179910 Trust Relationships among Public Health Workers: An Application of the Leader-member (LMX) Theory

Wednesday, October 29, 2008: 8:50 AM

William A. Mase, DrPH(c), MPH, MA , College of Medicine, Department of Public Health Sciences, University of Cincinnati, Cincinnati, OH
James W. Holsinger, MD, PhD , College of Public Health, University of Kentucky, Lexington, KY
The importance of trust and relationship development between managers and their subordinates are key to organizational success and individual-level goal realization within public health departments. Leader-member Exchange (LMX) provides an effective analytical tool by which to quantify the strength of relationships between pairs of people, specifically managers and employees. This research explores the differential effects of workplace ‘trust' and LMX and the concomitant barriers women and racial/ethnic minorities experience within the public health workplace. Trust is essential in the successful accomplishment of work and is linked to network relationships. These relationships within public health vary widely at the organizational level, as health departments/districts differ greatly in size and scope. The analysis of trust in relationship to LMX is specific to dyads; effective relationship pairs within the work environment and the unit of analysis relevant to the LMX.

Research Questions

1) Are there differential effects by gender, race, and ethnicity as measured by the Conditions of Trust Inventory?

2) Are there differential effects by gender, race, and ethnicity in strength and direction of Leader-member Exchange (LMX) measurements?

Data was collected in the Commonwealth of Kentucky and the State of Ohio at two combined health districts. The health districts participating in the research employed between 70 and 80 full time equivalent employees. Both health districts provide services to urban, suburban and rural populations.

Learning Objectives:
1) To think critically about intra-organizational trust within the public health work setting. 2) To increase awareness of the differential effects of gender and race within the public health setting. 3) To increase awareness of the Leader-member Exchange Theory (LMX) used to analyze public health workers.

Keywords: Leadership, Management

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: The research I am presenting represents the dissertation work I am completing for the Dr.P.H. degree
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.