Trust in Leadership: A Multi-Level Review and Integration [With Corrigendum]

C. Shawn Burke, University of Central Florida
Dana E. Sims, University of Central Florida
Elizabeth H. Lazzara, University of Central Florida
Eduardo Salas, University of Central Florida

Dr. Lazzara was not affiliated with Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University at the time this paper was published.

A corrigendum to this article was published in February 2009 in volume 20, no.1, on page 55. The correction concerns the Mann Gulch disaster data on page 607. Please see this link to look at the notes: Click here for correction


Leaders have been argued to play a key role in determining organizational effectiveness across all levels (e.g., individual, team, unit) that exist within organizations. A key component in a leader's ability to be effective within such environments is the degree to which subordinates and co-workers trust him/her. Therefore, it is not surprising that researchers and practitioners alike are interested in identifying the mechanisms through which trust in leadership can be developed as well as those factors which moderate this relationship [e.g., Gillespie, N. A., Mann, L. (2004). Transformational leadership and shared values: The building blocks of trust. Journal of Managerial Psychology, 19, 588–607; Kouzes and Posner, 1995; Roberts, K. H., O'Reilly, C. A. (1974). Failures in upward communication in organizations: Three possible culprits. Academy of Management Journal, 17, 205– 215; Whitener, E. M. (1997). The impact of human resource activities on employee trust. Human Resource Management Review, 7, 389–404]. Despite this, research that has addressed the factors that foster trust in leaders and the outcomes of this trust has been disjointed and, as yet, no comprehensive model has been presented to systematically examine these factors. Therefore, the purpose of this article will be to present an integrative model of trust in leadership.