Building Trust in Organizations

Business    Managers/Executives/Administrators

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TITLE: Building Trust in Organizations
RESEARCHER: Steve Schubert
College of Business and Public Management
University of La Verne
Unpublished master’s thesis: March 2006

The purpose of this study was to identify leadership behaviours that support trust and the benefits to organizations where trust exists.

The sample consisted of a random sample (N = 300) of all members of the California Association of Public Purchasing Officers in southern California, of which 38 agreed to participate. There were 13 women and 17 men in the sample (18 of whom were managers) and they each completed the Leadership Practices Inventory. Nine were subsequently interviewed.

The most frequent leadership practice was Enabling, followed by Model and Challenge, and then Encourage and Inspiring. No significant difference on Enabling was found between managers and non-managers. Interview data suggested that building trust required the leader to “lead by example and take responsibility for their actions” and “the leader being respectful with followers” (p. 33). Gaining trust, according to participants, required that “the leader would have to be honest with their employees” as well as “being respectful, listening and creating a working environment with open communications” (p. 34).