<%BANNER%>

Exploring the Linkages among Employee Communication, Relational Trust, and Ethical Organizational Climates in Employee-O...

Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UFE0042701/00001

Material Information

Title: Exploring the Linkages among Employee Communication, Relational Trust, and Ethical Organizational Climates in Employee-Organizational Relationships
Physical Description: 1 online resource (176 p.)
Language: english
Creator: KIM,SOO YEON
Publisher: University of Florida
Place of Publication: Gainesville, Fla.
Publication Date: 2011

Subjects

Subjects / Keywords: EMPLOYEE -- ORGANIZATIONAL -- PUBLIC -- RELATIONSHIP
Journalism and Communications -- Dissertations, Academic -- UF
Genre: Mass Communication thesis, Ph.D.
bibliography   ( marcgt )
theses   ( marcgt )
government publication (state, provincial, terriorial, dependent)   ( marcgt )
born-digital   ( sobekcm )
Electronic Thesis or Dissertation

Notes

Abstract: The purpose of this dissertation was to investigate the relationship between day-to-day employee communication within an organization and employees? trust in their organization and their perceptions of ethical organizational climate types. Specifically, the study examined the relationships among employee communication indicators (accountability, secrecy, participation, and substantial information), employees? trust in their organizations, and five different ethical organizational climates (caring, instrumental, law and code, rules, and independence), using trust as a mediator between communication and climates. Three hundred five full-time employees from seven organizations representing different industries and sizes agreed to participate in this study. This study significantly showed how employees? perceptions of employee communication practices, employees? trust, and employees? perceptions of ethical organizational climate types are significantly related, both directly and indirectly. Of the four constructs of employee communication, accountability and participation showed positive relationships with employees? trust, while secrecy had a negative relationship with trust. Employees? trust had positive relationships with caring and rules climates, but a negative relationship with an instrumental climate. Finally, accountability had an indirect relationship with a caring climate through employees? developed trust. Secrecy had direct and indirect relationships with an instrumental climate. Participation also had direct and indirect relationships with a caring climate. On the other hand, substantial information had only direct relationships with both rules and law and code climates. This empirical study is meaningful in that it brings attention to how public relations practice can contribute to employee-organizational relationships. It also clearly shows how public relations practices are tied to organizational contexts.
General Note: In the series University of Florida Digital Collections.
General Note: Includes vita.
Bibliography: Includes bibliographical references.
Source of Description: Description based on online resource; title from PDF title page.
Source of Description: This bibliographic record is available under the Creative Commons CC0 public domain dedication. The University of Florida Libraries, as creator of this bibliographic record, has waived all rights to it worldwide under copyright law, including all related and neighboring rights, to the extent allowed by law.
Statement of Responsibility: by SOO YEON KIM.
Thesis: Thesis (Ph.D.)--University of Florida, 2011.
Local: Adviser: Ferguson, Mary Ann.
Electronic Access: RESTRICTED TO UF STUDENTS, STAFF, FACULTY, AND ON-CAMPUS USE UNTIL 2012-04-30

Record Information

Source Institution: UFRGP
Rights Management: Applicable rights reserved.
Classification: lcc - LD1780 2011
System ID: UFE0042701:00001

Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UFE0042701/00001

Material Information

Title: Exploring the Linkages among Employee Communication, Relational Trust, and Ethical Organizational Climates in Employee-Organizational Relationships
Physical Description: 1 online resource (176 p.)
Language: english
Creator: KIM,SOO YEON
Publisher: University of Florida
Place of Publication: Gainesville, Fla.
Publication Date: 2011

Subjects

Subjects / Keywords: EMPLOYEE -- ORGANIZATIONAL -- PUBLIC -- RELATIONSHIP
Journalism and Communications -- Dissertations, Academic -- UF
Genre: Mass Communication thesis, Ph.D.
bibliography   ( marcgt )
theses   ( marcgt )
government publication (state, provincial, terriorial, dependent)   ( marcgt )
born-digital   ( sobekcm )
Electronic Thesis or Dissertation

Notes

Abstract: The purpose of this dissertation was to investigate the relationship between day-to-day employee communication within an organization and employees? trust in their organization and their perceptions of ethical organizational climate types. Specifically, the study examined the relationships among employee communication indicators (accountability, secrecy, participation, and substantial information), employees? trust in their organizations, and five different ethical organizational climates (caring, instrumental, law and code, rules, and independence), using trust as a mediator between communication and climates. Three hundred five full-time employees from seven organizations representing different industries and sizes agreed to participate in this study. This study significantly showed how employees? perceptions of employee communication practices, employees? trust, and employees? perceptions of ethical organizational climate types are significantly related, both directly and indirectly. Of the four constructs of employee communication, accountability and participation showed positive relationships with employees? trust, while secrecy had a negative relationship with trust. Employees? trust had positive relationships with caring and rules climates, but a negative relationship with an instrumental climate. Finally, accountability had an indirect relationship with a caring climate through employees? developed trust. Secrecy had direct and indirect relationships with an instrumental climate. Participation also had direct and indirect relationships with a caring climate. On the other hand, substantial information had only direct relationships with both rules and law and code climates. This empirical study is meaningful in that it brings attention to how public relations practice can contribute to employee-organizational relationships. It also clearly shows how public relations practices are tied to organizational contexts.
General Note: In the series University of Florida Digital Collections.
General Note: Includes vita.
Bibliography: Includes bibliographical references.
Source of Description: Description based on online resource; title from PDF title page.
Source of Description: This bibliographic record is available under the Creative Commons CC0 public domain dedication. The University of Florida Libraries, as creator of this bibliographic record, has waived all rights to it worldwide under copyright law, including all related and neighboring rights, to the extent allowed by law.
Statement of Responsibility: by SOO YEON KIM.
Thesis: Thesis (Ph.D.)--University of Florida, 2011.
Local: Adviser: Ferguson, Mary Ann.
Electronic Access: RESTRICTED TO UF STUDENTS, STAFF, FACULTY, AND ON-CAMPUS USE UNTIL 2012-04-30

