PERCEPTIONS OF TRUSTWORTHINESS IN THE EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR OF A SMALL COMMUNITY HEALTH CENTER: IMPLICATIONS FOR ORGANIZATIONAL DIRECTION

Open Access
Author:
Jones, Norm Jay
Graduate Program:
Workforce Education and Development
Degree:
Doctor of Philosophy
Document Type:
Dissertation
Date of Defense:
April 21, 2011
Committee Members:
  • William J Rothwell, Dissertation Advisor
  • William J Rothwell, Committee Chair
  • Judith Ann Kolb, Committee Member
  • Keith B Wilson, Committee Member
  • Wesley Edward Donahue, Committee Member
Keywords:
  • interpersonal trust
  • organizational leadership
  • leadership
  • organizational direction
  • organizational culture
  • trust and strategic planning
  • trust
Abstract:
Trust is a topic that has evolved from more of a psychological phenomenon associated primarily with personal relationships to a more broadly understood variable in development and maintenance of workplace relationships. Trust and trust development are key to defining the scope of both transactional and transformational relationships between people and groups within the workplace. This qualitative case study explores the subtopic of interpersonal trust— which is simply a delineation that indicates an exchange relationship which exists over time, and the ways in which five individuals associated with a small community health center perceive the executive director of the Center in the context of trustworthiness. The study further explores the implications of these perceptions on organizational direction, specifically as it relates to the Center’s current strategic plan. The analysis of the data resulted in the emergence of six primary themes: 1) the strategic plan considered in terms of administrative and board leadership, 2) organizational strategic focus areas, 3) organizational culture and leadership, 4) the senior leadership team, 5) perceptions of the executive director, and 6) perceptions of trust. These themes were synthesized into four areas of discussion: 1) its strategic focus areas as articulated in the current plan, 2) community impact, 3) leadership at the administrative level, and 4) opportunity for more intentional work around interpersonal trust development. The results reflect important connections and disconnections in the reflections of the senior leadership team, the executive director, her peer, and the chair of the board. The identification of these connections and disconnections become even more important in the context of the Center’s aspiration to become a Federally Qualified Health Center (FQHC) and reflect the opportunity for further qualitative research into trust development and its implication on organizational direction.