Title page for ETD etd-05102007-134424

Type of Document Master's Thesis
Author Whitmore, Corrie Baird
Author's Email Address corriew@vt.edu
URN etd-05102007-134424
Title Development of trust in leadership: Exploring a cognitive process model.
Degree Master of Science
Department Psychology
Advisory Committee
Advisor Name Title
Foti, Roseanne J. Committee Chair
Donovan, John J. Committee Member
Hauenstein, Neil M. A. Committee Member
  • transformational leadership
  • leader integrity
  • trust
  • leadership
  • cognitive process model
  • organizational justice
  • leader prototypicality
  • cognitive trust
Date of Defense 2007-02-23
Availability unrestricted
This thesis explored the cognitive, character-inference process that Dirks & Skarlicki (2004) assert contributes to trust development. Self-reported transformational leadership, leader integrity, organizational justice, and leader prototypicality correlated positively with cognitive trust in this sample of 81 student employees (63% female, mean age 20.5) of a large southeastern university. Leader prototypicality, a cognitive evaluation process, partially mediated the relationship between leader integrity and trust. This study’s prime contribution was the longitudinal, empirical test of a model of trust development in interdependent leader-follower dyads. Future research may explore other antecedents of trust, assess how the cognitive process of trust development occurs, or investigate the relationship-based social exchange mechanism Dirks and Skarlicki (2004) suggest contributes to the development of affective trust.
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