The ultimate aim of this work is to contribute to the knowledge of how trust influences and relates to those practices that best support student development and growth as educated and productive citizens, prepared to share in our democratic society-which is the ultimate purpose of our schools (Dewey & Dewey, 1915). Specifically, this thesis investigates the role of trust in relationships between school principals and teachers. A comparative analysis of available literature was conducted using grounded theory methodologies to inform the development of a proposed conceptual model describing the role of trust in organizational processes within the school, specifically between the principal and the teacher. There is sufficient literature in the realm of leadership theory and organizational behavior and psychology to justify the links among motivation, action, and outcomes. The intent of this treatise is not to spend an inordinate amount of time rehashing these well-established links. What is distinctive in this model is the assertion that trust relationships are a prerequisite for motivation, and therefore the subsequent actions and outcomes of a leadership process. Therefore, a large majority of this work is devoted to developing a strong understanding of trust, the components of trust, and the underlying need for trust. Examples from the literature and personal experience are then used to suggest future study to validate the groundedness of the model and to suggest ways for educational leaders to build trust within their organizations, using the model to predict outcomes of each strategy, and to promote student achievement.



College and Department

David O. McKay School of Education; Educational Leadership and Foundations



Date Submitted


Document Type





trust, education, school, leader, predictability, risk, principal, teacher, grounded theory, trust model, trust process, components of trust, need for trust, modernity, comparative analysis