Why European Subordinates Trust their Managers

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Abstract

This article addresses the problem of why subordinates trust their managers based on the responses from 108 subordinates of seven Slovenian managers and from 138 subordinates of eight Swedish managers. The subordinates of these managers responded to a 20-item instrument tested for reliability and validity. In both samples the managers enjoyed different degrees of trust. The level of trust vested in Slovenian managers was higher than in Swedish ones. The kinds of managers’ actions that enhanced trust were similar amongst Swedish and Slovenian subordinates. Different socio-cultural contexts may theoretically explain why some other kinds of actions had contrasting effects between the samples. On the whole, the actions of managers explain trust in both countries. Subordinates’ trust in managers declines with the increasing hierarchical distance in both national samples. Managers need to show in action that they trust their subordinates, promote their interests, demonstrate appreciation of their subordinates, and solve problems.

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