Federal Employees' Peer Coworker Trust Experiences: A Qualitative Exploratory Case Study

Federal Employees' Peer Coworker Trust Experiences: A Qualitative Exploratory Case Study

Author: 
Chadrick Lamon Minnifield
Program of study: 
D.M.
Abstract: 
Interpersonal trust between coworkers remained understudied, despite the critical role of trust in public administration. The specific problem was federal government leaders cannot manage employee behaviors and organizational characteristics that shape peer coworker trust and distrust. The purpose of the qualitative exploratory single case study was to explore federal employee experiences to discover peer coworker behaviors and organizational characteristics that shape peer coworker trust. Mayer and colleagues’ model of trust and organizational citizenship behavior theory provided a two-part theoretical framework for conceptualizing peer coworker trust. Data were collected from federal employees assigned to a Washington, D.C. duty location via semi-structured interviews as well as documents and physical artifacts. The researcher used NVivo 11® to assist with managing, organizing, coding, and analyzing data. Data analysis resulted in 16 themes that shape peer coworker trust. Six main themes, including (1) transparent persona, (2) Machiavellian tactics, (3) remorse, (4) recognition programs, (5) supportive management, and (6) social interaction, were used to answer the two research questions. Research results unveiled peer coworker behaviors and organizational characteristics that shape peer coworker trust that leaders may use to manage peer coworker trust. Leaders who encourage transparent behaviors, discourage and denounce Machiavellian tactics, and encourage employees to demonstrate remorse after a coworker experiences distrust in them, may nurture peer coworker trust. At the organizational level, leaders who use recognition programs, provide supportive management, and foster social interaction may cultivate peer coworker trust. Fostering peer coworker trust may enhance employee engagement, which may lead to improved results-oriented cultures.
Dedication: 
The greatest waster in the world is the difference between what we are and what we could ultimately be. Dr. Martin Luther King, 1929-1968 First and foremost, I dedicate this study to my all my family and friends who never stopped believing in me, especially my wife, Vernessa. When I first learned about the doctoral program I said that I would reserve this space for three exceptional people. Kheri, you are the baby of my babies, and I cannot express enough how much your “cuddles” mean to daddy when I’m so exhausted from all the pressure. For that, I love you so much! Lydia, you’ll probably do this in half the time it took me. You are awesome, and I cannot wait until we are publishing together. Daddy is so proud of you and I love you so much! Rachel, I am so proud of the young lady that you have become. I know it has not been easy for you, and nobody wants to make it up to you more than me. Dad loves you so much!!! [Ra]chel, [Ly]dia, and [Kh]eri, I want you to know that you are limitless. Whatever you dream, dream big, and then go make your dreams come true. Most of all, I dedicate this study to Ma, my mother. I know what it feels like to look at your kids and know that they’ll do something special one day. Maybe you knew back then, before I knew myself, what would be. I never realized how much I took from you until I got close to finishing my doctoral program. As a child, I can remember being at your Delta graduation and how excited you were to be graduating with new skills to go out and make a difference, but also provide for your children. You have always been my number one cheerleader, and I can never say thank you enough for the encouragement and moral support!
Acknowledgements: 
I would like to acknowledge my dissertation chair, Dr. Shelley Kresyman, who provided exceptional guidance and words of encouragement throughout my journey. Dr. Kresyman made me more of a believer in me, and I am forever indebted to you! I also want to thank my dissertation committee members, Dr. Marianne Greenfield and Dr. Karen Sturtevant, who helped guide me to the finish line with their expertise. Dr. Kenae Black, a HUD colleague, thank you for your insight and assistance with my journey. Dr. Carey Williams, I appreciate your calls and words of encouragement! Thanks to Ronald (Ron) Sissel, Jr., who believed in what I wanted to accomplish, provided exceptional leadership during my employment at the Department of Labor, and who is one of the greatest leaders that I will ever know. Thank you Michelle ProctorHall for believing in the study and providing assistance! Valerie Sewell, who will complete her doctorate soon, thank you for being a peer and helping me think about ways to improve the study and improve professionally. Thank you to Mrs. Shirley Ware, Ms. Carol Luper, Ms. Kim Dixon, and the many primary and secondary Beaumont Independent School District educators who nurtured me as a child and student, and who cared enough to correct me and hold me accountable when I was wrong. Sorry for cheating on that book report Mrs. Ware, and I hope this in some way this makes up for it. Thank you to all my colleagues who listened to me with such patience as I talked about the study over and over again – and again! Lastly, a special thanks to all my family and friends because your support made it possible!!!