Degree Type


Date of Award


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


Sociology and Anthropology

First Advisor

William F. Woodman


Contemporary research on organizational trust views it as either rational or relational phenomenon that is a result of interpersonal bonds or cooperative relationships between the trusting parties. Resent studies agree that a certain degree of trust must be embedded in and enacted through organizational interactions and structures, taking trust from a purely interpersonal phenomenon to a more complex organizational phenomenon that has multiple antecedents;This study hypothesizes that that an organizational member's intention to trust others in the organization is affected by six factors: (1) the individual's propensity to trust, (2) co-workers' character and behaviors, (3) bosses' character and behavior, (4) organizational structures, (5) interactions outside of the organization, and (6) the individual's propensity to distrust. The study also suggests that individual intention to trust others in organizations varies depending on the degree of organizational formalization and centralization;To confirm the existence of the proposed factors and explore the potential influence of structural dimensions on individual intention to trust, the Organizational Trust Questionnaire (the OTQ) was constructed and distributed to the employees of a law enforcement agency and a university. The data was analyzed using exploratory and confirmatory factor analyses and the Structural Equations Modeling technique;The findings validate the OTQ and establish its usability in both civilian and military-type organizations. The results demonstrate that faculty members and professional and scientific employees of the university have higher levels of intention to trust than sworn officers of a law enforcement agency and merit employees of the university. These differences are attributed to the differences in levels of centralization and formalization in the two organizations.



Digital Repository @ Iowa State University,

Copyright Owner

Ekaterina S. Ralston



Proquest ID


File Format


File Size

205 pages