The influence of ability, benevolence, and integrity in trust between managers and subordinates: the role of ethical reasoning

Business Ethics: A European Review 25 (4):556-576 (2016)
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Numerous researchers have examined the antecedents of trust between managers and subordinates. Recent studies conclude that their influence varies depending on whether what is being examined is a manager's trust in a subordinate or a subordinate's trust in a manager. However, the reasons given to justify this phenomenon present limitations. This article offers a new theoretical approach that relates the influence of each antecedent to Aristotelian forms of reasoning, ethical, and instrumental. The proposed approach shows that the influence of each antecedent depends on which rationality prevails in the person who trusts. The contribution of this article is to better explain the phenomenon of interpersonal trust formation and its logic, while offering at the same time several practical implications for managers interested in developing an organizational culture based on trust. The article begins with a literature review of more relevant empirical studies analyzing superior–subordinate trust formation and presents some theoretical limitations of the arguments described in these works. Then, it offers a new theorerical approach based on Aristotelian thought to explain the influence of the antecedents of trust in management–subordinate relationships. The theoretical contribution is then confirmed in an empirical study of 163 mid-level managers in Spain



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References found in this work

The Challenge of Humanistic Management.Domènec Melé - 2003 - Journal of Business Ethics 44 (1):77 - 88.
The status of business ethics: past and future.Richard T. De George - 1987 - Journal of Business Ethics 6 (3):201-211.
Dialogue: Toward Superior Stakeholder Theory.Bradley R. Agle & Ronald K. Mitchell - 2008 - Business Ethics Quarterly 18 (2):153-190.

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