Effectiveness of Exceeding Expectations and Demonstration of Concerns for Repairing Trust in Collaborative Relationships
Nyein, Kyi Phyu
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Interpersonal trust in collaborative relationships has been found to lead to positive outcomes, such as satisfaction, perceived leadership effectiveness, teamwork, and successful organizational change (Fulmer & Gelfand, 2012). However, trust can decline naturally or can be broken due to unmet expectations as trust involves expectations of positive intentions from another individual or positive outcomes from the relationship (Bhattacharya, Devinney, & Pillutla, 1998). In order to continue and achieve successful collaboration, trust must be repaired using different trust repair strategies such as providing apology or denying the responsibility. The current research examines exceeding expectations and demonstration of concerns as two understudied but potentially effective trust repair strategies. Study 1 used archival survey data from an employee sample to compare the perceived effectiveness of exceeding expectations and demonstration of concerns to that of other trust repair strategies. Study 1 also explored affective reactions as a mediator that explains why the two repair strategies increase trust, and workplace friendship and individually-held values as moderators that explain when the trust repair strategies will be effective. Study 2 used archival data from an experiment to further establish internal validity of the two repair strategies and test their causal relationships with the same mediators and moderators but with different outcomes, such as information sharing and willingness to work together again. Main results showed that apology, account, exceeding expectations, and demonstration of concerns were prevalent and effective trust repair strategies, but affect was not a significant mediator. As individuals experienced trust development, violation, and repair, curvilinear trajectories (increase, decrease, and increase) of trust and information sharing over time were also found. The current research calls for more research on exceeding expectations and demonstration of concerns and their use and effectiveness especially when used in combination with apology and account.