Exploring the relationships among trust, employee satisfaction, and organizational commitment

Yoon Jik Cho, Hanjun Park

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

83 Citations (Scopus)


This research seeks to answer two questions. The first question is this: 'Does trust matter for employee satisfaction and commitment?' In the business management field, one can find many empirical studies investigating trust as a valuable resource within organizations. The public management field, however, has paid less attention to this issue. This research investigates the role of trust within one US federal agency, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), by examining the relationships among several managerial practices, trust, and employee attitudes, including employee satisfaction and organizational commitment. Related to this is our second research question: 'How much is the effect of trust varied across different types of trust?' There are multiple trust relationships within organizations, among which we consider three types of trust based on the referent: trust in the immediate supervisor; trust in coworkers; and trust in management. We test whether each trust has a positive association with the given outcomes and which trust has the largest influence within the FAA. Using the data from the 2003 Employee Attitude Survey by the FAA, we test the above ideas. The structural equation model (SEM) analysis demonstrates the substantial relationships between trust and both employee satisfaction and organizational commitment. Among the three kinds of trust, trust in management has the strongest ties to both outcomes. Based on the findings, we insist that building trust deserves more attention in managing public organizations.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)551-573
Number of pages23
JournalPublic Management Review
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2011 May

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Public Administration


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