Trust in the Workplace

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Articles in journals, magazines, and newspapers

A. Try searching in Business Source Complete using various combinations of such Subjects as:

  • Work environment
  • Corporate culture
  • Personnel management
  • Employee attitudes
  • Job satisfaction
  • Trust
  • Organizational justice
  • Labor turnover
  • Loyalty
  • Personnel management

Remember that when you are doing a subject heading search, you must search by the exact term + select "SU subject" in the drop-down box next to the search box. Check out this rough exploratory search to get started in Business Source. Also try this broader search.

Note: Although you will definitely want to focus on the scholarly journals in Business Source Complete, don't ignore the less-academic publications. The HR magazines, in particular, may have practical, experience-based advice on improving workplace communication and trust. See, for instance, HR Magazine and Workforce to find articles such as...

B. For more of a Canadian perspective, try CBCA Complete and look for articles using the same terms--but as keywords--that you used in BSC (subject headings will be different in each database). As with Business Source Complete above, be sure to watch for articles in HR practitioner magazines such as the Canadian HR Reporter.

Also try Canadian Newsstream for Canadian newspaper articles. Remember that you may have to research deeper to find enough methodology details for you to judge reliability and relevance of the facts and opinions -- use the news articles as clues, then go digging for the original sources.

C. PsycInfo: Our main Psychology database is a great place to find academic articles on people's behaviour, attitudes, reactions, relations, etc. Note that PsycInfo covers many key marketing and organizational behaviour journals. Start with various combinations of subjects such as...

  • Trust (Social behavior)
  • Organizational Behavior
  • Organizational Climate
  • Loyalty
  • Organizational Effectiveness
  • Employee Attitudes

Here's a rough exploratory search in PsycInfo to get you started.

  • Note that besides articles and books, PsycInfo also covers many dissertations and theses. Watch for citations that have "Dissertation Abstracts" listed as their source. Such publications can be incredibly comprehensive (especially their reference lists!), but it is sometimes hard to find their fulltext online. Try searching for them by title in Google Scholar or in the Open Access Theses & Dissertations database. Here are a couple examples of dissertations on this sort of topic:


Try combinations of the following Subjects in our catalogue:

  • Trust
  • Interpersonal relations
  • Organizational effectiveness
  • Work environment
  • Psychology, Industrial
  • Organizational behavior

A few samples of the sorts of books you should find...

Other resources

A. Statista had an interesting infographic on this topic that led me to this EY study (link goes to archived version as the EY page appears to be gone), which was discussed in this HBR article. And if you search broadly for any other mentions of that study, you'll find different perspectives, comments from experts, and similar studies.

More reports that I found via Statista:

B. The 2010 edition of Deloitte's annual Ethics & Workplace Survey was focused on trust in the workplace. Perhaps it could be useful even though it's a bit old? The report doesn't appear to be available at the Deloitte site any longer, but the Internet Archive's WayBack Machine still has a copy.

More recent reports & articles from Deloitte:

C. I spotted this (slightly old) article in our CBCA database: A Lack of Trust and Confidence: Majority of Canadian employees don't believe their senior leaders and noticed it mentioned a survey done by Ipsos. I then checked the IPSOS site to see if I could get detailed results. Success! Check out the report Canadian Workforce Growing Increasingly Disloyal Toward Employer.

D The Great Place to Work site got me thinking about the many "Best Employers" lists that get published each year. Consider looking for information on the initiatives that have been implemented in the winning organizations to create positive cultures. Here are a few such lists:

E. Your case refers to an earlier issue faced by the organization that may be connected to some of its current trust problems. If you decide you need resources that are relevant to that issue, check out my research guide to Eliminating Toxicity in the Workplace.

F. I mentioned Deloitte and EY above. Maybe other major consulting firms might be worth a look? PwC, Grant Thornton, BCG, McKinsey...?

<No further suggestions at this point, but check back later in case I find something else worth adding. --MB>