Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Intersections among trust, duty, and organizational culture
by Green-Flint, Jennifer Elizabeth, D.Prof., Shenandoah University, 2015, 166; 3737781
Abstract (Summary)

Understanding why some individuals trust the organization, why other individuals do not trust the organization, and how trust influences action and culture is an important organizational tool. For organizations, the relationship between these three concepts helps select, place, and manage employees.

This research examined the National Testing Site (NTS) in Mercury, Nevada during the Cold War as a total institution environment experienced by service members who were involved in the development and testing of thermonuclear weaponry. The intersection among the forces of trust, duty, and organizational culture, and how they affected a soldier’s professional and personal actions, were the study’s essential constructs. This study was guided by the following research questions: What role, if any, did the relationship among trust, duty, and organizational culture play as the service members experienced their environment? To what extend did the cultural imperatives of trust, duty, and organizational culture (including rank) influence the organization from the perspective of the service members at the NTS?

This research examined the service members’ sense-making processes related to their experience of their environment using Interpretive Phenomenological Analysis. Three sources of historical documents were analyzed: oral histories, court documents, and personal memoranda and letters.

Findings indicated self-identity determined the degree in which the individual trusted the command structure or scientific data and that self-identity predicted the object of the individual’s trust and the degree of influence duty had in compliance with the organizational culture. Findings suggested both trust and distrust were evident in service members’ experience of the NTS. However, distrust was a fluctuating construct and occurred in tandem with trust and in isolation from trust. Finally, analysis revealed no direct references to patriotism, a remarkable finding in the Korean War and McCarthy Cold War era on a military base. These findings provided support for the understanding of organizational culture as dynamic, interlaced with individual identity, and as key factors in the relationship with trust and duty.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Goss, John
Commitee: Combs, H. Jurgen, Copenhaver, John
School: Shenandoah University
Department: Leadership Studies
School Location: United States -- Virginia
Source: DAI-A 77/04(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Educational leadership
Keywords: Duty, Leadership, Organizational culture, Organizational theory, Trust
Publication Number: 3737781
ISBN: 978-1-339-27872-8
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