Influence of Self-Esteem and Extrinsic Goal Orientation on Perceived Trustworthiness by Moderation of Length of Service

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Influence of Self-Esteem and Extrinsic Goal Orientation on Perceived Trustworthiness by Moderation of Length of Service

This study has been conducted to find out if the trustee’s length of service has a moderator effect on the level of influence that self-esteem and extrinsic goal orientation have on the co-workers’ perceptions of the trustee’s trustworthiness. Research on the predictors of trust revolves around the frameworks of ultimate causation, ontogenic causation and proximate causation. This study focuses on trustee-related predictors in the formation of perceived trustworthiness, thus falling under the category of proximate causation studies. Trustworthiness is a trait with a multidimensional structure. The methods hereby applied have not allowed for a detailed assessment of each and every dimension, therefore integrity has been chosen as the main focus, since it is the most widely investigated dimension of trustworthiness. A field research was conducted with 80 software engineers employed in a software company that is horizontally aligned. Each participant, one-by-one, was assessed on how trustworthy they find each of their co-workers. Participants were also assessed for their levels of self-esteem and extrinsic goal orientation. Two data sets were collected from each participant; as truster level of trust one holds for each co-worker , and as trustee selfesteem, extrinsic goals, length of service ; then these data were matched. The results indicate that the length of service has a moderation effect. Self-esteem is found to have a positive influence on the trustee’s perceived trustworthiness in cases where the length of service is relatively short. As the length of service increases, extrinsic goal orientation turns out to have a negative impact on the perceived trustworthiness of the trustee.

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