Record Information

Source Institution: UFRGP
Rights Management: Applicable rights reserved.
Classification: lcc - LD1780 2011
System ID: UFE0042701:00001


This item has the following downloads:


Full Text

PAGE 1

1 EXPLORING THE LINKAGES AMONG EMPLOYEE COMMUNICATION, RELATIONAL TRUST, AND ETHICAL ORGANIZATIONAL CLIMATES IN EMPLOYEEORGANIZATIONAL RELATIONSHIPS By SOOYEON KIM A DISSERTATION PRESENTED TO THE GRADUATE SCHOOL OF THE UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF DOCTOR OF PHILOSOPHY UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA 2011

PAGE 2

2 2011 SooYeon Kim

PAGE 3

3 To my beloved father

PAGE 4

4 ACKNOWLEDGMENTS I believe I have been waiting for this moment for a long time writing the acknowledgements for my dissertation. It has not been easy to reach this moment when I can finally be called Dr. Kim; however, I can definitely say that I learned a lot from this long journey in the U nited S tates. It has been tru ly great to be a doctoral student in the College of Journalism and Communications at the University of Florida. I received a great deal of support from my professors and my College. I feel lucky to have so many people to whom I need to express gratitude th is moment. I was fortunate to have Dr. Ferguson as my chair at UF. Truly, her intelligence, warmth, and trust have enabled me to achieve what I have accomplished academically Her critical insights and suggestions have helped me design a study model and c om plete my dissertation. I am grateful to Dr. Kiousis, my department chair, who provided me with many research and teaching opportunities. I especially appreciate the support he provided when I experienced problems with the data collection for my dissertat ion. Dr. Kammeyer Mueller agreed to be a member of my dissertation committee on the first day of his class when I urgently needed a committee member. I appreciate his willingness to help me and his critical opinions regarding my dissertation. I would also like to express gratitude to Dr. Lee s detailed comments on my dissertation and her willingness to be a member of my committee I want to thank my master s advisor, Dr. Bryan Reber at the University of Georgia. His warmth and trust in me have given me a co nfidence to complete a doctoral program. I deeply appreciate to Dr. Algina for his invaluable teaching and advice with data analysis. I really appreciate my professors teaching, support, and trust in me. I am also very grat eful to Kim and Jody, who have been always warm and helpful to all graduate students including me.

PAGE 5

5 It took almost five years to complete my doctoral degree, and many personal events happened during that time. I would like to say, I love you, and I am proud to be your daughter to my f ather, Doowon Kim, who passed away on June 15, 2007, during the first year of my doctoral program. I know that he must be very proud of me, his daughter, for finally receiving a doctoral degree. I would like to express deep gratitude to my mother, Kyung I m Baik, in Korea. It is she who first suggested that I pursue a graduate degree in the U.S., and she has given me emotional and financial support for s even years I would also like to say thank you and I love you to my brother, who achieved his own accomplishments while I have been in the U.S I want to thank my grandparents in Korea, who have waited patiently each year to see me in the summer. I would also like to express gratitude to Hojin Sunim, who values the importance of studying and cheers me on. I have many dear friends both in Korea and in the U nited States I would like to express many thanks to the friends and colleagues I met and spent my life with in Gainesville. I have many friends and colleagues who have already graduated from UF : Hyun J ung, Eyun Jung Ki Sangwon Lee Jaehee Park, Bum s ub, Jiyoung Cha, Tom Emel and Yan Chunsik Lee, Soojin Kim, Jooyun Hwang, Maria, Hyejoon, Moonhee, Jungmin, Jaejin, Ji Y oung, Eunsoo, Hyunji, and SunY oung have been valuable friends during my stay i n Gainesvil le. Su Hyun, although miles away in Georgia has been the best friend for me. My soul mate has given me energy and laugh ter when I was stressed and exhausted Wes s family Wes, Angela, Rachael, Hannah, Luke, and Lydia for showing me the warm American famil y culture and giving me diverse new e xperiences in Gainesville. I also would like to thank my Dhamma friends Chungwhan, Ky eo ngwon, Kyungpyo, Dongwoo, Jaejin (again), S eo n H oo, Hyungjeen, and Yoonj eo ng with whom I spent much time

PAGE 6

6 at the UF Buddhist group. We have been connected under Buddhas teaching. That Buddhist group has given me the courage and energy to succeed in my academic life. I would like to express love and wish good luck to my former public relations students in the four classes I taught a t UF. They truly have given me confidence in my teaching and helped me find better way s to be a teacher. Finally I greatly appreciate seven organizations that allowed me to conduct my survey with their employees, allowing my dissertation to be successfull y completed Thank you very much!

