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Initial trust formation in temporary small task groups: Testing a model of swift trust.

by Clara L Popa
Dissertation Abstracts International. A, The Humanities and Social Sciences ()

Abstract

Temporary work groups have become a not-so-rare phenomenon in today's organizations (Jarvenpaa and Leidner, 1999). Groups with diversely skilled members who work together on a project for a short period of time and dissolve after the project is completed are a type of resource that organizations employ in order to sustain their competitive advantage. Being mainly a task group, their main goal should be directed toward productivity-having a quality project completed on-time. However, it is the group experience that factors in how organizational members approach groups and their general attitude about working in groups. In the present study I investigate the mechanisms by which swift trust (as a form of trust developed in temporary work groups) develops and propose and test a model of swift trust development in temporary work groups. The study involved 34 temporary work groups who participated in an experiment (158 participants). The results show that swift trust develops through direct and mediated paths. Affect and proactive attributions of trustworthiness, along with a general predisposition to trust others influence the formation of swift trust. Group communication behaviors-knowledge sharing and suspending judgment-were found to mediate the relationship between the predictors of trust and swift trust. Theoretical and practical implications of the model are discussed. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2009 APA, all rights reserved)

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