The central role of communication in developing trust and its effect on employee involvement

Thomas, Gail, Zolin, Roxanne, & Hartman, Jackie (2009) The central role of communication in developing trust and its effect on employee involvement. Journal of Business Communication, 46(3), pp. 287-310.

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Communication plays an important role in the development of trust within an organization. While a number of researchers have studied the relationship of trust and communication, little is known about the specific linkages among quality of information, quantity of information, openness, trust, and outcomes such as employee involvement. This study tests these relationships using communication audit data from 218 employees in the oil industry. Using mediation analysis and structural equation modeling, we found that quality of information predicted trust of one's coworkers and supervisors while adequacy of information predicted one's trust of top management. Trust of coworkers, supervisors, and top management influenced perceptions of organizational openness, which in turn influenced employees' ratings of their own level of involvement in the organization's goals. This study suggests that the relationship between communication and trust is complex, and that simple strategies focusing on either quality or quantity of information may be ineffective for dealing with all members in an organization.

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ID Code: 26549
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: Yes
Additional URLs:
Keywords: Trust, Communication Satisfaction , Communication Audit, Communication Quality , Quantity of Communication
DOI: 10.1177/0021943609333522
ISSN: 0021-9436
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > COMMERCE MANAGEMENT TOURISM AND SERVICES (150000) > BUSINESS AND MANAGEMENT (150300) > Organisation and Management Theory (150310)
Divisions: Current > Research Centres > Australian Centre for Business Research
Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > QUT Business School
Current > Schools > School of Management
Deposited On: 29 Jul 2009 22:09
Last Modified: 29 Feb 2012 13:54

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