PAGE 7

7 TABLE OF CONTENTS page ACKNOWLEDGMENTS ...............................................................................................................4 LIST OF TABLES .........................................................................................................................10 ABSTRACT ...................................................................................................................................13 CHAPTER 1 INTRODUCTION ..................................................................................................................15 2 LITERATURE REVIEW .......................................................................................................19 Employee Communication .....................................................................................................19 Definition of Employee Communication ........................................................................19 Impacts of Employee Communication ............................................................................22 Conceptual Definitions of Employee Communication ....................................................27 Accountability ..........................................................................................................28 Secrecy .....................................................................................................................30 Participation .............................................................................................................32 Substantial information ............................................................................................33 Public Relations as Organization Public Relationship ...........................................................34 Organization Public Relationship and Employee Relationship ......................................34 Relationship Quality Outcome: Trust ..............................................................................37 Employee Communication and Trust ..............................................................................41 Ethical Organizational Climate ...............................................................................................45 Definition of Organizational Culture ...............................................................................45 Definition of Organizational Climate ..............................................................................46 Employee Communication, Organizational Culture, and Organizational Climate .........48 Ethical Organizational Climate .......................................................................................50 Employee Communication and Ethics ............................................................................54 Conceptual Definitions of Ethical Organizational Climate .............................................57 Caring climate ..........................................................................................................57 Ins trumental climate .................................................................................................58 Law and code climate ...............................................................................................59 Rules climate ............................................................................................................60 In dependence climate ...............................................................................................60 Research Questions and Hypotheses ...............................................................................61 3 METHODS .............................................................................................................................74 Unit of Analysis Issues ...........................................................................................................74 Questionnaire Construction and Measures .............................................................................77 Employee Communication ..............................................................................................78 Trust .................................................................................................................................78

PAGE 8

8 Ethical Organizational Climate .......................................................................................78 Demographics and Other Items .......................................................................................79 Pretest .....................................................................................................................................80 Survey .....................................................................................................................................81 Population and Sample ....................................................................................................81 Online Survey ..................................................................................................................85 Validity and Reliability Tests .................................................................................................86 Statistical Analyses .................................................................................................................87 Mediation Analysis ..........................................................................................................89 Hierarchical Multiple Regression ....................................................................................90 4 ANALYSES AND RESULTS ...............................................................................................95 Description of Collected Data ................................................................................................95 Response Rates ................................................................................................................95 Profile of Su rvey Respondents and Population ...............................................................97 Demographics ..................................................................................................................99 Descriptive Statistics ..............................................................................................................99 Employee Communication ..............................................................................................99 Trust ...............................................................................................................................100 Ethical Organizational Climate .....................................................................................100 Reliability of Measurement Items .................................................................................101 Measurement Models ............................................................................................................101 Confirmatory Factor Analysis .......................................................................................102 Structural Equation Modeling .......................................................................................104 Evidence for Research Questions and Hypotheses ...............................................................105 Hypotheses Testing .......................................................................................................105 Additional analysis: Correlations among exogenous variables of employee communication constructs .........................................................................................107 Additional analysis: Correlations among endogenous variables of ethical organizational climate types ......................................................................................108 Research questions ........................................................................................................109 Correlation analysis ................................................................................................109 Hierarchical multiple linear regression analysis ....................................................110 5 DISCUSSION AND CONCLUSION ..................................................................................132 Employee Communication Practices and Trust ....................................................................132 Trust and Ethical Organizational Climates ...........................................................................135 Employee Communication, Trust, and Ethical Organizational Climates .............................139 Employee Communication and Ethical Organizational Climates Controlling for Demographic Variables .....................................................................................................142 Ad Hoc Analysis of Demographic and Employee Information Variables ...........................144 Implications for Public Relations Research and Practice .....................................................146 Limitations and Suggestions for Future Research ................................................................149 Conclusion ............................................................................................................................152

PAGE 9

9 APPENDIX A STATEMENT OF INFORMED CONSENT .......................................................................154 B SURVEY QUESTIONNAIRE .............................................................................................155 LIST OF REFERENCES .............................................................................................................160 BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH .......................................................................................................176

PAGE 10

10 LIST OF TABLES Table page 21 Comparison of constructs of employee communication ....................................................71 22 Victor and Cullens (1988) ethical climate types ..............................................................71 23 Five common empirical derivatives of ethical climate ......................................................71 31 Measures of employee communication .............................................................................92 32 Measures of trust ................................................................................................................93 33 Measures of ethical organizational climate types ..............................................................94 41 Response rates ..................................................................................................................116 42 Composition ratio for the final sample from each organization ......................................116 43 Comparison of population and sample for A Bank .........................................................117 44 Comparison of population and sample for B Marketing agency .....................................117 45 Comparison of population and sample for C Insurance company ...................................118 46 Comparison of population and sample for D Cleaning company ...................................118 47 Comparison of population and sample for E Special education nonprofit ....................118 48 Comparison of population and sample for F Ch ildren nonprofit ...................................119 49 Comparison of population and sample for G Animal support nonprofit .......................119 410 Sample demographic profil es ..........................................................................................120 411 Means and standard deviations for measure of employee communication .....................121 412 Means and standard deviations for measures of trust ......................................................122 413 Means and standard deviations for measures of ethical organizational climates ............123 414 Measurement reliabi lity for all items ...............................................................................124 415 The measurement model ..................................................................................................125 416 Direct and indirect effects on endogenous variables .......................................................127

PAGE 11

11 417 Pearson product moment correlation coefficients table for major variables ...................128 418 Hierarchical regression on five ethical climate types ......................................................129

PAGE 12

12 LIST OF FIGURES Figure page 21 An initial conceptual model ...............................................................................................72 22 Proposed comprehensive conceptual model ......................................................................73 41 Results of proposed model ...............................................................................................130 42 Specified indirect paths ....................................................................................................131

