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Leader Trustworthiness and Employee Work Intentions: A Canonical Correlation Study

Trust, in all its forms, is frequently at the top of the list when experts write about healthy organizational environments. When studying the concept of trust, however, researchers often do not use quantitative approaches that take into account the complex relationships between multiple sets of variables, thereby not fully exploring the underlying structure of the phenomena they are investigating. The seven variables used in this study are affect- and cognition-based trust in one’s leader and five employee work intentions, namely intent to remain in the organization, intent to endorse the organization and its leadership, intent to use discretionary effort, intent to perform at a higher than average level, and intent to be an organizational citizen.

This study uses the responses from 1,856 participants to examine the multiple relationships between two forms of trust in one’s leader and five forms of employee work intentions. After conducting a canonical correlation analysis (CCA), the data results showed that two canonical functions, affect trust-based perspectives and cognition trust-based perspectives, account for between 35% and 85% of the explained variance for work intentions measured.

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