The Use of Rewards to Increase and Decrease Trust: Mediating Processes and Differential Effects

Ferrin, Donald L.; Dirks, Kurt T.
January 2003
Organization Science;Jan/Feb2003, Vol. 14 Issue 1, p18
Academic Journal
We test hypotheses asserting that reward structures--an omnipresent element of the work context--have a strong influence on interpersonal trust, and we explore the cognitive and behavioral routes through which the effects may occur. Specifically, we use attribution theory to identify several core processes including social perception (causal schemas), self-perception, and attributional biases (correspondence bias, suspicion effects, and preexisting expectations) that may explain trust development. A 3 (cooperative/competitive/mixed rewards) X 2 (high/low initial trust) experimental design in a problem-solving task was used to examine the hypotheses. The results suggest that reward structures have a strong influence on trust, and that the effect is mediated by causal schemas, suspicion effects, and self-perception. We also found some support for the prediction that the impact of mixed reward structures on trust is biased by individuals' preexisting expectations about their partner's trust-worthiness. The theory and results suggest that attribution theory provides a useful framework for understanding the complex, diverse, and multiple routes through which trust may develop.


Related Articles

  • How to Make Pay for Performance Pay Off. Landsberg, Richard D. // Journal of Financial Service Professionals;Nov2009, Vol. 63 Issue 6, p12 

    This article discusses the best way to set up an offer of extra incentive pay to employees to meet certain deadlines or goals. Companies that engage in pay-for-performance plans need to be innovative in how they present their plan. Some executives believe they can outperform whatever their pay...

  • GROUP PAY-FOR-PERFORMANCE PLANS: THE ROLE OF SPONTANEOUS GOAL SETTING. Hollensbe, Elaine C.; Guthrie, James P. // Academy of Management Review;Oct2000, Vol. 25 Issue 4, p864 

    Despite the increasing popularity of group pay-for-performance plans, relatively little theory exists regarding the dynamics of these plans. The authors integrate goal setting, pay plan characteristics, and group factors to explain and predict the effectiveness of what they call 'open-goal'...

  • Motivating Unmotivated People. Strelecky, John // Arbor Age;Apr2004, Vol. 24 Issue 4, p32 

    Presents tips for executives on motivating their employees. Discussion of goals with employees; Involvement of employees in problem solving; Connection between the goals of an organization and the personal goals of the employees.

  • The Human relations View of Motivation: Fact or Fantasy? Kaplan, H. Roy; Tausky, Curt; Bolaria, Bhopinder S. // Organizational Dynamics;Fall1972, Vol. 1 Issue 2, p67 

    This article discusses the social aspects of employee motivation. Awareness of the various orientations to work should lead to a clearer picture of why an individual seeks employment at a particular firm, and what he wants and expects to get out of his job in the way of such things as...

  • A THEORETICAL EXAMINATION OF THE CONSTRUCT VALIDITY OF OPERATIONALIZATIONS OF GOAL DIFFICULTY. Wright, Patrick M. // Human Resource Management Review;Winter92, Vol. 2 Issue 4, p275 

    Investigates the construct validity of operationalizations of goal difficulty from a theoretical perspective. How various theories of motivation have defined goal difficulty as a motivational construct; Bias in using practice trials for goal setting; Implications for operationalizing goal...

  • Clarify job expectations to drive better performance.  // Managing People at Work;Feb2011, Issue 347, p5 

    The article offers suggestions on how managers can motivate their employees including drafting a list of expectations, sharing written expectations with employees, and rewarding employees for exceeding expectations.

  • soundbites.  // Recruiter;2/9/2011, p18 

    In this article, the author presents the perspectives of several executives regarding the question of how to motivate office staff over winter, especially during the cold weather and shorter, darker days.

  • Increase employee accountability.  // Communication Briefings;Apr2013, Vol. 32 Issue 6, p7 

    The article presents a discussion of the strategies to increase accountability of employees, adapted from the book "Essential Skills for Manager's Success."

  • Going for the Goal. Huisken, Brad // JCK;Sep2003, Vol. 174 Issue 9, p82 

    Focuses on the importance of goals in providing direction and motivation in jobs. Provision of short-term goals; Vitality of mid-range goals to goal setting; End result of short-term and mid-range goals.


Read the Article


Sorry, but this item is not currently available from your library.

Try another library?
Sign out of this library

Other Topics