The purpose of this paper is to show how trust as an organizational value contributes to employee competence utilization in the case of innovation capability. Thus, it is the objective of this paper to analyze the positive impacts, but also potential limits of trust in business management. The research paper uses two different quantitative empirical studies drawn from German and Austrian mid-sized companies to empirically test this interrelation. As a result, the paper determines particular aspects of trust such as accountability, shared norms and the ability to take responsibility to be interrelated with the usage of employee competences and underlines a positive connection between product innovation performance and trust. However, the trust concept needs enriching elements to be balanced towards a feeling of mutual reliance and support creativity instead; inclusions of bridging social capital, elements of distrust and a pioneering spirit are to be mentioned here.
Trust, employee competence utilization, innovation, creativity