Workplace trust as a mechanism of employee (dis)advantage: the case of employee socioeconomic status

Pitesa, M, Thau, S and Pillutla, M M (2017) Workplace trust as a mechanism of employee (dis)advantage: the case of employee socioeconomic status. Research in Organizational Behavior, 37. pp. 83-101. ISSN 0191-3085 OPEN ACCESS


Early work on trust in social science highlighted how the lack of trust between individuals can cause social division, contribute to social stratification, and reduce economic opportunities for people from all social groups. We integrate this work with organizational research on antecedents of trust to generate predictions explaining when and why low employee socioeconomic status (SES) can be a barrier to trust. We discuss how this process can impair the success of both organizations as well as their lower-SES employees. We present a model, and data, suggesting that lower-SES employees will be both more distrusted as well as more distrustful relative to their higher-SES colleagues. This, in turn, locks them out of potentially advantageous social and economic exchanges. Our theory adds precision in detecting when and why lower-SES employees face barriers to success in organizations, as well as provides a blueprint for studying the impact of trust on socially disadvantaged groups in organizations.

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Item Type: Article
Subject Areas: Organisational Behaviour
Date Deposited: 02 Feb 2018 10:16
Date of first compliant deposit: 02 Feb 2018
Subjects: Social conditions
Last Modified: 18 Feb 2023 01:30

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