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The Role of Emotions and Individual Differences in the Trust Repair Process

LOCKEY, STEVEN,JOHN (2017) The Role of Emotions and Individual Differences in the Trust Repair Process. Doctoral thesis, Durham University.

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Organizational trust and trust repair are topics that have primarily been considered from a cognitive perspective. Although a number of scholars have called for further investigation into the role of emotions and individual differences in these processes, little empirical research has been conducted. A reason for this may concern how trust is usually measured in the organizational literature, through measures relating to the trustworthiness characteristics of others. This thesis argues against such a “perceived trustworthiness paradigm” (Möllering, 2013a) and empirically tests the approach conceptualised by Dietz and Den Hartog (2006) which asserts that that trust is a process consisting of attitudinal and behavioural processes comprising of belief, decision, and action. It primarily investigates the influence of emotion and emotion-related individual differences in repairing trust, and whether they are integral to the proposed process model. Three studies are conducted to investigate these questions. Studies 1 (N = 82) and 2 (N = 253) are experiments carried out to determine to what extent change in affect influenced participants’ change in perceptions of a coach company from post-violation (a coach crash) to post-trust repair effort (CEO’s response), and their willingness to trust in it. Study 3 (N = 135) is a cross-sectional survey of Volkswagen vehicle owners in the aftermath of the 2015 Emissions Scandal undertaken to measure the trust process in its entirety with people actively involved in a trust violation. Results indicate that negative emotions are influential predictors of trust repair effects and relate strongly to distrusting acts. Individual difference effects were generally not found, but the proposed process model of trust was supported, with willingness to trust mediating the relationship between perceptions of trustworthiness and distrusting acts. Emotions appeared to become more influential as the trust process developed, and findings imply that purely cognitive models are not sufficient to fully understand the nature of trust and its repair.

Item Type:Thesis (Doctoral)
Award:Doctor of Philosophy
Keywords:Trust, Trust Repair, Process, Emotion, Fear, Anger, Contempt
Faculty and Department:Faculty of Social Sciences and Health > Economics, Finance and Business, School of
Thesis Date:2017
Copyright:Copyright of this thesis is held by the author
Deposited On:03 Apr 2017 16:24

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