IDEAS home Printed from
MyIDEAS: Login to save this paper or follow this series

Employee Trust and Workplace Performance

  • Sarah Brown


    (Department of Economics, The University of Sheffield)

  • Jolian McHardy

    (Department of Economics, The University of Sheffield)

  • Karl Taylor

    (Department of Economics, The University of Sheffield)

We explore the relationship between employee trust and workplace performance. We present a theoretical framework which serves to establish a link between employee trust and firm performance as well as to identify possible mechanisms through which the relationship may operate. We then analyse matched workplace and employee data in order to ascertain whether the average level of employee trust within the workplace influences workplace performance. We exploit the 2004 and 2011 Work Place and Employee Relations Surveys (WERS) to analyse the role of employee trust in influencing workplace performance in both pre and post recessionary periods. Our empirical findings support a positive relationship between three measures of workplace performance (financial performance, labour productivity and product or service quality) and employee trust at both points in time. We then exploit employee level data from the WERS to ascertain the determinants of employee trust as well as how trust is influenced by measures taken by employers to deal with the recent recession. Our findings suggest that restricting paid overtime and access to training potentially erode employee trust. In addition, we find that job or work reorganisation experienced at either the employee or organisation level are associated with lower employee trust.

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

File URL:
File Function: First version, 2013
Download Restriction: no

Paper provided by The University of Sheffield, Department of Economics in its series Working Papers with number 2013012.

in new window

Length: 29 pages
Date of creation: 2013
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:shf:wpaper:2013012
Contact details of provider: Postal: 9 Mappin Street, SHEFFIELD, S1 4DT
Phone: +44 114 222 3399
Fax: + 44 (0)114 222 3458
Web page:

More information through EDIRC

References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:

