Asia Pacific Journal of Management

, Volume 20, Issue 4, pp 481–499 | Cite as

Antecedents and Outcomes of Employees' Trust in Chinese Joint Ventures

  • Yui-Tim Wong
  • Hang-Yue Ngo
  • Chi-Sum Wong


In this study we investigate the antecedents and outcomes of employees' trust in their supervisors and organizations in Chinese joint ventures. We develop a model that links trust, job security, and subordinate-supervisor guanxi. The model considers job security as an antecedent of trust in the organization and subordinate-supervisor guanxi as an antecedent of trust in supervisors. It further suggests that the turnover intention of employees is affected by their trust in their organization, and that their organizational citizenship behavior is affected by their trust in their supervisors. We use a data set consisting of 295 employees collected in four joint ventures in Southern China to test the hypotheses. The results of our LISREL and OLS regression analyses support the proposed model. Job security and subordinate-supervisor guanxi are found to affect employees' trust. In addition, trust in the organization has a stronger effect on turnover intention than does trust in one's supervisor. Trust in supervisors significantly affects the organizational citizenship behavior of employees. These findings have practical implications for the management of workers in Chinese joint ventures.

trust in organization trust in supervisor subordinate-supervisor guanxi turnover intention organizational citizenship behavior Chinese management 


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Arnold, H. and D. Feldman. (1982). “A Multivariate Analysis of the Determinants of Job Turnover.” Journal of Applied Psychology 67, 350–360.Google Scholar
  2. Aryee, S., P.S. Budhwar, and Z.X. Chen. (2002). “Trust as a Mediator of the Relationship between Organizational Justice and Work Outcomes: Test of A Social Exchange Model.” Journal of Organizational Behavior 23, 267–285.Google Scholar
  3. Ashford, S., C. Lee, and P. Bobko. (1989). “Content, Causes, and Consequences of Job Insecurity: A Theory-based Measure and Substantive Test.” Academy of Management Journal 32, 803–829.Google Scholar
  4. Baron, R.M. and D.A. Kenny. (1986). “The Moderator-Mediator Distinction in Social Psychological Research: Conceptual, Strategic, and Statistical Considerations.” Journal of Personality and Social Psychology 51(6), 1173–1182.Google Scholar
  5. Beamish, P.W. (1993). “The Characteristics of Joint Venture in the People's Republic of China.” Journal of International Marketing 1, 29–48.Google Scholar
  6. Bentler, P.M. and C.P. Chou. (1987). “Practical Issues in Structural Modeling.” Sociological Methods & Research 16, 78–117.Google Scholar
  7. Bian, Y. (1994). Work and Inequity in Urban China. State University of New York Press.Google Scholar
  8. Blau, P.M. (1964). Exchange and Power in Social Life. New York: Wiley.Google Scholar
  9. Bowman, J.S. (1984). “Japanese Management: Personnel Policies in the Public Sector.” Public Personnel Management Journal 13(3), 197–247.Google Scholar
  10. Brislin, R. (1970). “Back-Translation for Cross-Cultural Research.” Journal of Applied Psychology 1, 185–216.Google Scholar
  11. Butler, J.K. Jr. and R.S. Cantrell. (1984). “A Behavioral Decision Theory Approach to Modeling Dyadic Trust in Superiors and Subordinates.” Psychological Reports 55, 19–28.Google Scholar
  12. Butterfield, F. (1983). China: Alive in the Bitter Sea. London, UK: Coronet Books.Google Scholar
  13. Camman, C., M. Fichman, D. Jenkins, and J. Klesh. (1979). The Michigan Organizational Assessment Questionnaire. Unpublished Manuscript, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan.Google Scholar
  14. Caplan, R.D., S. Cobb, J.R.P. Jr. French, R.V. Van Harrison, and S.R. Pinneau. (1975). Job Demands and Worker Health: Main Effects and Occupational Differences. Survey Research Centre, Institute of Social Research, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan.Google Scholar
  15. Chen, M. (1995). Asian Management System: Chinese, Japanese and Korean Styles of Business. Routledge, London and New York.Google Scholar
