The Relationship Between Organizational Trust and Job Satisfaction
An Analysis in the U.S. Federal Work Force
The issues of trust and job satisfaction have taken on a greater strategic importance in organizations since the post-Enron scandal. Without trust or the lack of it among organizational members and between management and employees, organizational communication, knowledge management, organizational performance, and involvement may tend to close down. Trust has been identified as a crucial ingredient for organizational effectiveness. A linkage between trust and job satisfaction in private organizations has been established by researchers; however, in the U.S. federal government, the linkage between organizational trust and job satisfaction has not yet been studied. This study, therefore, explores the relationship between organizational trust and job satisfaction in seven selected small, medium, and large U.S. federal agencies. This study indicated that there are no significant differences between males and females, however, significant differences in attitudes between supervisors and nonsupervisors were found regarding what good communications meant and how they interpret the question, “top management truly listens to employees’ concerns.” Nonsupervisors tend to disagree more frequently than supervisors. The study also found that there are significant association between gender, age group, job location, position, and occupation and agency. The differences in attitudes between supervisors and nonsupervisors about what would make communications seem good and what would contribute to the belief that top management listens to employees’ concerns lead to the conclusion that there is a disconnection among organizational members and among management and employees. This disconnection may lead to mistrust, job dissatisfaction and the difficulty in attracting and retention of human talents.
About the Author
Dr. Phuong L. Callaway is the Assistant to the Associate Managing Director for the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) Training Center. Dr. Callaway was employed with the U.S. federal government in 1991 and served in various administrative positions, including Senior Administrative Officer for the NTSB's Office of Aviation Safety, Resource Manager and Chief, Administrative Staff, Dairy Program, Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS), Marketing and Regulatory Programs (MRP), U.S. Department of Agriculture, located in Washington D.C. Her other administrative positions included Budget Analyst and Personnel Management Specialist for the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS), Marketing and Regulatory Programs, U.S. Department of Agriculture. Dr. Callaway also served as EEO Coordinator, Change Agent, Mediator, Workforce Planning and Strategic Planning for MRP organizations. Prior to joining the federal government, she worked for the Office of Admissions, Registration and Records and the Office of Human Resources of Montgomery College, Rockville Campus, Maryland, for ten years.
Dr. Callaway holds an Associate in Art degree in Accounting, a Bachelor of Science degree in Management and Business, a Master of Science degree in General Administration, Human Resources Management track, and a Doctor of Philosophy (graduated with honors) in Organization and Management, with specialty in Human Resources Management.