OutlineIntroductionTheoretical perspectiveTrust as a “social exchange factor”Job satisfaction and trustIs job satisfaction a direct result of trust? ConclusionIntroductionIn addition to the traditional components such as pay, job benefits and employee motivation, trust in the work place is emerging as one of the job satisfaction variables discussed by scholars and researchers with much interest. But is there really a connection between trust and job satisfaction? In the in the average job context, one can argue that to be satisfied in one’s work, one would need to trust that his or her employer has not only profit-making interests at heart, but also the welfare of his or her employees.
This would then make it easier for the employee to work with conviction that they are being treated fairly and justly in their places of work. Among the scholars who have delved in the trust subject include Leat and El-Kot (2009), who investigated the relationship between trust and job satisfaction in Egypt. Their findings indicate that while trust is among the variables that affect job satisfaction, other factors such as motivation and low tension at work contribute to how satisfied a person is at work.
Weber (2007) on the other hand argues that while trust has been cited as a major contributor to job effectiveness and cohesion in the work place, both their characteristics are only evident if the employees are satisfied with different aspects of their jobs. In order to evaluate whether trust is indeed a critical factor to job satisfaction or not, this essay observes that the meaning of job satisfaction is in itself contentious among scholars as observed by Locke (1964).
In this essay’s context however, job satisfaction will be defined as “The extent to which people like or dislike their jobs” (Locke, 1964, p. 309). Overall, this essay acknowledges that trust is indeed critical to employees having job satisfaction, but notes that trust is one among several variables that contribute to job satisfaction. It therefore seeks to approve or disapprove this notion through reviewing some literature on the subject. Theoretical perspectiveUsing the social exchange theory as explained by (Blau, 1964), employees would only engage in social exchange relationships if they think their employers have something valuable to give to them.
When such a relationship proves satisfactory to the employee and the employer, the two can then learn to trust each other. This thought is further supported by Chiaburu and Marinova (2005), who posits that “trust develops as the parties see that their investments in the relationship are offset by returns” (p. 170). Trust as a “social exchange factor”According to Chiaburu and Marinova (2005), employees and their leaders (whether managers or supervisors) need to communicate openly on issues that concern work performance as well as employee welfare.
This communication however can be inhibited by lack of trust, and consequently, the social exchange between the two parties would be hindered. Callaway (2007) on the other hand observes that employees have to communicate to their leaders whether or not they trust them since communication must occur in the workplace. As such, Callaway (2007) suggests that oftentimes trust is not a determinant factor of whether communication takes place or not. Notably, employees, trusting that their leaders work to make the best of every situation, know that only by doing that can they secure their job security.
If they are assured of job security and receive commensurate pay for their work, then employees are more likely to develop job satisfaction regardless of the trust factor.