Is a description of employment relations that derives from the assumption that the natural tendency of workers is to shirk. As workers cannot be ‘trusted’ to work effectively on the organization's behalf, managements institute a variety of controls to secure employee compliance. These can include the design of jobs so as to minimize scope for worker discretion (and disruption), close supervision, and the use of incentives to motivate worker performance. Controls of this kind, however, may institute a low-trust dynamic as employees reciprocate with the kind of instrumentalism and hostility to management that were assumed to exist in the first place. [See high trust.]
Subjects: Human Resource Management.