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Open Access Publications from the University of California

UCLA Asia Institute


Testing the Cultural Boundaries of a Model of Trust: Subordinate-Manager Relationships in China, Norway and the United States


The purpose of this study is to test a model of trust in the organizational setting, incorporating hypotheses about the effect of culture on the trust process. It is predicted that subordinates’ trust in their supervisors is a function of their perceptions of their supervisors’ behavior and their own propensity to trust. In addition, subordinates’ cultural orientation toward relationships moderates the relationship between their perceptions of their managers’ trustworthiness and trust, and their orientation to human nature directly affects propensity to trust. These predictions are tested by using data collected with questionnaires completed by businesspeople in China (n=180), Norway (n=128) and the United States (n=203).

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