research@hec - Issue #13 - (Page IV)
When the Going Gets Tough,
Who Can You Trust?
In 2009, Michael Segalla worked with former Michelin CEO, Hervé Coyco, to organize the Forbes CEO forum on managing talent in difficult times. A compelling topic of discussion among the 225 participants was how to attract and retain firstrate, internationally diverse managers. Segalla focused on a troublesome question: how much trust are foreign managers likely to have in their bosses and organizations, when they lack the common experience and references on which trust is typically built? And how can firms retain good people when employees do not feel their organizations are trustworthy? Segalla designed a study to explore these questions further, linking the issue of innerorganizational trust with the worst case scenario of job dismissal.
Across the globe, Michael Segalla was surprised to find that business rank and age.
Franco-American professor of management Michael Segalla joined HEC in 1992. His research focuses on comparative HR management, cultural integration, and internationalization processes.
MANAGERS TRUST STRANGERS MORE THAN THEIR BOSSES Segalla’s study involved 700 managers from 40 countries educated in the best business schools in Europe, Asia, and non-European Anglo-Saxon countries*. He measured participants’ general trust in other members of society and compared it with their trust in their firms. Segalla was intrigued to discover that while the average general trust rate
managers trust strangers considerably more than they trust their bosses. Trust levels nonetheless vary significantly according to national culture,
as do firing practices, and firm trust increases somewhat with hierarchical
CULTURAL DIFFERENCES AND THE EFFECTS OF THE CRISIS The demographic variable that had the most significant impact on general trust was national culture. Asians appeared as the least generally trusting group (3), Europeans as average (3.7), and non-European Anglo-Saxons as the most trusting (3.9). When it came to firm trust, differences between national cultures were smaller, but ranking different. Europeans have the most trouble believing their bosses are truly looking out for their interests. They express the lowest rate of boss trust, below Asians (3.2), and non-European Anglo-Saxons (3.3). The other demographic factor that Segalla found to be significant with regard to boss/firm trust was age. Younger people expressed the lowest levels of trust in their firms, and Segalla believes
was 3.7 (on a scale of 5), the average firm trust rate was just 3.0, and even worse, the average boss trust rate was a mere 2.7. “This is especially disturbing when you consider the high caliber of those surveyed. They testify to the world’s best efforts at developing managers; they have chosen to work in their companies and are critical members of their teams…”
Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of research@hec - Issue #13
Cover & Contents
Trailing a Scent: Does Age Affect Perfume Brand Loyalty?
When the Going Gets Tough,Who Can You Trust?
Major Risks and PublicManagement
Excellence in Finance Research at HEC Paris
research@hec - Issue #13