PAGE 13

13 Abstract of Dissertation Presented to the Graduate School of the University of Florida in Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for the Degree of Doctor of Philosophy EXPLORING THE LINKAGES AMONG EMPLOYEE COMMUNICATION, RELATIONAL TRUST, AND ETHICAL ORGANIZATIONAL CLIMATES IN EMPLOYEE ORGANIZATIONAL RELATIONSHIPS By SooYeon Kim May 2011 Chair: Mary Ann Ferguson Major: Mass Communication The purpose of t his dissertation was to investigate the relationship between day to day emplo yee communication within an organization and employees trust in their organization and the ir perceptions of ethical organizational climate types Specifically, the study examined the relationships among employee communication indicators (accountability, s ecrecy, participation, and substantial information), employees trust in their organizations, and five different ethical organizational climates (caring, instrumental, law and code, rules, and independence), using trust as a mediator between communication and climates. Three hundred five full time employees from seven organizations representing different industries and sizes agreed to participate in this study This study significantly showed how employees perception s of employee communication practices, employees trust, and employees perceptions of ethical organizational climate types are significantly related both directly and indirectly. Of the four constructs of employee communication, accountability and participation showed positive relationships w ith employees trust, while secrecy had a n egative relationship with trust. Employees trust had positive relationships with caring and rules climates but a negative relationship with an instrumental

PAGE 14

14 climate. Finally, accountability had an indirect relati onship with a caring climate through employees developed trust. Secrecy had direct and indirect relationships with an instrumental climate. Participation also had direct and indirect relationship s with a caring climate. On the other hand, substantial information had only direct relationships with both rules and law and code climates. This empirical study is meaningful in that it brings attention to how public relations practice can contribute to employee organizational relationships. It also clearly show s how public relations practices are tied to organizational contexts.

PAGE 15

15 CHAPTER 1 INTRODUCTION There are many organizations and corporations that value employees as one of their most important groups of stakeholders. One example of valuing employees as stak eholders is green building, which refers to the creation of environmentally friendly working conditions for employees. This has been shown to raise employee morale and satisfaction, which can improve productivity (Lockwood, 2007). These examples suggest that many businesses assume positive linkages between valued employees, employees increased satisfaction, business success, and a good reputation among prospective employees. Theory suggests that employees are significant stakeholders in the success of or ganizations and corporations (Cravens & Oliver, 2006; Kennan & Hazleton, 2006; Lamb & McKee, 2005). Kennan and Hazleton emphasize the significance of employees, stating, From the point of view of employees, and from the perspective of public relations, the most important public is management, whereas from managements perspective the most important public is employees (p. 312). Cravens and Oliver also stress the value of employees as being the first step in corporate reputation management and suggest that the synergy from the key resources of employees and corporate reputation can improve a companys financial performance. When communication is intended for internal publics (employees of a company or members of an organization), it is called employee communication and is often referred to as employee relations (Lamb & McKee, 2005). Grunig (1992b) emphasizes that employees are a strategic public and argues that employee communication should be an important component of an organizations public relations pra ctices. Likewise, Harshman and Harshman (1999) point out that various employee communication characteristics are fundamentally connected: Having communication that is understandable, credible, and useful requires that the organization also have communicati on systems that provide for twoway, open, and

PAGE 16

16 honest information exchanges so that feedback is available from employees to tell if, in fact, the communication systems reflect the other characteristics. ( Harshman & Harshman 1999, p. 16) Research supports the assertion that day to day employee communication or activities of an organization reveal what values are emphasized within an organization and how people interact with others. In one example, Borgerson, Schroeder, Escudero Magnusson, and Magnusson (2009) conducted a case study of the Benetton Corporation and revealed how the corporation failed in corporate communication by not embracing ethical values within the organization. They argue that the consistent communication of ethical values is important fo r inspiring employees corporate identity and emphasize the significance of ethical inspiration towards employees in corporate communication. Toth and Trujillo (1987) also argue that the corporate communicators of an organization must take the lead in art iculating the ethical framework of that organization (p. 50). This study suggests that employee communication is integral in forming ethical organizational climates, which represent the organizational values, practices, and procedures that pertain to mor al behaviors and attitudes in an organization (Cullen, Parboteeah, & Victor, 2003, p. 128). While Victor and Cullens (1987, 1988) ethical climate theory has been extensively investigated in the field of business (e.g., Barnett & Schubert, 2002; Bulutlar & z, 2009; Cullen, Victor, & Bronson, 1993; Deshpande, 1996a; Eli & Alpkan, 2009; Lemmergaard & Lauridsen, 2008; Vardi, 2001; Wimbush & Shepard, 1994), the relationship between communication and ethical climate has been relatively ignored not only in the field of public relations, but also in ethical climate research. In linking employee communication and ethical organizational climate, this dissertation focuses on trust, one dimension of organizationpublic relationship (OPR) outcomes (Hon & Grunig, 1999; Ki, 2006). Hon and Grunig define trust as one partys level of confidence in and

PAGE 17

17 willingness to open oneself to the other party (p. 3). Ferguson (1984) was the first to stress the significance of the relationship building role in public relations, a nd this approach has given direction to many public relations studies (Broom et al., 1997; Grunig & Huang, 2000; Ledingham, 2003; Ledingham & Bruning, 1998). Some previous studies have explored the linkages of employee communication and trust, concluding that trust can be cultivated as an outcome of employee communication characteristics (Jo & Shim, 2005; Muchinsky, 1977; Ruppel & Harrington, 2000). Particularly, Ruppel and Harrington examined the linkages of employee communication, trust, and ethical orga nizational climate, the topics in this dissertation. They found that an ethical organizational climate emphasizing benevolence leads employees to trust an organization and that open communication increases employees trust level, which leads to increased commitment and innovation. In their study, the only dimension of employee communication was open communication, while this dissertation includes the dimensions of accountability, secrecy, participation, and substantial information in understanding employee communication. The fo cus of this dissertation is linkages between the four employee communication characteristics (accountability, secrecy, participation, and substantial information) trust, and five ethical organizational climate types (caring, instrumen tal, law and code, rules, and independence). The purpose of this dissertation is to explore how the public relations practice of employee communication relates to employees trust in their organization, and accordingly, how employees trust relates to the ir perceptions about ethical organizational climates. Research suggests that contextual variables significantly affect the practices of public relations (Kirat, 2005; Sharpe & Pritchard, 2004; Sriramesh & Ver i 2003). Kirat argues strongly about the sign ificance of public relations interdependence with society:

