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Title: Interpersonal trust in the coal-mining industry : a facet analysis
Author: Clark, Murray C.
Awarding Body: University of Manchester
Current Institution: University of Manchester
Date of Award: 1993
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The importance of trust as a basic variable in interpersonal and group behaviour has been the subject of much thought and research. It seems apparent from the many references to trust in the organizational behaviour literature that trust acts as a fundamental building block upon which basic human interaction is based. Despite all these references, however, there has been relatively little research into what is meant by trust as an organizational variable and more importantly, perhaps, how it is developed. This thesis is a theoretical and empirical exploration of the nature of trust at work, and in particular, presents an investigation of the characteristics of trust in the context of worker-manager relationships at UK coal mines. There is a great deal of conceptual diversity concerning the nature and meaning of trust and in order to conduct useful research, it was deemed necessary to firstly unravel some of the confusion surrounding interpersonal trust by examining it as a concept rather than investigating its links to other variables. A definitional framework for the construct of trust was, therefore, developed: a framework that permitted the formulation of an operational definition of trust at work, one that could then be related to empirical observation. The 'formulation of the framework was facilitated by the use of the research methodology termed "Facet Theory" which is based upon the theory of facets developed principally by Louis Guttman. The facet approach may be seen as providing an approach to defining behavioural constructs and to testing hypotheses concerning the correspondence between behavioural definitions and empirical observations on variables that are representative of the construct. The facet approach encouraged clearer thinking in the construction of a pertinent definitional framework and enabled significant characteristics and possible sources of trust to be identified. Five distinct components with respect to an individual's attitude to trust significant others in the work environment were identified. These related to workmen's and manager's perception of the other's competence, integrity, fairness of behaviour, loyalty and openness. Instruments to measure aspects of these trust components were developed and were shown as having good reliability and validity with respect to theoretically and conceptually related measures. It was then shown that these could be used to identify differences between trust profiles of individuals and groups, and provided useful insights into what influences the development of trust. The contribution of this thesis to the study of trust is argued as resting principally on the development of a strong definitional framework from which to conduct further meaningful research.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available