Successful educational systems are established, maintained, and cultivated on a foundation of trust. Effective communication among colleagues is widely accepted as a characteristic of groups who establish and maintain high levels of trust. Despite the importance of the relationships between interpersonal communication skills and levels of organizational trust in postsecondary educational settings, there is very little published on this topic. Further, no published research was located that examined relationships between measures of mindfulness in communication with levels of organizational trust in postsecondary educational settings. This study examined relationships between measures of competent and mindful communication with levels of organizational trust among coworkers, with supervisors, and with the organization in a postsecondary academic library. Study participants included 116 out of 150 non-student library employees of a postsecondary academic library on a large suburban private university campus. The research survey was comprised of four different instruments: the SocioCommunicative Orientation Scale (SCO; Richmond & McCroskey, 1990); the Cognitive Flexibility Scale (CFS; Martin & Rubin, 1995); the Mindfulness in Communication Scale (MCS; Arendt et al., 2019); and the Workplace Trust Survey (WTS; Ferres & Travaglione, 2003). The functioning of each instrument was examined by confirmatory factor analysis. Satisfactory model fit for each instrument was obtained. Structural equation modeling revealed that self-reported levels of communication responsiveness predicted levels of trust in coworkers (p = .02). Perceived levels of mindfulness in communication of coworkers predicted levels of trust in coworkers (p < .001), and perceived levels of mindfulness in communication of supervisors (p < .001) predicted levels of trust in supervisors. This research suggests that perceptions of mindfulness in communication among coworkers and with supervisors are associated with levels of organizational trust within postsecondary academic settings in important ways. Further research is necessary to increase understanding of the relationships between mindfulness in communication and organizational trust in educational environments.
College and Department
David O. McKay School of Education; Educational Inquiry, Measurement, and Evaluation
BYU ScholarsArchive Citation
Peterson, Rebecca Jo, "What Did You Say? Investigating the Relationship of Self-Perceived Communication Competence and Mindfulness in Communication on Levels of Organizational Trust in a Postsecondary Academic Library" (2021). Theses and Dissertations. 9111.
trust (psychology), communication skills, interpersonal communication, mindfulness, factor analysis, structural equation models