PAGE 18

18 Public relations is a reflection of the society in which it operates, it is as well a cultural act. In other words, it is a subsystem that reflects the way the whole society thinks and works Effective PR needs democracy, needs the respect of the individual and his opinion. Public relations needs political participation and a high level of transparency and respect between the organization and its public. Public relations is based on the role, stat us and respect between opinion in society. (Kirat, 2005, p. 328) With this in mind, employee communication reflects the organizational environment. The support of senior management for public relations decides the function of public relations within an org anization (Berger & Reber, 2006; Kim & Reber, 2009). Therefore, the values that are appreciated within an organization reflect public relations practices including employee communication characteristics. This study aims to find the role of employee commu nication in relating employees perceptions of an ethical organizational climate. The study assumes that the way organizations communicate with their employees can be a key factor in helping employees to be aware of their value in an organization. The publ ic relations practices of an organization play a role in deciding organizational values and public relations practices are also influenced by ethical organization al climates Although ethics has been an important topic in public relations academia for man y years, there have been few efforts to explore the specific relationship between employee communication and ethical values of an organiza tion. Therefore, this study attempts to fill this void in the public relations literature. This dissertation also cont ributes to the field by providing directions for public relations practitioners from various types of organization (e.g., for profits, nonforprofits) in exploring the role and significance of employee communication.

PAGE 19

19 CHAPTER 2 LITERATURE REVIEW This ch apter reviews literature related to employee communication, theories on organizationpublic relationship, and theories on ethical organizational climate. The linkages between those theories and related concepts are also examined. Employee Communication Thi s section provides a definition of employee communication, discusses the impact of employee communication, and presents operational definitions of employee communication. These topics are discussed regarding their application to public relations and organi zational communication studies. Definition of Employee Communication Employee communication has been studied extensively in the field of organizational communication (e.g., Bambacas & Patrickson, 2008; Frank & Brownell, 1989; Harshman & Harshman, 1999; Mi ller, 2009; Muchinsky, 1977; Roberts & OReilly III, 1974; Smidts, Pruyn, & Van Riel, 2001). In one view, organizational communication is the study of sending and receiving messages that create and maintain a system of consciously coordinated activities o r forces of two or more persons (Tompkins, 1984, pp. 662663). Miller emphasizes the principles of standardization, specialization, and predictability in order to operate (p. 28) for organizational efficiency and describes organizational communication a s (1) the content of communication, (2) the direction of communication flow, (3) the mode or channel of communication, [and] (4) the style of communication (p. 29). From an organizational communication perspective, Frank and Brownell define employee comm unication as the communication transactions between individuals and/or groups at various levels and in different areas of specialization that are intended to design and redesign organizations, to implement

PAGE 20

20 designs and to coordinate day to day activities (pp. 56). Harshman and Harshman point out the following as important internal communication roles for successful organizations: To inform and explain; To educate about the business and the environment of the business; To reinforce credibility, openness, and trust; To support organizational themes and messages; To fill employees needs to predict, understand, and control their environment; To impact positively the attitudes of employees. (Harshman & Harshman, 1999, p. 16) Organization communication i s a topic that has been addressed in public relations studies. Sallot, Lyon, Acosta Alzuru, and Jones (2003) evaluated the historical theory development of public relations through the year 2000 and classified various topics of public relations studies int o introspective, practice/application, and theory development classes. One topic was organizational communication, and employee communication studies were mostly placed under this topic. There were no organizational communication studies included in the introspective articles, while there were 26 studies (8.9%) of organizational communication in a total of 291 practice/application articles and 9 (6.1%) organizational communication studies in 148 theory development studies. This indicates that less than 10% of the public relations literature up to 2000 has been about organizational communication topic studies. This is interesting as in the professional world, one of the most important functions of public relations in organizations is employee communication. For example, Hutton, Goodman, Alexander, and Genest (2001) report that employee c ommunications ranked fifth out of 25 different communication functions for public relations budgets in corporations, after media relations crisis comm unications, PR agency a nd annual/interim reports In public relations scholarship, Grunig, Grunig, and Dozier (2002) define employee communication as a specialized sub discipline of communication that examines how people communicate in organizations and the nature of effective communication systems in

PAGE 21

21 organizations (p. 486). Berger and Reber (2006) define employee communication in the following way: The responsibility of the internal communication function was to design, propose, implement, maintain, and improve the infrastruc ture the communication pipelines and to help keep the multidirectional pipelines filled with meaningful and credible information and communication that people needed to fulfill their new responsibilities. (Berger & Reber, 2006, pp. 124125) Various terms h ave been used to describe employee communication in public relations. The term employee communication strategy has been used to approach employee communication from management function perspectives (ONeil, 2008; Rhee & Moon, 2009). Jo and Shim (2005) us ed the term employee communication in their investigation of the relationship between managements interpersonal communication and employees trusting relationships. Grunig (1992b) borrowed the term internal communication from the field of organizational communication, and several subsequent studies have continued to use this term (e.g., Kim, 2007; White, Vanc, & Stafford, 2010). Kazoleas and Wright (2001) use the phrase internal corporate communication, and Kennan and Hazleton (2006) describe the rel ationships between managers and employees as internal public relations (IPR). Other researchers do not differentiate between employee communication and internal communication in their studies of employees perceptions of organizationpublic relations hips (Chen, 2008; Ni, 2009). In this study, the term employee communication is used to stress the significance of the communication role for employees as an important stakeholder group for the success of an organization. For the purposes of this study, employee communication is defined as a specialized sub discipline of communication that examines how people communicate in organizations and the nature of effective communication systems in organizations (Grunig et al., 2002, p. 486).

