The Relationships among Authentic Leadership, Social Exchange Relationships, and Trust in Organizations during COVID-19 Pandemic


  • James K.C. Chen Department of Business Administration, Asia University, Taichung, in Taiwan Corresponding Author
  • Thitima Sriphon Department of Business Administration, Asia University, Taichung, in Taiwan Corresponding Author



authentic leadership, trust, social exchange relationships, COVID-19 factors


Purpose: Trust is essential for organizations' cooperative relationships during COVID-19. Authentic leadership and social exchange relationships are required to increase trust during a crisis. However, leader behaviors during COVID-19 have effects on the relationships among authentic leadership, social exchange relationships, and trust in organizations to understand their effects. The moderating effects of leader behaviors during COVID-19 on the relationships among authentic leadership, social exchange relationships, and trust in organizations are investigated.

Design/ Methodology/Approach: Hierarchical multiple regression with interaction terms is used to examine interactions of leader behaviors during COVID-19 on the relationships between variables. Moreover, bootstrapping is performed to explore the mediating role of social exchange relationships between authentic leadership and trust in organizations.

Findings: The findings indicate that authentic leadership positively affects social exchange relationships and trust, whereas social exchange relationships positively affect trust. Moreover, a social exchange relationship has a mediating effect between authentic leadership and trust. Both leader behaviors are regrading (a) managerial ability with ethics and (b) a positive working relationship based on work from home as moderators, positively influencing authentic leadership, social exchange relationships, and trust.

Practical implications: This paper suggests that authentic leadership increases the quality of social exchange relationships and trust. Leader behavior qualities and leader-follower relationships based on social exchange theory are essential for improving trust even after post-COVID-19. Finally, based on the social exchange theory, leader behavior qualities and leader-follower relationships can motivate positive relationships in organizations. The chief executive officers (CEOs) and the organizational management teams benefit from the outcomes of this paper to comprehend which factors affect relationships and trust changes in organizations.

Keywords: authentic leadership (AL); trust; social exchange relationships (SERs); Leader behaviors during COVID-19  


JEL:  D23, D91, M14


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How to Cite

Chen, J. K. ., & Sriphon, T. (2022). The Relationships among Authentic Leadership, Social Exchange Relationships, and Trust in Organizations during COVID-19 Pandemic. Advances in Decision Sciences, 26(1), 31-68.