Many studies confirmed the positive effect of trust on human relations and performance in organizations. As a social judgment, trust should be related to perceived competence and warmth as two basic dimensions of person perception. Surprisingly, to date no attempts have been made to examine the influence of attributed competence and warmth on social judgments in interpersonal relations at work. To this end, we examine the influence of perceived competence and warmth on trust, liking and respect in upward and downward work relations. A study involving 190 middle-stage managers revealed that the two fundamental dimensions of social cognition (competence and warmth) influence respect, liking and trust. Competence had a stronger effect on respect than warmth; the opposite was true for liking. Trust was conditioned by both competence and warmth to an equal, high extent. At the same time, warmth expressed by supervisors led to higher results in liking, respect and trust in them than warmth expressed by subordinates.
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