Principal influence and faculty trust: An analysis of teacher perceptions in Texas middle schools




Flores, Adrian A.

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There is compelling evidence that the principles of influence are powerful tools of persuasion. Their application to education is still in its infancy. On the contrary, trust is documented to cultivate a supportive school environment, open communication, and collaborative decision-making processes. School leaders can benefit from understanding how the influential nature of the campus principal influences faculty trust, a known factor contributing to campus effectiveness. Therefore, the primary objective of this study was to explore the relationships between principal influence and the three dimensions of faculty trust.

The general hypothesis of this study is that principal influence is positively related to school trust; however, school trust is viewed from the multi-dimensional perspective in relation to the faculty's collective trust in the principal, colleagues, and clients. Hence, the research addresses to what extent principal influence is a predictor of organizational trust.

Data was collected from teachers at 29 middle schools in south central Texas using the Omnibus T-Scale and the Persuasion Index. Correlation coefficients were calculated for principal influence on each of the aspects of faculty trust. Factor analyses were also performed on variables from the Omnibus T-Scale and the Persuasion Index. The general hypothesis that principal influence is positively related to school trust was sustained to a limited extent. A more refined analysis of the relationships indicated that principal influence emerged as a statistically significant predictor of school trust. Furthermore, the instruments employed in this study were found to have solid factor structures comparable with their theoretical foundations.


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Administration, Compliance, Influence, Persuasion, Principals, Trust



Educational Leadership and Policy Studies