Saf Health Work.  2010 Sep;1(1):87-97.

Different Effects of Workers' Trust on Work Stress, Perceived Stress, Stress Reaction, and Job Satisfaction between Korean and Japanese Workers

  • 1Safety and Health Statistics Team, Occupational Safety and Health Research Institute, KOSHA, Incheon, Korea.


This study was conducted to investigate the effect of trust on work stress. Trust can be classified into three dimensions; social trust, institutional trust, and trust in others. The relationship between work stress and trust is regarded as having three components. First, trust has an influence on work stressors as an antecedent variable; secondly, trust modifies the effect of the various stressors, and finally, trust is one of the stressors.
Data for this study was collected by interviews and self-administered structured questionnaires from 376 Korean and 77 Japanese workers in small businesses. Subjects were selected by two stage stratified random sampling from the working population of manufacturing industries.
Three different positions of trust are significantly related with the stress causation web. Social trust, institutional trust and trust in others significantly influence different work stressors in both Korean and Japanese workers. Three different kinds of trust influence work stressors among Korean workers, but institutional trust has no impact on work stressors among Japanese workers. As a moderating variable for perceived stress, distrust in an employer is statistically significant in both groups. However, stress symptom prevalence among Korean workers is modified by caution, trust in career development, and distrust in co-workers, but that of Japanese workers is modified only by distrust in employer. Job satisfaction of Korean workers is affected by general trust, utility of relation, institutional trust and trust in employer, but among Japanese workers, caution, reputation and trust in employer have influence on job satisfaction.
The effect of trust on work stress, perceived stress, stress reaction and job satisfaction are different among Korean workers and Japanese workers. Three dimensions of trust have three different positions as antecedent, moderating and mediating factors in stress causation.


Work stress; Social trust; Institutional trust; Organizational culture; Comparative study
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