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Leadership Behaviours which Inspire Trust

Leadership Behaviours which Inspire Trust

Dr. Canute Thompson
Faculty of Humanities and Education
School of Education

The Problem

  • One imperative of effective leadership is inspiring and winning the trust of others.
  • Distrust affects an organization’s performance negatively as high levels of trust affect performance positively. The issue of trust is, therefore, a major bottom-line issue.
  • Hurley (2006) found that of 450 executives across 30 companies globally, almost half of all managers did not trust their leaders.

Research Questions

  1. What trust-producing behaviors may leaders adopt in order to respond to the needs and expectations of employees?
  2. What is the relationship among the behaviours?

Research Methodology

  • The study uses an exploratory descriptive quantitative research design and a convenience sampling technique with a sample of 97 teachers.
  • The instrument was tested for reliability using Chronbach’s alpha and generated a result of .938, which exceeds the ideal reliability reading of .90 suggested by Nunnally (1978).


Trust-producing behaviours:

  1. Trusting in the collective wisdom of staff
  2. Encouraging diversity of perspectives
  3. Willingness to debate issues in situations where opinions differ
  4. Being a good listener
  5. Promoting collective responsibility
  6. Responding positively to staff when there is disagreement

Figure 1 Relationship among Trust-producing behaviours

Figure 1 Relationship among Trust-producing behaviours


Impact for Society

Improvements in trust in the workplace,has implications for employee and organizational health. It is a psychological, sociological, and managerial issue which ultimately impacts on productivity and innovation and by extension employee commitment and organizational profitability. It is, therefore, a principal duty of the leader to create the conditions for trust.

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