Trust and human resource cycle

Searle, Rosalind and Skinner, Denise (2008). Trust and human resource cycle. In: Academy of Management Annual Meeting, 8-13 Aug 2008, California, USA.



Trust has been claimed to be important for organizational success, with organizations long term survival being dependent on the trust of its key stakeholders (Barney and Hansen, 1994). HR policies and practices are argued to be the most influential for trust development (Robinson and Rousseau, 1994) yet little has been done to explore the specific connections between HR strategies and processes and trust. This symposium’s five papers specifically consider trust in different HR contexts; selection and recruitment; appraisal; control; promotion and organizational exit. The first and last papers examined empirically the complex relationship between behavior and intention at the employment relationships start and conclusion. They explore how HR systems and interpersonal dynamics shape perceptions of trust which influence crucial exit or entry decisions. The second and third papers focus on performance management processes; appraisal and control, taking conceptual and empirical perspectives to dissecting distinct aspects of the system, such as goals and rewards, as well as the impact of relationships. Finally, we examine promotion processes and consider trust violations and their impact on trust perceptions.
Using different theories, some new to this context, and offering empirically-derived insights we consider the impact of HR on the development and maintenance trust in the organization. In combination we argue trust enhances organizational productivity and competitiveness, with individual benefits of satisfaction and well-being. Trust is found to extend beyond the formal organizational boundary. Recommendations argue that choice of HR strategies and their implementation can enable the more successfully management and development of trust.

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