

Cumulating evidence from 112 independent studies (N=7,763 teams), we meta-analytically examine the fundamental questions of whether intrateam trust is positively related to team performance, and the conditions under which it is particularly important. We address these questions by analyzing the overall trust-performance relationship, assessing the robustness of this relationship by controlling for other relevant predictors and covariates, and examining how the strength of this relationship varies as a function of several moderating factors. Our findings confirm that intrateam trust is positively related to team performance, and has an above-average impact (p=.30). The covariate analyses show that this relationship holds after controlling for team trust in leader and past team performance, and across dimensions of trust (i.e., cognitive and affective). The moderator analyses indicate that the trust-performance relationship is contingent upon the level of task interdependence, authority differentiation, and skill differentiation in teams. Finally, we conducted preliminary analyses on several emerging issues in the literature regarding the conceptualization and measurement of trust and team performance (i.e., referent of intrateam trust, dimension of performance, performance objectivity). Together, our findings contribute to the literature by helping to: 1) integrate the field of intrateam trust research; 2) resolve mixed findings regarding the trust-performance relationship, 3) overcome scholarly skepticism regarding the main effect of trust on team performance, and 4) identify the conditions under which trust is most important for team performance.

Keywords: Trust, performance, teams, meta-analysis

Suggested Citation

Jong, Bart and Dirks, Kurt and Gillespie, Nicole, Trust and Team Performance: A Meta-Analysis of Main Effects, Moderators, and Covariates (March 7, 2016). Journal of Applied Psychology, Forthcoming, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2050918

Bart Jong (Contact Author)

Australian Catholic University (ACU)

250 Victoria Parade
Melbourne, VIC 3002
Australia

Kurt Dirks

Washington University in St. Louis - John M. Olin Business School ( email )

One Brookings Drive
Campus Box 1133
St. Louis, MO 63130-4899
United States

Nicole Gillespie

University of Queensland ( email )

St Lucia
Brisbane, Queensland 4072
Australia

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