U.S. Department of Defense


Date of this Version



Group & Organization Management 37(2) 137–170;

DOI: 10.1177/1059601111434202


Swift starting action teams (STATs) are increasingly prevalent in organizations, and the development of trust is often a critical issue for their effectiveness. However, current theory and research do not provide a clear picture regarding how trust toward the team (i.e., the team as the target) is developed in these settings. The primary contribution of this article is to present a theoretical framework describing how individual-level trust toward one’s team is developed in STAT contexts. This article integrates several existing trust theories into one comprehensive context-specific multilevel theory of how trust develops in STATs from cognitive, affective, behavioral, and contextual perspectives. This framework furthers our understanding of the unique antecedents of initial trust in STATs, how trust attitudes are adjusted over the short amount of time the team interacts, and how the team context influences this developmental process.