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Trust: An Essential Ingredient for Leadership Success

A key component of successful working relationships between leaders and followers, trust enables cooperation, encourages information sharing, and increases openness and mutual acceptance.

Regarding the concept of trust, there are several dimensions to consider. In the meta-analysis by Colquitt, Scott, and LePine (2007), the researchers offer the following definitions of each dimension.

  1. Trustworthiness—The extent to which an individual is perceived to demonstrate ability, benevolence, and integrity. Two elements of leader trustworthiness are distal trust (trustworthiness of the organization’s senior or strategic leaders) and proximal trust (trustworthiness of the direct report’s immediate manager)
  2. Propensity to Trust – A willingness to rely on others
  3. Trust—The intention to accept vulnerability to a trustee based on positive expectations of his or her actions

In this paper we will explore the concept of leader trustworthiness in regard to direct reports’ trust in their immediate manager.

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