PAGE 22

22 Some studies point out the evolvement of employee communication from historical perspectives. Kennan and Hazleton (2006) note that, historically, the role of employee communications has transformed from the technical IPR (internal public relations) role into a managerial o r strategic one (p. 313). Smith (2008) points out that internal communication has moved on from events and people to sharing corporate goals (p. 16). In the same vein, Moorcroft (2006) indicates a shift in the goals of employee communication from inform ing employees to engaging employees. Therefore, these studies support the assertion that the current goal of employee communication is more related to the managerial function of actively engaging employees rather than the former goal of simply informing employees. Impacts of Employee Communication In their study on organizational communication, Putnam and Cheney (1985) identified eight major traditions in examining employee communication: (1) communication channels, (2) communication climate, (3) network a nalysis, (4) superior subordinate communication, (5) the information processing perspective, (6) the rhetorical perspective, (7) the cultural perspective, and (8) the political perspective. In regard to these traditions, Ni (2007) states the following: [T he] first four traditions take a human relations approach and involve simple measures of communication as information flows, perceptions of climate, or relationships. And the last four traditions are more interpretive and humanistic (p. 57). Euske and Roberts (1987) explain that human relations approaches centered on the social and psychological features of the individual and the work group rather than on formal roles and macrostructures of organizations (pp. 4445). This study explores a human relations approach to employee communication. When employee communication has been explored from a communication audit perspective, the focus of the studies has mainly been how different types of communication channels can be effectively used for employees. Of th e various communication channels,

PAGE 23

23 interpersonal communication has been shown to be the most effective method of communica tion for employees (Cameron & M c Collum, 1993; Jo & Shim, 2005; Stein, 2006; Whi te et al., 2010). Cameron and M c Collum, for example, det ermined that employees prefer direct, interactive communication with management and supervisors through presentations, meetings, and face to face contact (p. 241) for their internal communication channels. Stein investigated the effectiveness of five dif ferent employee communication tools: written publications, telephone, face to face communication, email, and intranet. Faceto face communication was found to be the most effective, followed by email at all three levels (departmental, regional, and overall organization). Jo and Shim viewed employee relations from a relationship management paradigm, investigating the relationship between managements interpersonal communication and trusting relationships. They found that positive interpersonal communication can be effective in getting employees to have trusting relationships with management. Kazoleas and Wright (2001) argue for a receiver oriented communication audit model when assessing communication channels. They emphasize the significance of employee feed back, stating that employee feedback is used to improve communication up, down, and across the organization, thereby strengthening the relationship between the organization and all its relevant internal publics (p. 474). Current innovations of webbased technology have impacted the practice of employee communication and changed the dynamic between employees and organizations (Argenti, 2006; Holtz, 2005; Sinickas, 2005; Wright & Hinson, 2006). The most popular social media tool used by current public relations practitioners is e mail, followed by intranet, blogs, videoconferencing, podcasts, video sharing, and PDAs (Eyrich, Padman, & Sweetser, 2008). According to research studies, close physical proximity with other employees does not have as much meaning as in the past (Argenti, 2006), and new technology has given employees the ability to easily share

PAGE 24

24 knowledge and information (Holtz, 2005). However, most employees do not want to entirely depend on electronic sources as their internal communication channel s, and a significant number of employees still prefer face to face communication (Sinickas, 2005). Communication climate has been studied extensively in organizational communication (Dillard, Wigand, & Boster, 1986; Guzley, 1992; Smidts et al., 2001; Trombetta & Rogers, 1988). Communication climate includes only communicative phenomena, e.g., judgments concerning such things as receptivity of management to employees or the accuracy of information being disseminate d in the organization (Dillard et al. 1986, p. 87) and is distinct from the larger context of organizational climate. In their efforts to understand how employee communication influences their organizational identification, Smidts et al. identified both the content of the employee communication a nd the communication climate. The content of employee communication is the content of organizational messages as it concerns members satisfaction with what is being communicated (p. 1052), while the communication climate is how the information is communicated within an organization (p. 1052). Their conclusion was that the communication climate affects employees organizational identification more so than does the content of the communication. Others argue that communication climate is critical in affec ting employees organizational commitment (Guzley, 1992; Trombetta & Rogers, 1988). Guzley emphasizes participation as a communication climate aspect to predict employees commitment to an organization. Network analysis is a research method that applies s ystems theory. This method received great attention from organizational communication scholars in the late 1960s and 1970s (Miller, 2009). Rice and Richards (1985) note that the goal of network analysis is to obtain from low level or raw relational data h igher level descriptions of the structure of the system (p. 106).