  16. Chiao, C. (1982). “Guanxi: A Preliminary Conceptualization.” In K.S. Yang and C.I. Wen (eds.), The Sinicization of Social and Behavioral Science Research in China. Taipei. R.O.C.: Academia Sinica (in Chinese) pp. 345–360.Google Scholar
  17. Chow, C.K.W., M.K.Y. Fung, and H.Y. Ngo. (1999). “Job Turnover in China: A Case Study of Shanghai's Manufacturing Enterprises.” Industrial Relations 38, 482–503.Google Scholar
  18. Cook, J. and T.D. Wall. (1980). “New Work Attitude Measures of Trust, Organizational Commitment and Personal Need Non-fulfillment.” Journal of Occupational Psychology 53, 39–52.Google Scholar
  19. Costigan, R.D., S.S. Itler, and J.J. Berman. (1998). “A Multi-dimensional Study of Trust in Organizations.” Journal of Managerial Issues 10, 303–317.Google Scholar
  20. Cropanzano, R., J.C. Howes, A.A. Grandey, and P. Toth. (1997). “The Relationship of Organizational Politics and Support to Work Behaviors, Attitudes, and Stress.” Journal of Organizational Behavior 18, 159–180.Google Scholar
  21. Davidson, W.H. (1987). “Creating and Managing Joint Ventures in China.” California Management Review 29, 77–94.Google Scholar
  22. Davies, J.H., F.D. Schoorman, R.C. Mayer, and H.H. Tan. (2000). “The Trusted General Manager and Business Unit Performance: Empirical Evidence of A Competitive Advantage.” Strategic Management Journal 21, 563–576.Google Scholar
  23. Dirks, K.T. and D.L. Ferrin. (2001). “The Role of Trust in Organizational Settings.” Organizational Science 12, 450–467.Google Scholar
  24. Deluga, R.J. (1994). “Supervisor Trust Building, Leader-Member Exchange and Organizational Citizenship Behaviour.” Journal of Occupational and Organizational Psychology 67, 315–326.Google Scholar
  25. Earley, P.C. (1989). “Social Loafing and Collectivism:A Comparison of the United States and the Peoples Republic of China.” Administrative Science Quarterly 34, 565–581.Google Scholar
  26. Eisenberger, R., P.M. Fasolo, and V. Davis-LaMastro. (1990). “Effects of Perceived Organizational Support on Employee Diligence, Innovation, and Commitment.” Journal of Applied Psychology 53, 51–59.Google Scholar
  27. Farh, J.L., A.S. Tsui, K.K. Xin, and B.S. Cheng. (1998). “The Influence of Relational Demography and Guanxi: The Chinese Case.” Organizational Science 9, 471–488.Google Scholar
  28. Farh, J.L., P.C. Earley, and S.C. Lin. (1997). “Impetus for Action: A Cultural Analysis of Justice and Organizational Citizenship Behavior in Chinese Society.” Administrative Science Quarterly 42, 421–444.Google Scholar
  29. Fox, A. (1974). Beyond Contract: Work, Power and Trust Relations. London: Faber and Faber.Google Scholar
  30. Gabrenya, W.K. Jr. and K.K. Hwang. (1996). “Chinese Social Interaction: Harmony and Hierarchy on the Good Earth.” In M.H. Bond (ed.), The Handbook of Chinese Psychology. Hong Kong: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  31. Graham, J. (1991). “An Essay on Organizational Citizenship Behavior.” Employee Responsibilities and Rights Journal 4, 249–270.Google Scholar
  32. Jöreskog, K.G. and D. Sörbom. (1993). LISREL 8 User's Reference Guide. Scientific Software, Inc.Google Scholar
  33. Kao, H.S. and S.H. Ng. (1992). “Organizational Commitment and Culture.” In R.I. Westwood (ed.), Organizational Behavior-Southeast Asian Perspectives. Hong Kong: Longman.Google Scholar
  34. King, A.Y. (1991). “Kuan-hsi and Network Building: A Sociological Interpretation.” Daedalus 120, 63–84.Google Scholar
  35. Konovsky, M.A. and R. Cropanzano. (1991). “Perceived Fairness of Employee Drug Testing as a Predictor of Employee Attitudes and Job Performance.” Journal of Applied Psychology 76, 698–707.Google Scholar
  36. Konovsky, M.A. and S.D. Pugh. (1994). “Citizenship Behavior and Social Exchange.” Academy of Management Journal 37, 656–669.Google Scholar
  37. Lewicki, R.J., D.J. McAllister, and R.J. Bies. (1998). “Trust and Distrust: New Relationships and Realities.” The Academy of Management Review 23, 438–458.Google Scholar
  38. Lewis, J.D. and A. Weigert. (1985). “Trust as a Social Reality.” Social Forces 63, 967–984.Google Scholar
  39. Li, M.C. (1992). “Cultural Difference and In-group Favoritism: A Comparison of Chinese and American College Students.” Bulletin of the Institute of Ethnology, Academia Sinica 73, 153–90 (in Chinese).Google Scholar
