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Why do Managers Engage in Trustworthy Behavior? A Multilevel Cross-Cultural Study in 18 Countries

Authors


  • We thank Susan Brodt, Linn Van Dyne, Marta Elvira, Cordula Barzantny as well as guest editor Riki Takeuchi and two anonymous reviewers for their very helpful comments and constructive feedback. B. Sebastian Reiche appreciates the financial support provided by the Spanish Ministry of Science and Innovation (Projects No. ECO2009-08799 and ECO2010-09639-E). The work and contribution of Yih-teen Lee is supported by funding of the Spanish Ministry of Science and Innovation (Project No. ECO2010-18816). Miguel Ángel Canela is grateful for the financial support provided by the Spanish Ministry of Science and Innovation (Project No. ECO2009-08302-E).

Abstract

Drawing on theories of generalized exchange and the norm of indirect reciprocity, we conceptualize subordinates’ organizational citizenship behavior directed toward the organization (OCBO) and directed toward peers (OCBI) as antecedents of managerial trustworthy behavior and examine how managers’ affective trust in subordinates mediates this relationship. We also investigate the extent to which this mediation is moderated by the level of collectivism in a society. Data were collected from 741 managers and 2,111 subordinates in 18 countries representing all major cultural regions of the world. We find support for our hypothesized moderated mediation in that managers’ affective trust in subordinates mediates the relationships between both subordinates’ OCBO and managerial trustworthy behavior, and subordinates’ OCBI and managerial trustworthy behavior across the different countries studied. Further, managers’ affective trust in subordinates only mediates the relationships between both types of citizenship behavior and managerial trustworthy behavior when collectivism is low to medium but not when it is high. Implications for research on cross-cultural psychology, trust, and organizational citizenship behavior are discussed.

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