The Role of Personality in the Perception of a Trustee’s Trustworthiness: An Empirical Examination
Hossiep, C. Richard; Schmees, Philine; Schewe, Gerhard
While previous research has shown that trust in leaders is strongly influenced by the person-ality of the trustor, the relationship between a trustee’s personality and interpersonal trust perceived by the trustor is almost entirely unexplored. This study addresses this research gap by analyzing how a trustee's personality and leadership behavior impact his/her perceived trustworthiness. For this investigation, the HEXACO model of personality, effective leadership behavior and the inte-grative model of trust are combined for the first time. Based on original survey data of 258 partici-pants, multivariate regressions and structural equation modeling is conducted. The study contributes to the research field by identifying that a leader’s personality and leadership behavior explain how a trustor perceives trustworthiness. The results emphasize that personality also partially impacts the leader’s observed trustworthiness. While the perception that a leader is honest, humble and agreea-ble leads to higher perceived trustworthiness, leaders seen as very emotional are less likely to be evaluated as trustworthy. The results also show that leadership behavior partially impacts perceived trustworthiness. In addition, the supervisor’s personality, especially honesty and humility, favors the perception of the person as an effective manager. Moreover, results show that when leaders are seen as trustworthy, this partially lowers the employee’s perceptions of work stress.
Trust Trustworthiness Transparency Leadership Personality