  40. Li, M.C. (1993). “Analysis of Chinese Self-other Relations: A Fairness Judgment Perspective.” Indigenous Psychological Research in Chinese Societies 1, 267–300 (in Chinese).Google Scholar
  41. Lin, N. (2001). “Guanxi: A Conceptual Analysis.” In A.Y. So, N. Lin, and D. Poston (eds.), The Chinese Triangle of Mainland China, Taiwan, and Hong Kong: Comparative Institutional Analyses. Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, pp. 143–166.Google Scholar
  42. Luo, Y. (1997). “Guanxi: Principles, Philosophies, and Implications.” Human Systems Management 16, 43–51.Google Scholar
  43. Mathieu, J.E. and J.L. Farr. (1991). “Further Evidence for the Discriminant Validity of Measures of Organizational Commitment, Job Involvement, and Job Satisfaction.” Journal of Applied Psychology 76, 127–133.Google Scholar
  44. Mathieu, J.E., D.A. Hofmann, and J.L. Farr. (1993). “Job Perception-Job Satisfaction Relations: An Empirical Comparison of Three Competing Theories.” Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes 56, 370–387.Google Scholar
  45. Mayer, R.C., J.H. Davis, and F.D. Schoorman. (1995). “An Integrative Model of Organizational Trust.” Academy of Management Review 20(3), 709–734.Google Scholar
  46. McAllister, D.J. (1995). “Affect-and Cognition-based Trust as Foundations for Interpersonal Cooperation in Organizations.” Academy of Management Journal 38, 24–59.Google Scholar
  47. McCauley, D.P. and K.W. Kuhnert. (1992). “A Theoretical Review and Empirical Investigation of Employee Trust.” Public Administration Quarterly Summer, 265–285.Google Scholar
  48. Meyer, J.P. and N.J. Allen. (1997). Commitment in the Workplace-Theory, Research, and Application. Sage Publications.Google Scholar
  49. Movondo, F.T. and E.M. Rodrigo. (2001). “The Effect of Relationship Dimensions on Interpersonal and Interorganizational Commitment in Organizations Conducting Business between Australia and China.” Journal of Business Research 52, 111–121.Google Scholar
  50. Ng, R.M.C. (1998). “Culture as a Factor in Management: The Case of the People's Republic of China.” International Journal of Management 15, 86–93.Google Scholar
  51. Organ, D.W. (1988). Organizational Citizenship Behavior. Lexington, MA: Lexington Books.Google Scholar
  52. Ouchi, W.G. (1981). Theory Z:HowAmerican Business Can Meet the Japanese Challenge. Reading, MA: Addison-Wesley.Google Scholar
  53. Parks, J.M. and D. Kidder. (1994). “ “Till Death Do Us Part...” Changing Work Relationship in the 1990s.” In C. Cooper and D. Rousseau (eds.), Trends in Organizational Behavior, Vol. 1, New York: Wiley, pp. 111–136.Google Scholar
  54. Pearson, M. (1991). Joint Ventures in the Peoples' Republic of China: The Control of Foreign Investment Under Socialism. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.Google Scholar
  55. Podsakoff, P.M., S.B. MacKenzie, R.H. Moorman, and R. Fetter. (1990). “Transformational Leader Behaviors and Their Effects on Followers' Trust in Leader, Satisfaction, and Organizational Citizenship Behaviors.” Leadership Quarterly 1, 107–142.Google Scholar
  56. Randall, M.L., R. Cropanzano, C.A. Bormann, and A. Birjulin. (1999). “Organizational Politics and Organizational Support: Predictors of Work Attitudes, Job Performance, and Organizational Citizenship Behaviors.” Journal of Organizational Behavior 20, 159–174.Google Scholar
  57. Rousseau, D.M. (1989). “Psychological and Implied Contracts in Organizations.” Employee Responsibilities and Rights Journal 2, 121–139.Google Scholar
  58. Rousseau, D.M., S.B. Sitkin, R.S. Burt, and C. Camerer. (1998). “Not So Different After All: A Cross-discipline View of Trust.” The Academy of Management Review 23, 393–404.Google Scholar
  59. Settoon, R.P., N. Bennett, and R.C. Liden. (1996). “Social Exchange in Organizations: Percieved Organizational Support, Leader-member Exchange and Employees Reciprocity.” Journal of Applied Psychology 81, 219–227.Google Scholar
  60. Shore, L.M. and L. Tetrick. (1994). “The Psychological Contract as an Explanatory Framework in the Employment Relationship.” In C. Cooper and D. Rousseau (eds.), Trends in Organizational Behavior, Vol. 9, New York: Wiley pp. 91–109.Google Scholar
