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The Contextual Antecedents of Organizational Trust: A Multidimensional Cross-level Analysis

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  02 February 2015

Peter Ping Li
Copenhagen Business School, Denmark
Yuntao Bai
Xiamen University, China
Youmin Xi
Xi'an Fiaotong University, China


In this article we seek to explore the contextual antecedents of organizational trust. In light of the complex links between organizational contexts and organizational behaviours, we focus on the effects of the three most critical contextual antecedents, i.e., leadership role, structural rule, and cultural norm at the organizational level, on organizational trust direcdy, and their behavioural outcomes at the individual level indirectly, using organizational trust as a cross-level mediator. The empirical results, based on a hierarchical linear model with a sample of 444 employees from 82 firms in China, lent support for our multidimensional cross-level model of context–trust–behaviour link. We extend the research on organizational trust by treating it as a cross-level phenomenon and by specifying its core contextual antecedents and behavioural consequences.

Copyright © International Association for Chinese Management Research 2012

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