BACKGROUND : Primary labour relationships (PLRs) occur within supervisory relationships. Previous studies confirmed that compliance, fairness, good faith and trust were interrelated facilitators of positive perceptions of primary labour relationship quality. Many researchers regard trust as a primary requirement for effective implementation of formal and psychological employment contracts.
AIM : This study investigated the nature and direction of relationships between subordinate employee perceptions of the levels of compliance, fairness and good faith in PLRs and levels of trust in PLRs.
SETTING : Two interviewers adopted snowball sampling approaches to conduct structured interviews with 68 subordinate employees residing in Gauteng, South Africa.
METHODS : The researcher adopted a mixed-method research methodology that included a thorough literature review, development of a structured interview, interviewing 68 voluntary participants and statistical analysis of data.
RESULTS : Confident conclusions were drawn and discussed, and related limitations were explained. Specific recommendations for further research into the relationships and dynamics of trust-related phenomena in PLRs were made.
CONCLUSION : It was confidently concluded that literature and empirical findings, jointly and separately, provided ample evidence of positive relationships between subordinate employee perceptions of the levels of trust and their perceptions of the levels of compliance, fairness and good faith in PLRs. Accordingly, it can be confidently expected that lower levels of trust will be related to lower levels of perceived compliance, fairness and good faith in PLRs, and higher levels of trust will be related to higher levels of perceived compliance, fairness and good faith in PLRs. Causality was not investigated in this study.