PAGE 25

25 Miller explains network analysis this way: When the components of systems are people and social groups, the mapping of relationships among people becomes crucially important. Network analysis provides a means for creating and analyzi ng those maps of relationships (p. 72). Network analysis helps to analyze the maps of organizational communication systems. Numerous employee communication studies have examined the impact of employee communication on the organization and also on employees. From an organizational perspective, employee communication is critical to the success of an organization (Grunig, 1992b; Kazoleas & Wright, 2001; Lamb & McKee, 2005; Smidts et al., 2001; Smith, 2008: Snyde r & Morris, 1984). Snyder and Morris found that the quality of supervisory communication and information change within the peer group is strongly related to the critical revenue of organizational performance. Smidts et al. argue that successful employee co mmunication is imperative for achieving long term organizational success and emphasize that organizations should be providing each employee with adequate information and the opportunities to speak out, get involved, be listened to, and actively participat e (p. 1059). Employee communication affects individuals perceptions of organizations, including employees corporate identity (Borgerson et al., 2009), motivation (Kazoleas & Wright, 2001), job satisfaction (Lamb & McKee, 2005; Madlock, 2008; Muchinsky, 1977), perceived external prestige (Smidts et al., 2001), sense of community (Stein, 2006), and trust (Thomas, Zolin, & Hartman, 2009). Lamb and Mckee emphasize the role of public relations professionals in implementing open and honest communication to im prove employee satisfaction for organizational success. Madlock explored how a supervisors communicator competence, task, and relational leadership influence subordinates job and communication satisfaction and found a strong influence of supervisor communicator competence on subordinates communication and

PAGE 26

26 job satisfaction. He suggests that employee satisfaction can lead to increases in employees job performance. Stein argues that employee communications can contribute to employees having a sense of comm unity in an organization. Employees need information, and failures within the communication system hamper employees motivation at work (Kazoleas & Wright, 2001). Consequently, employee communication can play a critical role for employees behavior intentions, such as intention to leave (Scott et al., 1999). Additionally, some scholars argue that impacts of employee communication on organizations and on employees cannot be separated. This means that if employee communication impacts the employees positivel y, employee communication should also contribute to organizational success. Research shows that employee satisfaction directly and positively affects employee retention, customer satisfaction, and job productivity (Lamb & McKee, 2005). Employees communica tion satisfaction has often been regarded as a criterion for testing the effectiveness of employee communication, and in particular, Downs and Hazens (1977) Communication Satisfaction Questionnaire (CSQ) has been investigated in many previous studies (e.g ., Clampitt & Downs, 1993; Deconinck, Johnson, Busbin, & Lockwood, 2008; Gray & Laidlaw, 2004; Varona, 1996). The CSQ measures direction of information flow, formal and informal channels of communication relationships among various members, and forms of c ommunication. For example, Clampitt and Downs investigated the impact of employee communication satisfaction on productivity and found that personal feedback was a significant factor related to productivity, although there were a variety of reasons and impacts within different sampled companies. Gray and Laidlaw explored the psychometric properties of the

PAGE 27

27 CSQ measures and confirmed that the CSQ is a valid measurement for employee communication satisfaction. Some other scholars emphasize that the role of em ployee communication becomes critical during organizational change (Ashford & Black, 1996; DiFonzo & Bordia, 1998; Elving, 2005; Miller, 2009; Miller, Joseph, & Apker, 2000). Employee communication is vital to prevent resistance to change, or at least try to reduce this (Elving, 2005, p. 131), and effective communication management can reduce uncertainty among employees (DiFonzo & Bordia, 1998). Thus far in this review of the literature, research regarding employee communication and its impact has been explored. In the following section, conceptual definitions of employee communication (accountability, secrecy, participation, and substantial information) are reviewed. Conceptual Definitions of Employee Communication This study adopts the concepts of a ccountability, secrecy, participation, and substantial information as indicators of employee communication in an organization. These indicators are adopted from Rawlinss (2009) transparency employee communication efforts. Because this dissertation investigates the role of employee communication to relate employees trust and the ethical organizational climate, the main issue of this dissertation is closely related to ethical aspects of employee communication. Therefore, those transparency communication eff orts are adopted as employee communication characteristics. A few previous studies have included these four employee communication indicators as significant indicators of employee communication the way Rawlins (2009) does. Table 2 1 compares constructs of employee communication from previous studies. Caudron (2002) emphasizes getting leaders in front of people, telling all the news, offering the opportunity for dialogue, and reminding people of fundamentals. Reina and Reinas (1999) communication trust

PAGE 28

28 inc ludes admitting mistakes, telling the truth, giving and receiving constructive feedback, and sharing information. Rhee and Moon (2009) regard information flow, interaction supportiveness, and information adequacy as indicators of employee communication str ategies. Trombetta and Rogers (1988) include communication openness, participation in decision making, and information adequacy for communication variables. Similar indicators from other studies are compared in Table 1. These employee communication charact eristics show similar meanings with Rawlins employee communication indicators (accountability, secrecy, participation, and substantial information). Conceptual definitions of these four indicators are explored in the following section. Accountability Accountability has been studied in many disciplines, including politics (Balkin, 1999; Phillips & Abey, 2007), social psychology (Lerner & Tetlock, 1999; Tetlock, 1983), and business (Bendell, 2005; Beu & Buckley, 2004; Utting, 2008). In social psychology, Te tlock defined accountability as pressures to justify ones opinions to others (p. 74). Later, Lerner and Tetlock explained accountability in this way: People who do provide compelling justifications will experience positive consequences ranging from mit igation of punishment to lavish rewards that, for example, take the form of political office or generous stock options (p. 255). Phillips and Abey explain that accountability is the obligation to answer for execution of assigned responsibilities (p. 34) Beu and Buckley regard accountability as the perception of defending of justifying ones behavior to an audience with reward or sanction authority (p. 73). In business studies, Utting (2008) differentiates corporate social responsibility (CSR) and corporate accountability in the following way: Whereas CSR is very much about voluntarism, in the dual sense of both individual agents taking action and voluntary initiatives, corporate accountability redirects attention to the question of corporate obligations, the role of public policy and law,

