Accueil » 64-1 ( 2009) » La confiance organisationnelle au coeur de l’échange social : et si bien traiter ses employés était payant ?

La confiance organisationnelle au coeur de l’échange social : et si bien traiter ses employés était payant ?

Sylvie Guerrero et Olivier Herrbach

Résumé

Alors que la confiance organisationnelle est appréhendée comme un élément central à toute relation d’échange, elle n’a pas été étudiée dans le cadre d’une approche globale de l’échange social employeur-employé. Cet article vise à préciser le concept de confiance organisationnelle et à montrer son rôle lorsque l’organisation fait preuve de bienveillance à l’égard de ses employés. Le rôle médiateur de la confiance entre le soutien organisationnel perçu et les attitudes au travail est tout particulièrement étudié. Les résultats obtenus auprès de 249 cadres et gestionnaires confirment que la confiance en l’organisation est au coeur du processus d’échange social, et se présente comme une variable intermédiaire nécessaire pour expliquer l’engagement organisationnel et l’intention de quitter l’entreprise.

Mots-clés : soutien organisationnel perçu, engagement organisationnel, intention de quitter, rétention du personnel

Abstract

Organizational Trust and Social Exchange

What if Taking Good Care of Employees Were Profitable?

Several studies show a decrease in employees’ trust toward their organization; in parallel, organizations want to develop a long-term employment relationship to remain competitive in a context of employee shortage (Robinson and Rousseau, 1994). How can organizations develop a high level of organizational trust among their employees?

In this article, we propose to integrate organizational trust—defined as “the willingness of the employee to be vulnerable to the actions of the organization” (Mayer, Davis and Schoorman, 1995)—into a chain of relationships between HRM practices, perceived organizational support (POS) and two attitudes that reflect a long-term link with the organization: affective commitment and intention to quit. Our hypotheses suggest that organizational trust will partially mediate the link between POS and employees’ attitudes (i.e., affective commitment and intention to quit). As many past studies found a direct link between POS, affective commitment and intention to quit (Eisenberger et al., 1986, 1997, 2001; Rhoades, Eisenberger and Armeli, 2001; Shore and Tetrick, 1991; Shore and Wayne, 1993; Wayne, Shore and Liden, 1997), we expect that the mediation will be partial. A direct and negative link is also expected between affective commitment and intention to quit. Finally, the chain of relationships identifies two examples of HRM practices—skills development practices and communication practices—as potential antecedents of organizational trust (Lamsa and Pucetaite, 2006) and POS (Allen, Shore and Griffeth, 2003). HRM practices generate a perception of support favourable to trust, because those practices illustrate the attention the organization gives to employees.

The chain of relationships is tested with a three-wave longitudinal design that is more appropriate for the study of causal relations between variables than a cross-sectional design. We used AMOS 4.01 software to test two alternative models: the first model does not include organizational trust in path analyses; the second model includes this variable in the structural equation model. Results show that the second model has better fit indexes than the first model (Chi 2 = 170.79; RMSEA = 0.05; CFI = 0.97; GFI = 0.93). We validate that organizational trust partially mediates the relationship between POS and affective commitment, and fully mediates the relationship between POS and intention to quit.

The last part of the article aims to discuss results. We focus the discussion on three major contributions: (1) the integration into one unique model of several research fields that were tested only separately in the past; (2) the mediating role of trust in this chain of relationships; (3) the use of a longitudinal design that provides guaranties about the direction of tested relationships. Despite these strengths, our research has several limitations; specifically, we did not control risks of common variance for the answers given in the same questionnaire.

Keywords: perceived organizational support (POS), organizational commitment, intention to quit, retention of employees

Resumen

La confianza organizacional al centro del intercambio social

Y si tratar bien sus empleados fuera rentable?

Aunque la confianza organizacional es asumida como elemento central de toda relación de intercambio, ella no ha sido estudiada en el marco de un enfoque global del intercambio social empleador – empleado. Este artículo se propone precisar el concepto de confianza organizacional y mostrar el rol que ella puede jugar cuando la organización hace prueba de benevolencia respecto a sus empleados. Se estudia particularmente el rol mediador de la confianza entre el apoyo organizacional percibido y las actitudes en el trabajo. Los resultados obtenidos a partir de una muestra de 249 directivos y gerentes confirman que la confianza en la organización se sitúa al centro del proceso de intercambio social y se presenta como una variable intermediaria necesaria para explicar la implicación organizacional y la intención de dejar la empresa.

Palabras claves: apoyo organizacional percibido, implicación organizacional, intención de abandonar el empleo, retención del personal