Dolphins Swimming With Sharks: A Look at Affect-Based Trust, Betrayal, and Reconciliation in an Organization
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Researchers (Mayer, Davis, & Schoorman, 1995; McAllister, 1995; Morris & Moberg, 1994; Robinson, Dirks & Ozcelik, 2004) have long recognized the importance of trust in the successful functioning of organizations. It is trust that enables a bond to develop between leaders and followers and creates the foundation necessary for high quality leader-follower relationships (Graen & Uhl-Bein, 1995). A trust-based relationship allows both the leader and the follower to have faith in the intentions and actions of each other, thus allowing the accomplishment of personal and organizational goals (Robinson, Dirks & Ozcelik, 2004). But what happens to the leader-follower relationship when trust is betrayed? Increasingly betrayal and violation of trust is becoming commonplace within organizations (Bies & Tripp, 1996; Robinson, Dirks & Ozcelik, 2004). What is the impact on leader-follower relationship when trust is betrayed? Will an attempt at reconciliation moderate the impact of trust betrayal on the relationship between the leader and the follower? This paper will examine the literature and propose a methodology of reconciliation to address the effects of betrayal on affect-based trust and the Leader-Member Exchange (LMX) relationship in an organizational setting.