Trust in the employer: The role of high-involvement work practices and procedural justice in European organizations


Despite the central role of trust in the organizational sciences, we know little about what makes people trust the organizations they work for. This paper examines the antecedents of employees’ trust in their organizations drawing on survey data from over 600 European professional workers and managers. The results revealed direct as well as indirect relationships of both HR practices and procedural justice with trust. The relationships of both HR practices and procedural justice with trust were partially mediated by perceptions of organizational trustworthiness (in terms of perceived ability and trustworthy intentions of the organization). Justice and HR practices were also found to interact such that justice forms a stronger predictor of trust in organizations when HR practices are less developed. In addition employees’ dispositional propensity to trust explained significant variance in employee trust in their organization, even when it was controlled in our analysis. The implications of these findings for research and practice are discussed.


Searle, Rosalind; Den Hartog, Deanne N.; Weibel, Antoinette; Gillespie, Nicole; Six, Frederique; Hatzakis, Tally and Skinner, Denise

Date Published

March 31, 2011