International Journal of Business and Social Science

ISSN 2219-1933 (Print), 2219-6021 (Online) DOI: 10.30845/ijbss

Contingent Worker, Permanent Loser?—How Perceived Trust Shapes Communication between Contingent Workers and Standard Workers in Knowledge-based Organizations
Xiaoke (Chuck) Yang

Perceived trust between organizational members influences worker relationship and group productivity in an implicit and unconventional way. In this study, we investigated how perceived trust within organization influences communication among workers with different employment status. Data collected through direct observation and structured interviews in a public sector, knowledge-based research organization suggested that perceived trust is a central characteristic of workplace relationships. Knowledge sharing, performance evaluation, and task distribution, among other organizational routines where communication commonly occur, are shaped by the perceived trust between contingent and standard workers. Low level of perceived trust accounts for the reluctance of standard workers sharing key knowledge with contingent workers. It also explains the unwillingness of contingent workers expressing discontent about management to the standards workers. Specific recommendations were made to foster trust among contingent workers and standard workers and alleviate potential tensions in a hybrid organization.

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