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

Saunders, M and Thornhill, A (2008) Trust and mistrust in organisations: An exploration using an organisational justice framework In: Managerial Psychology. Sage, London. ISBN 1412944902

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This paper 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 organisational justice and their self categorized feelings of trust and mistrust is considered. It is suggested that organisational justice offers a useful means through which to explain and understand employees’ feelings of trust and mistrust. Using case study data drawn from a United Kingdom public sector organisation, the relationship between employees’ feelings of trust and mistrust is explored within a change context. The data suggest that, while some employees perceive trust and mistrust as two ends of a continuum, others see them as distinct concepts. These findings are conceptualised as a Trust-Mistrust-Absence triangle. Drawing on organisational justice as an explanatory theory, reasons for these findings are offered. The paper concludes with a discussion regarding the co-existence of trust and mistrust and the explanatory value of organisational justice theory in understanding this.

Item Type: Book Section
Divisions : Surrey research (other units)
Authors :
Thornhill, A
Editors :
Bournois, F
Altman, A
Boje, D
Date : 2008
Depositing User : Symplectic Elements
Date Deposited : 16 May 2017 14:52
Last Modified : 23 Jan 2020 13:37

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