  61. Steidlmeier, P. (1995). Strategic Management of the China Venture. London: Quorum Books.Google Scholar
  62. Tett, R.P. and J.P. Meyer. (1993). “Job Satisfaction, Organizational Commitment, Turnover Intention, and Turnover: Path Analyses Based on Meta-analytic Findings.” Personnel Psychology 46, 259–293.Google Scholar
  63. Tyler, T.R. and E.A. Lind. (1992). “A Relational Model of Authority in Group.” Advances in Experimental Social Psychology 25, 115–192.Google Scholar
  64. Van Dyne, L., D. Vandewalle, T. Kostova, M.E. Latham, and L.L. Cummings. (2000). “Collectivism, Propensity to Trust and Self-Esteem as Predictors of Organizational Citizenship in a Non-Work Setting.” Journal of Organizational Behavior 21, 3–23.Google Scholar
  65. Wang, Z.M. (1986). “Worker's Attribution and Its Effects on Performance Under Different Work Responsibility Systems.” Chinese Journal of Applied Psychology 1, 6–10 (in Chinese).Google Scholar
  66. Wang, Z.M. (1988). “The Effects of Responsibility System Change and Group Attributional Training on Performance: A Quasi-Experiment in a Chinese Factory.” Chinese Journal of Applied Psychology 3, 7–14 (in Chinese).Google Scholar
  67. Warner, M. (1993). “Human Resource Management “With Chinese Characteristics”.” The International Journal of Human Resource Management 4, 45–55.Google Scholar
  68. Warner, M. (1997). “Management-Labour Relations in the New Chinese Economy.” Human Resource Management Journal 7, 30–43.Google Scholar
  69. Warner, M. (1998). “Human Resource Management Practices in International Joint Ventures Versus State-owned Enterprises in China.” In J. Selmer (ed.), International Management in China. London: Routledge.Google Scholar
  70. Wayne, S.J., L.M. Shore, and R.C. Liden. (1997). “Perceived Organizational Support and Leader-Member Exchange: A Social Exchange Perspective.” Academy of Management Journal 40, 82–111.Google Scholar
  71. Whyte, M.K. and W.L. Parish. Jr. (1984). Urban Life in Contemporary China. Chicago: University Press.Google Scholar
  72. Witt, L.A., K.M. Jacmar, and M.C. Andrews. (2001). “The Interactive Effects of Procedural Justice and Exchange Ideology on Supervisor-Rated Commitment.” Journal of Organizational Behavior 22, 505–515.Google Scholar
  73. Wong, Y.H. (1998). “The Dynamics of Guanxi in China.” Singapore Management Review 20, 25–42.Google Scholar
  74. Wu, W.P. (1994). Guanxi and Its Managerial Implications for Western Firms in China: A Case Study. Paper Presented at the International Conference on Management Issues for China in the 1990s, University of Cambridge, 1994.Google Scholar
  75. Wu, W.P. (1996). Transaction Cost, Cultural Values and Chinese Business Networks: An Integrated Approach. Paper Presented at the International Academic Workshop on Chinese Business Connections in Global and Comparative Perspective, Beijing, PRC, 1996.Google Scholar
  76. Xin, K.R. and J.L. Pearce. (1996). “Guanxi: Connections As Substitutes for Formal Institutional Support.” Academy of Management Journal 39, 1641–1658.Google Scholar
  77. Yang, K.S. (1993). “Chinese Social Orientation: An Integrative Analysis.” In L.Y. Cheng, F.M.C. Cheung, and Char-Nie (eds.), Psychotherapy for the Chinese: Selected Papers from the First International Conference. The Chinese University of Hong Kong, 1956.Google Scholar
  78. Yang, M.M. (1986). The Art of Social Relations and Exchange in China. Doctoral Dissertation, University of California at Berkeley.Google Scholar
  79. Yang, M.M. (1994). Gifts, Favors and Banquets: The Art of Social Relationships in China. Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press.Google Scholar
  80. Yeung, I.Y.M. and R.L. Tung. (1996). “Achieving Success in Confucian Society: The Importance of Guanxi (Relationship).” Organizational Dynamics 8, 54–65.Google Scholar
  81. Zhu, Y. (1995). “Major Changes Under Way in China's Industrial Relations.” International Labour Review 134, 37–49.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 2003

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of ManagementLingnan UniversityTuen Mun, N.T.Hong Kong
  2. 2.Department of ManagementThe Chinese University of Hong KongShatin, N.T.Hong Kong

Personalised recommendations