Organization Development



Degree Name

Doctor of Education in Organization Development (Ed.D.)

Type of Paper/Work



David Jamieson

Second Advisor

Robert Barnett

Third Advisor

Robert Eichinger


Trust among coworkers and workplace leaders are related to key outcomes such as helping behavior, relationship building, and team effectiveness. The personality style of the individuals who must trust each other is an integral part of developing that trust. This study examines the relationship among three trust constructs (trust, trustworthiness, and propensity to trust) and two personality scales (Big Five and Insights). Approximately 900 individuals from 18 different U.S. organizations participated in this research. These analyses examined the relationship between personality and trust in both managers and direct reports and reviewed personality styles as an antecedent of trust between managers and direct reports.

The findings showed that agreeableness was found to be a significant predictor of propensity to trust; the higher an individual’s agreeableness and emotional stability, the higher their propensity to trust. No significant relationships existed between propensity to trust and conscientiousness, extraversion, or intellect/imagination. Perceptions of extraversion were not significant in predicting ratings of trustworthiness and the overall model of control variables and perceptions of each of the Big Five traits was well-fitted to the prediction of ratings of leader trustworthiness. Those leading with red energy (extraverted – thinking) tended to have significantly lower propensity to trust then those leading with green energy (introverted – feeling) and was the only significant difference at the .01 level. Employees who perceived their leaders as having a yellow (extraverted - feeling) personality style rated them as less trustworthy than leaders who were perceived as having blue (introverted – thinking) or green (introverted - feeling personality styles. Finally, there were no significant differences in the levels of trust experienced when looking at the interaction of personality styles between employees and leaders.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.