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An Inter- and Intraindividual Perspective of the Substitutability of Fairness Rules for Trust Within Teams


Kimberly K. Merriman, Division of Management and Organization, Pennsylvania State University School of Graduate Professional Studies, 30 E. Swedesford Road, Malvern, PA 19355-1443. E-mail:


The present study longitudinally assesses fairness allocation rule importance and equity allocation preference under conditions of evolving team trust. We predicted an interchangeable relationship between trust and allocation rules using an uncertainty management theory framework (Lind & Van den Bos, 2002; Van den Bos & Lind, 2002). From an interindividual perspective, lower initial trust toward team members predicted a higher degree of importance for the use of preferred allocation rules and greater use of the equity heuristic. An intraindividual change in trust predicted an inverse change in use of the equity heuristic, but not the expected change in allocation rule importance. Implications of these results for future research and practice are discussed.