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Trust and mistrust in organisations: An exploration using an organisational justice framework

Saunders, M and Thornhill, A (2004) Trust and mistrust in organisations: An exploration using an organisational justice framework European Journal of Work and Organisational Psychology, 13 (4). pp. 493-515.

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Abstract

This article commences with an overview of trust and mistrust, focusing on the debate about whether these are two ends of a continuum or distinct but interrelated concepts. Building on this review, the relationship between employees' perceptions of organizational justice and their self-categorized feelings of trust and mistrust is considered. It is suggested that organizational justice offers a useful means through which to explain and understand employees' feelings of trust and mistrust. Using case study data drawn from a UK public sector organization, the relationship between employees' feelings of trust and mistrust is explored within a change context. The data suggest that, whereas some employees perceive trust and mistrust as two ends of a continuum, others see them as distinct concepts. These findings are conceptualized as a trust - mistrust - absence triangle. Drawing on organizational justice as an explanatory theory, reasons for these findings are offered. The article concludes with a discussion regarding the coexistence of trust and mistrust and the explanatory value of organizational justice theory in understanding this.

Item Type: Article
Divisions : Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences > Surrey Business School
Authors :
AuthorsEmailORCID
Saunders, MUNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
Thornhill, AUNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
Date : 2004
Identification Number : 10.1080/13594320444000182
Additional Information : This is an Author's Accepted Manuscript of an article published in European Journal of Work and Organisational Psychology, 2004, copyright Taylor & Francis, available online at: http://www.tandfonline.com/10.1080/13594320444000182
Depositing User : Symplectic Elements
Date Deposited : 06 Aug 2013 18:14
Last Modified : 09 Jun 2014 13:45
URI: http://epubs.surrey.ac.uk/id/eprint/788064

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