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Development of Trust in Leadership

Development of Trust in Leadership

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Few models of trust development have been empirically tested. This research explores the cognitive, character-inference process that Dirks & Skarlicki (2004) assert contributes to trust development. Self-reported trans­formational leadership, leader integrity, organizational justice, and leader prototypicality correlated positively with cognitive trust in this sample of 81 student employees (63% female, mean age 20.5) of a large southeastern university. Leader prototypicality, a cognitive evaluation process, partially mediated the relationship between leader integrity and trust. This study's prime contribution is the longitudinal, empirical test of a model of trust development in interdependent leader-follower dyads. This material is particularly relevant for those studying industrial and organizational psycho­logy, business development, or human resource management. It may also be of interest to practitioners with a human resource or organizational develop­ment focus, and those interested in leadership.