Smart Tech is all Around us – Bridging Employee Vulnerability with Organizational Active Trust-Building

Antoinette Weibel, Simon Schafheitle, Lisa Van der Werff

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperpeer-review


Public and academic opinion remains divided regarding the potential benefits and pitfalls of datafication technologies in organizations, particularly regarding their impact on employees. Integrating theory on organizational trust and dual-process models, we propose that datafication technology disrupts trust between the employee and their employer. We argue that this disruption precipitates a phase of heightened vulnerability where employees more actively weigh up trust-related cues and where the employer can engage in active trust-building to preserve and maintain the relationship. Our paper develops a framework to guide organizations’ active trust-building efforts in this context. Specifically, we propose that organizations engage in either communication and symbolization or substantive interest alignment efforts to address situational normality beliefs, employer benevolence, and integrity intention as well as reciprocal dependence of the employer. We discuss the implications of our paper for helping to reconcile competing narratives about the future of work and for developing our understanding of trust processes.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 2022
Externally publishedYes
EventFirst International Network on Trust, FINT 2022 - Darla Moore School of Business, Charleston, United States
Duration: 10 Mar 202212 Mar 2022


ConferenceFirst International Network on Trust, FINT 2022
Abbreviated titleFINT 2022
Country/TerritoryUnited States
Internet address


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