The loss of trust within and between organizations has become serious worldwide, especially in China. In this study, we seek to explain why as well as how leaders at two different levels (i.e., the top management and the supervisory levels) affect employees’ trust in leadership at the two levels distinctively, especially in the context of China as an emerging economy. Adopting the perspective of multi-level social exchanges within organizations, we develop a dual-level model with perceived organizational support and leader–member exchange as two major mediating mechanisms for the distinctive effects of transformational leadership behaviors on employees’ trust in leadership at both top management and supervisory levels, respectively. The empirical evidence based on a sample of 357 Chinese employees and their supervisors supports the proposed model. Both theoretical and practical implications of our findings are discussed.
- Trust in Leadership
- Dual-level Effect
- Social Exchange
- Perceived Organizational Support
- Leader-member Exchange