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Seminar: Defining Trust across Cultures

Trust has been the focal interest of many scholars from a variety of disciplines for a long time; however, complaints about the lack of an agreed upon definition of trust (Pytlik-Zillig & Kimbrough, 2016) as well as questions on its cross-cultural generalizability (e.g., Ferrin & Gillespie, 2010) have been widespread. In this study, we applied a prototype approach for a better understanding of the concept of “trust in work relations”(Fehr, 1988). We conducted three studies in Singapore, Turkey and the United States. In Study 1, we asked participants from to provide their lay definitions of “trust in work relationships” and identified 61 exemplar definitions across the three samples. In Study 2, we asked another set of participants from the same countries to rate how central each of these definitions was to the concept of trust in supervisor, coworker versus subordinate. The results revealed remarkable similarity in the prototypical features of the construct of workplace trust across the three cultures and the three foci (i.e., supervisor, coworker, subordinate). In Study 3, we sought further evidence for the universality of the prototypical structure of trust by testing for autobiographical recall in three different samples from the same countries. The results and the implications will be discussed.


Speaker: Arzu Wasti

Date: 29.12.2017 13:40

Classroom: Social Sciences Building B102