as in new window
  1. Yann Algan & Pierre Cahuc, 2010. "Inherited Trust and Growth," Sciences Po publications info:hdl:2441/432sbils8u9, Sciences Po.
  2. Bellemare, C. & Kroger, S., 2003. "On Representative Trust," Discussion Paper 2003-47, Tilburg University, Center for Economic Research.
  3. Luigi Guiso & Paola Sapienza & Luigi Zingales, 2002. "People's Opium? Religion and Economic Attitudes," NBER Working Papers 9237, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Sarah Brown & Jolian McHardy & Robert McNabb & Karl Taylor, 2011. "Workplace Performance, Worker Commitment, and Loyalty," Journal of Economics & Management Strategy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 20(3), pages 925-955, 09.
  5. La Porta, Rafael, et al, 1997. "Trust in Large Organizations," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 87(2), pages 333-38, May.
  6. Rachel M. McCleary & Robert J. Barro, 2006. "Religion and Economy," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 20(2), pages 49-72, Spring.
  7. Luis Garicano, 2000. "Hierarchies and the Organization of Knowledge in Production," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 108(5), pages 874-904, October.
  8. Kim, Byung-Yeon & Kang, Youngho, 2014. "Social capital and entrepreneurial activity: A pseudo-panel approach," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 97(C), pages 47-60.
  9. Edward L. Glaeser & David Laibson & Bruce Sacerdote, 2002. "An Economic Approach to Social Capital," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 112(483), pages 437-458, November.
  10. Bellemare, Charles & Kroger, Sabine, 2007. "On representative social capital," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 51(1), pages 183-202, January.
  11. Carpenter, Jeffrey P. & Daniere, Amrita G. & Takahashi, Lois M., 2004. "Cooperation, trust, and social capital in Southeast Asian urban slums," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 55(4), pages 533-551, December.
  12. Bauernschuster, Stefan & Falck, Oliver & Heblich, Stephan, 2010. "Social capital access and entrepreneurship," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 76(3), pages 821-833, December.
  13. Nick Oulton, 1996. "Competition and the Dispersion of Labour Productivity amongst UK Companies," NIESR Discussion Papers 103, National Institute of Economic and Social Research.
  14. Christian Grund & Christine Harbring, 2013. "Trust and Control at the Workplace Evidence from Representative Samples of Employees in Europe," Journal of Economics and Statistics (Jahrbuecher fuer Nationaloekonomie und Statistik), Justus-Liebig University Giessen, Department of Statistics and Economics, vol. 233(5-6), pages 619-637, October.
  15. Laurence R. Iannaccone, 1998. "Corrigenda [Introduction to the Economics of Religion]," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 36(4), pages 1941-1941, December.
  16. Rachel Griffith & Helen Simpson, 2004. "Characteristics of Foreign-Owned Firms in British Manufacturing," NBER Chapters, in: Seeking a Premier Economy: The Economic Effects of British Economic Reforms, 1980-2000, pages 147-180 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  17. Griliches, Zvi & Regev, Haim, 1995. "Firm productivity in Israeli industry 1979-1988," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 65(1), pages 175-203, January.
  18. McNabb, Robert & Whitfield, Keith, 1998. "The Impact of Financial Participation and Employee Involvement on Financial Performance," Scottish Journal of Political Economy, Scottish Economic Society, vol. 45(2), pages 171-87, May.
  19. Alex Bryson, 2001. "The Foundation of ‘Partnership’? Union Effects on Employee Trust in Management," National Institute Economic Review, National Institute of Economic and Social Research, vol. 176(1), pages 91-104, April.
  20. Max Munday & Michael J. Peel & Karl Taylor, 2003. "The Performance of the Foreign-Owned Sector of UK Manufacturing: Some Evidence and Implications for UK Inward Investment Policy," Fiscal Studies, Institute for Fiscal Studies, vol. 24(4), pages 501-521, December.
  21. Akçomak, I. Semih & ter Weel, Bas, 2008. "Social Capital, Innovation and Growth: Evidence from Europe," IZA Discussion Papers 3341, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  22. Algan, Yann & Cahuc, Pierre, 2013. "Trust, Growth and Well-Being: New Evidence and Policy Implications," CEPR Discussion Papers 9548, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  23. Nicholas Bloom & Raffaella Sadun, 2012. "The Organization of Firms Across Countries," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 127(4), pages 1663-1705.
  24. Makepeace, Gerry & Peter Dolton, 2003. "Computer use and earnings in Britain," Royal Economic Society Annual Conference 2003 146, Royal Economic Society.
  25. Dearmon, Jacob & Grier, Kevin, 2009. "Trust and development," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 71(2), pages 210-220, August.
  26. Stock, James H & Wright, Jonathan H & Yogo, Motohiro, 2002. "A Survey of Weak Instruments and Weak Identification in Generalized Method of Moments," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, American Statistical Association, vol. 20(4), pages 518-29, October.
  27. Marc Goergen & Salim Chahine & Chris Brewster & Geoffrey Wood, 2013. "Trust, Owner Rights, Employee Rights and Firm Performance," Journal of Business Finance & Accounting, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 40(5-6), pages 589-619, 06.
  28. Guiso, Luigi & Sapienza, Paola & Zingales, Luigi, 2005. "Trusting the Stock Market," CEPR Discussion Papers 5288, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  29. Machin, Stephen J & Stewart, Mark B, 1990. "Unions and the Financial Performance of British Private Sector Establishments," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 5(4), pages 327-50, Oct.-Dec..
  30. Laurence R. Iannaccone, 1998. "Introduction to the Economics of Religion," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 36(3), pages 1465-1495, September.
  31. Sendhil Mullainathan & Marianne Bertrand, 2001. "Do People Mean What They Say? Implications for Subjective Survey Data," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 91(2), pages 67-72, May.
  32. Alex Bryson & John Forth & Simon Kirby, 2005. "High-Involvement Management Practices, Trade Union Representation And Workplace Performance In Britain," Scottish Journal of Political Economy, Scottish Economic Society, vol. 52(3), pages 451-491, 07.
  33. Alesina, Alberto & La Ferrara, Eliana, 2002. "Who trusts others?," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 85(2), pages 207-234, August.
  34. Fidan Ana Kurtulus & Douglas Kruse & Joseph Blasi, 2011. "Worker Attitudes Towards Employee Ownership, Profit Sharing and Variable Pay," UMASS Amherst Economics Working Papers 2011-15, University of Massachusetts Amherst, Department of Economics.
  35. George A. Akerlof & Rachel E. Kranton, 2005. "Identity and the Economics of Organizations," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 19(1), pages 9-32, Winter.
  36. David Roodman, 2011. "Fitting fully observed recursive mixed-process models with cmp," Stata Journal, StataCorp LP, vol. 11(2), pages 159-206, June.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:shf:wpaper:2013012. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Jacob Holmes)

If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.