Investigating the convergent validity of organizational trust


Author/Creator ORCID





Citation of Original Publication

Vinita Agarwal, (2013) "Investigating the convergent validity of organizational trust", Journal of Communication Management, Vol. 17 Issue: 1, pp.24-39,



Purpose: Organizational trust is an important construct for organizational and public relations scholars and practitioners for its influence on key organizational outcomes yet the convergent validity of organizational trust instruments has not been investigated by any study. Design/Methodology/Analyses: IRB approval was obtained for a cross sectional study design gathering self-reports from participants through an online data gathering system of a large Midwestern university in the USA. Correlational matrices along with exploratory and confirmatory factor analyses adapting the multitrait-multimethod matrix were employed for data analysis (Campbell and Fiske, 1959). Findings: The three trust measures demonstrate mixed evidence of convergent validity with each other and with a theoretically correlated construct, organizational identification demonstrating that while the three measures share the same conceptual ground, there is a need to clarify their underlying theoretical specification, especially with respect to organizational identification. Research Limitations/Implications: Future large scale studies can extend the findings based on a student population by employing multiple and diverse data sets as well as investigate method variance. Practical Implications: Recommendations to improve convergent validity include: (a) increasing item parsimony to decrease redundancy, (b) revise item construction, and (c) improved theoretical specification investigating the conceptual boundaries organizational identification with trust. Originality/Value: The study provides empirical evidence for the need for greater conceptual and operational clarification of the theoretical bases of trust. It is the first to advance research on trust in organizations by providing empirical support for the convergent validity of organizational trust measures assessed from organizational, interpersonal, and public relations perspectives.