Trust, HRM and the employment relationship

Dietz, Graham; Martins, Akinwunmi and Searle, Rosalind (2011). Trust, HRM and the employment relationship. In: Wilkinson, Adrian ed. Contemporary issues in HRM. Basingstoke: Palgrave MacMillian, pp. 141–163.




Trust has long been considered a crucial determinant of people’s experiences of work and the employment relationship (see, for example, Fox, 1974). Yet a commonplace argument holds that the increasing demands placed upon contemporary organisations (globalised market competition; de-regulation and re-regulation), as well as trends in workforce composition (greater education levels; greater cultural diversity) and in the management of work (transactional contractual arrangements; increasing workloads and job-creep; information technologies), have heightened interest in trust among HR professionals (Hope-
Hailey et al., 2005; Searle & Skinner, 2011; Sparrow & Marchington, 1998). ...

The chapter proceeds as follows. The next section explains our primary construct, trust. We then examine the nature of the employment relationship, and our practitioners’ takes on this. The third section reviews the practitioners’ insights into trust in the workplace. In the final section, we explore how HRM can help or hinder trust in the employment relationship.

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