Kyle Ristig

Date of Award

Spring 2004

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Business Administration (DBA)



First Advisor

Anthony Inman


The purpose of this dissertation was to empirically investigate the antecedents and consequences of trust within organizations. Specifically, trustworthiness and perceived organizational support were examined as antecedents of trust, and organizational commitment, voice behavior, and withdrawal cognitions were examined as direct or indirect consequences of trust. The peripheral trait of proactive personality was also examined with regard to its direct relationship with voice, as well as the extent to which it moderates the relationship between trust and voice behavior.

The sample frame consisted of employees and supervisors from a firearms distributor located in the southern United States. A self-report questionnaire was distributed to employees and a second survey instrument was distributed to supervisors to evaluate their employees. This second source of information would help alleviate common method variance. A total of 105 matched supervisor and employee evaluations were received, providing a response rate of 82 percent.

Results indicate both perceived organizational support and trustworthiness are positively related to trust. Based upon a usefulness analysis, trustworthiness accounted for a greater amount of incremental variance in trust than perceived organizational support. The hypotheses regarding statistically significant relationships between trust and voice and proactive personality and voice were not supported. Organizational commitment was not found to have a mediating effect on the trust and voice relationship, and proactive personality was not found to moderate the relationship between voice and trust. Trust was found to be positively related to organizational commitment as hypothesized, and trust partially mediated the relationships between POS and organizational commitment, and partially mediated the relationship between trustworthiness and organizational commitment. Organizational commitment was not found to be related to voice. Higher levels of organizational commitment did, however, lead to lower levels of withdrawal cognitions.

The managerial and theoretical implications of the findings are discussed as well as contributions to the existing literature. Finally, suggestions for future research are presented.