Follower reactions to leader trust violations: A grounded theory of violation types, likelihood of recovery, and recovery process

Steven L. Grover*, Markus C. Hasel, Caroline Manville, Carolina Serrano-Archimi

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

30 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

This paper explores how trust is violated and restored in the leader-follower relationship by analyzing rich stories in everyday trust violation situations. The results suggest a dichotomy of how violations affect trust and its propensity for repair. Recoverable violations are common occurrences from which trust can be recovered, although repeated instances of this type can destroy trust beyond recovery. The process of recovery involves leaders first openly discussing the violation(s) and then providing plans to avoid future violations. Conversely, irrecoverable trust violations destroy trust to such a degree that it cannot be restored and followers withdraw from the relationship. The study advances our understanding of trust violations by showing that recoverable violations include violations based on integrity, competence, and benevolence. Additionally, the typology of trust violations in these unique relationships promotes further investigation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)689-702
Number of pages14
JournalEuropean Management Journal
Volume32
Issue number5
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2014
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Followers
  • Leaders
  • Relationships
  • Trust recovery
  • Trust violation

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