Impersonal trust

Impersonal trust is a 31-item measure of organizational impersonal trust. The scale assesses the individual employee’s expectation about the employer organization’s capability and fairness.


Geographies Tested: Finland

Populations Included: Female, Male

Age Range: Adults


1.Our organization is capable of adapting to changing conditions
2.There are routines in our organization that help us to overcome exceptional situations
3.It is difficult for me to handle things in our organization
4.Our organization efficiently utilizes the expertise of its staff
5.Work is well organized in our organization
6.Our organization functions on such a firm foundation that changes in our operating environment do not threaten its operations
7.People employed by our organization have a poor employment outlook for the future with this employer
8.Our organization’s top management has a vision of the course in which to take the organization in the future
9.Changes have to take place in our organization’s top management for our operations to develop
10.In my opinion, the top management is taking our organization in the right direction
11.The top management makes decisions that will endanger the operations of our organization in the future
12.I have faith in the professionalism of the top management
13.The tools I need to do my work (e.g. tools or equipment) work properly
14.The equipment that is crucial for the operation of our organization (e.g. computer hardware and production machines) functions reliably
15.I receive assistance with technical problems whenever I need it
16.I believe that we have products and services that allow us to match the competition
17.I believe that the other players in the field are ahead of our organization
18.Outsiders consider my organization to be a good place to work
19.My salary is unfair in comparison with that received by other employees in our organization who do the same work
20.The people rewarded for the success of our organization are those who deserve to be rewarded
21.My employer offers me opportunities to educate myself and develop myself in my profession
22.Skilled employees have the possibility of taking up more responsible positions
23.My employer has kept the promises they made with regard to my career
24.The top management puts its success ahead of that of the employees
25.I receive information on changes in the organization that are important to me
26.The information that is distributed in our organization is up-to-date
27.Information on matters important to me is communicated openly in our organization
28.Our organization’s internal communication functions poorly
29.In our organization there is opportunism that harms the organization’s operations
30.I have to compromise my ethical principles in order to succeed in our organization
31.The top management has made it clear that unethical action is not tolerated in our organization

Response Options:
A 5-point Likert scale, ranging from “I totally disagree” to “I totally agree.”

Scoring Procedures

Not Available

Original Citation

Vanhala, M., Puumalainen, K., & Blomqvist, K. (2011). Impersonal trust. Personnel Review.

Psychometric Score

Ease of Use Score

Scoring breakdown

Formative Research

Qualitative Research

Existing Literature/Theoretical Framework

Field Expert Input

Cognitive Interviews / Pilot Testing








Criterion (gold-standard)



Ease of Use


Scoring Clarity


Join the EMERGE Community

to get the latest updates on new measures and guidance for survey researchers