Effects of delegated decision making and collective trust on organizational citizenship: an investigation of relationships
Research suggests organizational citizenship behaviors are related to trust in the principal (Dirks & Ferrin, 2002; Forsyth & Adams, 2010; Forsyth, Adams, & Hoy, 2011) and to trust in colleagues (Dipaola & Hoy 2005). This study identified a specific leader behavior, delegated decision making, and proposed a relationship between delegated decision making and OCB. This study argued delegated decision making, faculty trust in the principal, and faculty trust in colleagues would predict organizational citizenship The independent variables in the study are delegated decision making, faculty trust in the principal and faculty trust in colleagues. Delegated decision making is the entrusting of authority to others; the administrator assigns specific decisions to other members of the organizations (Hoy & Sousa, 1984). Propensity to delegate was operationalized using the 10 decision questions revised by Hoy and Sousa as adopted from the Aston approach developed by Pugh and Hickson (1976), and listed in their delegation study (Hoy & Sousa, 1984). Faculty trust in the principal means the faculty has confidence the principal will keep his or her word and act in the best interests of the teachers (Forsyth et al., 2011). Operationally, faculty trust in the principal was defined using the Omnibus Trust Scale. Faculty trust in colleagues is defined when the faculty believes teachers can depend on each other in difficult situations and rely on the integrity of their colleagues (Forsyth et al., 2011). Operationally, faculty trust in colleagues was defined using the Omnibus Trust Scale. The dependent variable in the study was organizational citizenship behavior. Organizational citizenship behaviors (OCBs) are behaviors that are directed toward helping others or toward achieving organizational goals (DiPaola & Tchannen-Moran, 2001). Organizational citizenship behavior was operationalized using the OCB Scale (DiPaola & Hoy, 2004). The data, a convenience sample, were gathered during regularly scheduled faculty meetings at 60 elementary schools in Northwest Alabama. The control variable was socioeconomic status (SES). Free and reduced lunch percentages was the proxy for SES, using the formula FRL-1 = SES. The unit of analysis was the school. This study tested the relationship of organizational citizenship behaviors (OCBs) to faculty trust in the principal and colleagues, and delegated decision making. Two research questions guided the study: 1. What is the relationship between OCB, trust in the principal, trust in colleagues, and delegated decision making? 2. Do delegated decision making, trust in the principal, and trust in colleagues individually and collectively explain OCB? The current study confirms prior research proposing a relationship between trust in the principal and colleagues, as well as a relationship between those two elements of trust and OCB. In the study, faculty trust in the principal was related to faculty trust in colleagues. Also, faculty trust in the principal and faculty trust in colleagues were both related to OCB. Delegated decision-making practices did not predict OCB in the current study; further, delegated decision making was not related to faculty trust in the principal or faculty trust in colleagues. The "tightly coupled" or bureaucratic structure commonly found in most elementary schools may present one explanation for the lack of relationship between delegated decision making and the other variables. The delegated decision-making instrument may have impacted the results. Some of the statements on the instrument appeared to be more common in secondary or higher education. These statements described decisions regarding the number of department heads in the school, whether a new course or subject will be introduced, creating a new department, and creating a new teaching or administrative position. Although the delegated decision-making instrument appeared appropriate for secondary or higher education, it might be prudent for another instrument to be developed with statements specifically designed for the elementary school organization. Understanding the relationship of the variables in this study may give school leaders a clearer vision of how their behaviors may influence the functioning of their schools.