Trickle-down effect of organizational trust on co-worker trust: The moderating role of cultural dissimilarity and relationship length

Nienaber A. I. , Holtgrave M., Biron M., Baumeister V. M. , ZAMANTILI NAYIR D. , Schewe G.

EUROPEAN MANAGEMENT REVIEW, 2022 (Journal Indexed in SSCI) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Publication Date: 2022
  • Doi Number: 10.1111/emre.12523
  • Keywords: cultural dissimilarity, relationship length, trickle-down effect, trust in co-workers, trust in organizations, INTERPERSONAL-TRUST, TEAMS, WORK, MODEL, DETERMINANTS, METAANALYSIS, PERSPECTIVE, DIVERSITY, EXCHANGE, JUSTICE


The COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated trends of globalization and digitalization, making geographically dispersed teams a common practice in firms. Despite benefits derived from the members' diversity, such teams are also prone to trust deficiency. Advancing prior research, this study focuses on links between multiple referents of trust. We draw on halo and priming effects to suggest that employees' trust toward their organization could trickle-down to trust in their co-workers. Moreover, we highlight the moderating role of cultural dissimilarity and relationship length. Analyzing 317 relationships between Turkish employees and their co-workers of Turkish and German cultural background, we present evidence for a trickle-down effect of organizational trust on trust in co-workers. We also find that the trickle-down effect of trust is stronger when cultural dissimilarity is high than when it is low, suggesting that trust in the organizations may outweigh cultural barriers that could hamper trust between co-workers.