Trust and organizational citizenship: A study of the relationship of the three referents of trust and the organizational citizenship of elementary school teachers




McKenzie, Scott Gary

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Faculty trust and organizational citizenship are vital aspects for schools. Both facets are of increased importance in this age of accountability and declining resources. The major focus of this study was to examine the relationship between dimensions of faculty trust and organizational citizenship by elementary school teachers. The general hypothesis of this study was that elements of faculty trust would combine to provide a significant set of predictors to organizational citizenship of elementary school teachers. In addition, it was hypothesized that trust in the principal would emerge as the best predictor of organizational citizenship by the faculty. The sample was comprised of 112 elementary schools in south central Texas. While the data was collected from individual teachers, the focus of analysis was on the aggregate perception of trust and organizational citizenship, therefore the unit of analysis was the schools.

The Omnibus T-Scale (Hoy & Tschannen-Moran, 2003) and the Organizational Citizenship Behavior Scale (DiPaola, Tarter, and Hoy, 2005) were utilized to measure the faculty perceptions of trust and organizational citizenship. Factor analysis was performed on both instruments. Both instruments were found to have favorable factor structures consistent with theoretical underpinnings. Descriptive statistics were summarized for all variables. Correlation coefficients were computed for the trust referents, socio-economic status of students, and school size with organizational citizenship. Further testing of the variables was conducted using multiple regression analysis.

The general hypothesis of the study was supported; the model of the three referents of trust, student socio-economic status, and school size accounted for a substantial amount of variance in organizational citizenship. However, a more refined analysis of the relationships refuted Hypothesis Two. Trust in the principal did not make a statistically significant individual contribution to the variance in organizational citizenship. Instead, trust in colleagues and trust in clients emerged as significant indicators of organizational citizenship in elementary schools. Furthermore, collegial trust proved to be the best predictor of organizational citizenship. A significant finding was that neither student socio-economic status nor school size showed statistically significant influence with organizational citizenship. This is especially significant as in many studies of the social effects of schools, student socio-economic status is consistently noted as both a pervasive and deleterious school influence. However, the data from this study refutes this view.


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Elementary, Elementary Teachers, Organizational Citizenship, Trust



Educational Leadership and Policy Studies