Date of Award

2013

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy

School

School of Education

Program

Leadership PhD

First Advisor

Robson M. Marinho

Second Advisor

Isadore Newman

Third Advisor

Sylvia Gonzalez

Abstract

Problem Statement. There are conflicting studies on the relationship between the union and nonunion faculty and trust. Studies have shown that the union environment inherently produces a distrustful atmosphere and, with a union, employees are actually more dissatisfied than their nonunion counterparts. On the other hand, this has created a cycle where faculty may not trust administration, and administration may not trust faculty. For example, when doing negotiations, each party fights on behalf of itself, instead of fighting for the betterment of the organization. However, unions can give faculty a voice with administration and state and federal government, and may positively influence extrinsic rewards such as salary and benefits. This study investigated the relationship between faculty trust towards administration, other faculty, and union membership—specifically how trust is related to the relationships of faculty, administration, and the union.

Method. This study used ex post facto or non-experimental research, which is a systematic inquiry where the researcher does not have control over the independent variables. It was used to determine if there is a relationship between faculty’s level of trust and their desire to be unionized, or if already unionized their desire was to stay unionized. This type of research displays the relationships among the variables but does not assume cause or effect. The Omnibus T-Scale developed by Hoy and Tschannen-Moran in 2003 was used to measure trust with their colleagues (other faculty), trust with administration, and trust total. The trust survey was sent to the full-time faculty at five Michigan community colleges. Community colleges selected were similar in size, demographics, and setting. The main difference for all of the community colleges is their union membership. Three nonunionized community colleges in Michigan were selected along with two unionized community colleges similar to the non-unionized community colleges in demographics, socioeconomic status, student population, and full-time faculty.

Results. Based on these findings, this study led to the conclusion that there is a relationship between unionization and trust between faculty at unionized schools and administration. There is not a significant difference between trust at unionized and nonunionized schools and faculty. In fact, these findings are consistent with the literature that says, “There is usually an inverse relationship between rules and trust: the more people depend on rules to regulate their interactions, the less they trust others, and vice versa.” On the other hand, one important finding of this study that does not seem to be addressed in the literature is that there does not seem to be a relationship between trust and faculty and other faculty in regard to unionization status.

Conclusion. According to the findings of this study, trust tends to make a difference on faculty trust with administration in a unionized environment. Trust is foundational to all relationships; it may positively influence faculty job satisfaction, student retention, and student engagement, and improve organizational effectiveness. It is my expectation that this study will help community college administrators develop strategies to increase trust

Subject Area

College teachers' unions--Michigan, Labor unions--Michigan, Community colleges--Michigan, Community college teachers--Michigan, Community college administrators--Michigan, Teacher-administration relationships

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