The Role of Trust Perceptions and Propensity to Trust in Applicants' Experience of Recruitment and Selection

Patent, Volker (2015). The Role of Trust Perceptions and Propensity to Trust in Applicants' Experience of Recruitment and Selection. PhD thesis The Open University.



The role of organisational trustworthiness, propensity to trust and distrust was examined in the context of recruitment and selection. Specifically this research aimed to explore applicant experiences of selection as a context for trust. Because there has previously been little work looking systematically at the factorial and construct validity of propensity to trust this study also analysed responses to nine previously published propensity-to-trust scales using a combination of factor analytic, regression and content analyses. Findings supported the idea that propensity to trust scales are multidimensional and reflect aspects of both personality and experience of different trust contexts. The implication of this is that while use of propensity to trust is theoretically justified, checks on dimensionality should be carried out to account for different facets of this construct. The second study used the NEO propensity to trust scale (Costa & McCrae, 1985) as part of a survey looking into research degree applicant's experience of the recruitment and selection process during the post application and post interview stage. In addition to propensity to trust and propensity to distrust playing different role during attraction, influencing the decision of applicants to pursue a vacancy, propensity to distrust also appeared to regulate the relationship between selection justice, organisational trustworthiness and outcome intentions. Evidence from template analysis suggested ways in which justice and trust are manifested during the selection process, but based on a triangulated view, questions about what or whom applicants trust may need further examination and consideration in future research.

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