The relationship between organizational trust and perception of mindfulness: an exploration of high school athletic departments
This study looked at the relationship between organizational trust and athletic director mindfulness in high school athletic departments. Trust is a willingness to be vulnerable based on the belief that the other party is open, honest, competent, and benevolent (Tschannen-Moran & Hoy, 1997). Mindfulness is ongoing scrutiny of existing expectations, continuous refinement of those expectations based on new experiences, appreciation of the subtleties of context, and identification of novel aspects of context that can improve foresight and functioning (Hoy, 2003). The drive to have a successful high school athletic program is an acknowledgement of today's society in that high schools are competing for scarce resources. As a result, competition has led some departments to make illegal and unethical decisions within his or her athletic departments. Therefore, it is important to gain an understanding of the dynamics of coach's trust and athletic director decision-making in high school athletic departments. In this study, after confirming the factor structure and reliability of the instruments, data were collected using the Athletic Department Mindfulness Scale (ADMS) and the Athletic Department Trust Scale (ADTS). A diverse sample of 54 high schools was selected for this study and 134 coaches responded to the survey instruments. Data were collected by the researcher via email using Qualtrics and were assessed using correlational, multiple regression, and factor analyses. The results of the study indicated that a coach's level of trust in the athletic director has a significant relationship with the perception of athletic director mindfulness. That is, the greater the coach's trust in the athletic director, the more mindful the athletic director is in decision making. Mindfulness is a concept every athletic director should understand and practice, while trust seems to be needed to achieve this goal. Athletic directors need to lead in mindful ways by encouraging coaches to be pre-occupied with failure avoidance, reluctant to oversimplify, sensitive to the day-to-day, committed to resilience, and defer to experts regardless of their position. These findings present methods to elevate levels of trust and better incorporate mindful decision-making practices in high school athletic departments.