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Impersonal trust in organisations


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Impersonal trust in organisations

  1. 1. Impersonal trust within the organization What, How, and Why? Notes on the doctoral dissertation of Mika Vanhala (ISBN 978-952-265-150-1) by Stephen Bounds
  2. 2. Trust <ul><li>“ A psychological state [to accept] vulnerability based upon positive expectations of the intentions or behavior of another” </li></ul>
  3. 3. Trust <ul><li>Two key conditions: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>acceptance of risk </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>dependence on the trusted party </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Trust is a belief or expectation resulting from exhibited behaviour and choices by the trusted and trusting parties </li></ul>
  4. 4. Organizational trust <ul><li>Two dimensions: </li></ul><ul><li>Interpersonal trust </li></ul><ul><li>Impersonal trust </li></ul><ul><li>Traditional view, particularly in HRM, only focused on interpersonal trust </li></ul>
  5. 5. Interpersonal trust <ul><li>Is a result of people: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>performing in a way that meets others’ expectations </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>signalling the intention to continue meeting those expectations </li></ul></ul><ul><li>“ [Expectation based on] interaction[s] between individuals within a particular relationship” </li></ul>
  6. 6. Interpersonal trust <ul><li>Lateral trust Trust relations among peers or equals </li></ul><ul><li>Vertical trust Trust relations between employees and their superiors </li></ul>
  7. 7. 3 dimensions of interpersonal trust <ul><li>Trust in competence Trust that a person will solve problems and deliver desired outcomes because of their skills, abilities, and characteristics </li></ul>
  8. 8. 3 dimensions of interpersonal trust <ul><li>Trust in benevolence Trust that a person has good intentions and will demonstrate concern for the welfare of others </li></ul>
  9. 9. 3 dimensions of interpersonal trust <ul><li>Trust in reliability Trust that a person will hold to principles you find acceptable, eg in practice that their actions match their words </li></ul>
  10. 10. Impersonal trust <ul><li>Is a result of roles, systems and reputation </li></ul><ul><li>“ The individual employee’s expectation about the employer organization’s capability and fairness” </li></ul>
  11. 11. 2 dimensions of impersonal trust <ul><li>Trust in top management Trust that the stated vision, strategy, decision-making processes, roles and HRM practices will result in “actions that are beneficial or at least not detrimental to them” </li></ul>
  12. 12. 2 dimensions of impersonal trust <ul><li>Trust in structures Trust that the organisation’s “roles, rules, and structured organizational [relationships]” are ordered properly, and operating normally and reliably </li></ul>
  13. 13. Trust dimensions Figure 1. Vanhala, 2011. The structure of organizational trust
  14. 14. Modern view of organisation <ul><li>Resource-based view </li></ul><ul><li>Resource refers to any organisational strength </li></ul><ul><ul><li>assets </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>capabilities </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>processes </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>organizational attributes </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>information and knowledge </li></ul></ul>
  15. 15. Types of resources Figure 2. Vanhala, 2011. Classes of resources within an organisation Physical capital Human (individual) capital Organisational capital plant experience structure equipment judgement system dynamics technology intelligence social networks location
  16. 16. Resources to seek <ul><li>All sustainable sources of competitive advantage or high performance according to VRIN criteria </li></ul><ul><li>V = add value to organisation </li></ul><ul><li>R = rare or unique among competitors </li></ul><ul><li>I = imperfectly imitable </li></ul><ul><li>N = not substitutable </li></ul>
  17. 17. Why HR matters <ul><li>“ An organization’s HRM practices are signals of its concern about its employees … </li></ul><ul><li>Employees interpret the intentions behind the various HRM practices at their workplace … and reciprocate in kind.” </li></ul>
  18. 18. Why HR Matters <ul><li>High impersonal trust is a critical component of organisational capital </li></ul><ul><li>A direct factor in employee willingness to “demonstrate proactive effort and greater commitment and loyalty” to the organisation </li></ul><ul><li>Outcomes rather than intent matters; ‘lip service’ will be harshly evaluated </li></ul>
  19. 19. Vanhala’s box Figure 3. Vanhala, 2011. Vanhala’s box showing how to measure impersonal trust
  20. 20. Not just a hypothesis! <ul><li>The construct of impersonal trust and the contributions of HRM practices to building this trust have been empirically validated by Vanhala through scientific experiments as separate from interpersonal trust </li></ul>
  21. 21. Key findings <ul><li>HRM practices investigated </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Learning and development </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Communication </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Performance Evaluation and Rewards </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Career Opportunities </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Participation </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Job Design </li></ul></ul>
  22. 22. Key findings <ul><li>Career opportunity factors contributed the most to variance in impersonal trust (89.6%) </li></ul><ul><li>Participation factors explained the least (44.1%) </li></ul><ul><li>Other measures fell in-between </li></ul>
  23. 23. Key findings <ul><li>Career opportunity factors contributed the most to variance in impersonal trust (89.6%) </li></ul><ul><li>Participation factors explained the least (44.1%) </li></ul><ul><li>Other measures fell in-between </li></ul>
  24. 24. For more information <ul><li>Vanhala M (2011). Impersonal trust within the organization: what, how and why? , Lappeenranta 2011, Acta Universitatis Lappeenrantaensis 445 </li></ul><ul><li>Vanhala M, Puumalainen K and Blomqvist K (2011). Impersonal trust - the development of the construct and the scale. Personnel Review , Vol. 40 No. 4, 485-513. </li></ul><ul><li>Vanhala M (2011). Validation of the Impersonal Trust Scale. Revised and further submitted version. Under review for a journal. Earlier version presented at the 27th EGOS Colloquium, Gothenburg, Sweden, July 6-9, 2011.  </li></ul>
  25. 25. For more information <ul><li>Vanhala M, and Ahteela R (2011). The effect of HRM practices on impersonal organizational trust. Management Research Review , Vol. 34 No. 8, 869-888. </li></ul><ul><li>Vanhala M, and Dietz G (2010). HRM, impersonal trust and performance. Revised and further submitted version. Under review for a journal. Earlier version presented at the 13th Irish Academy of Management Conference, Cork, Ireland, September 1-3, 2010. </li></ul>