PAGE 29

29 the imposition of penalties in cases of non compliance, the right of victims to seek redress, and imbalances in power relations. (Utting, 2008, p. 965) Generally, accountability includes enforceability and answerabil ity for justifications. There have been few efforts to explore accountability in communication scholarship. When Kovacs (2001) examined the communication strategies concerning broadcasting issues that six activist groups use to increase the accountability of their targets, the study regarded the British television system s as criteria for accountability enforceable by regulatory bodies (p. 422) to produce cultural goods. Rawlins (2009) brought attention to accountability by examining organizational transparency communication efforts and referring to Cotterrells (2000) definition of accountable transparency the willingness and responsibility to try to give a meaningful and accurate account of oneself, or of circumstances in which one is involved, or of which one is aware (p. 419). Rawlins concluded that the accountability communication trait is a valid and reliable communication concept to define organizational transparency efforts in employee communication. Likewise, Reina and Reina (1999) emphasize admi ssion of mistakes as one important characteristic that predicts communication trust, arguing that covering up mistakes hinders performance, innovation, and creativity. Caudron (2002) states that [getting] your leaders in front of people is an important s tep in rebuilding organizational trust through communication and argues for answerability and visibility of leaders candor, credibility, and concern. This study argues that one of the professional values of the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA) M ember Code of Ethics1 1 independence, is similar to the concept of accountability. Independence for public relations professionals, according to PRSA, means that we provide objective counsel to those we represent and that we are accountable for our actio ns and stresses accountability in communication, which emphasizes objective and http://www.prsa.org/AboutPRSA/Ethics/CodeEnglish/index.html

PAGE 30

30 justifiable practice. This study integrates ideas from Rawlins (2009) and Cotterrell (2000) to define accountability as the willingness and responsibility to try to give a me aningful and accurate account of oneself, or of circumstances in which one is involved, or of which one is aware. Secrecy Secrecy is a concept that is antithetical to openness in employee communication (Rawlins, 2009). According to Reina and Reina (1999), secrecy is defined as avoiding the truth and a form of betrayal to ourselves and to the people with whom we are in relationship (p. 87), while telling the truth reflects no lying, no exaggerating, no stretching or omitting or spinning of the truth (p. 86). These authors stress telling the truth as the foundation for trust in an organization (p. 86). According to Eisenberg and Witten (1987), openness in communication can be described in three different ways. First, openness can be understood as the disclosure of personal information (p. 420). It is known for effective superior subordinate relationships based on emotional ties. Second, openness has been described as disclosure of nonpersonal information (such as work plans or objectives) (p. 420). Third, openness encompasses both of the previous two views and addresses the linguistic choices associated with being more or less open; that is, how clear or ambiguous disclosure may be (p. 420). Numerous studies have focused on understanding openness from the inter personal relationships perspective, including superior subordinate relationships, to lead to positive employee attitudes ( Bambacas & Patrickson, 2008; Burke & Wilcox, 1969; Canary & Stafford, 1994; Downs, 1994; Stull, 1986; Trombetta & R ogers, 1988). Canary and Stafford define openness as direct discussion about the nature of the relationship and setting aside times for talks about the relationship (p. 12). Downs argues that openness of superiors to subordinates as

PAGE 31

31 well as superiors ability to listen are significant skills for the relationship to superiors (p. 115). Trombetta and Rogers concluded that communication openness of superiors or subordinates affects employees job satisfaction positively while indirectly impacting employe es level of commitment. Bambacas and Patrickson also regard openness as an important interpersonal communication skill and concluded that being truthful, open and honest is also a skill that engenders trust and encourages followers to accept the leaders vision committing themselves to the goals of the organization (p. 67). O penness has been shown to increase job satisfaction (Burke & Wilcox, 1969; Lamb & McKee, 2005; Trombetta & Rogers, 1988) and to increase employees organizational identification (Smidts et al., 2001). Other scholars have investigated and confirmed the significance of openness in an organizational context (Bowen, 2004b; Hon & Grunig, 1999; Ki & Hon, 2009; Ledingham & Bruning, 1998; Rawlins, 2009; Reina & Reina, 1999; Smidts et al., 20 01). Hon and Grunig regard openness as disclosing thoughts and feelings among parties (p. 14). Ki and Hon define it as an organizations efforts to provide information about the nature of the organization and what it is doing (p. 8). Bowen suggests tha t open communication is significant for participative organizational culture in which the system is open, employee input is valued, and power distance relationships are low and less formalized (p. 313). Ledingham and Brunings relationship management dim ension includes openness, which they define as sharing the organizations plans for the future with public members (p. 62). Reina and Reina stress the impact of truth telling to employees, stating that having the straight story and accurate information helps employees make better decisions, take the initiative to assume responsibility, be more productive, and make a strong contribution to the organization (p. 86). Therefore,

PAGE 32

32 openness is an important employee communication construct, not only in interper sonal relationships, but also in organizational relationships. This study regards secrecy as the antithesis of openness. In this study, secrecy is defined as lacking an organizations efforts to provide information about the nature of the organization and what it is doing, reflecting a revised version of Ki and Hons (2009) definition of openness from an organizational relationship perspective. Participation Employees participation and interaction with management have been found to be important aspects of employee communication in many research studies (e.g., Bowen, 2004b; Cameron & McCollum, 1993; Grunig & White, 1992; Guzley, 1992; White et al., 2010). Cameron and McCollum stress that employees prefer direct, interactive communication with management and supervisors (p. 241). Guzley found that participation, one dimension of communication climate, can increase employees commitment to organizations. Grunig and Whites argument for a symmetrical worldview of public relations emphasizes input from publi cs. Ni (2007) points out that symmetrical communication incorporates such key concepts of trust, openness, feedback, and is employee centered (p. 57). Bowen regards participation of employee communication to be a vital aspect of leading ethical organizat ions because equality, dialogue, a nd a participative culture play a vital role in ethical deliberations and also in enabling the issues management function to have input into decisionmaking at the highest level of the organization (pp. 313314). Therefore, participation shows symmetrical value to respect and trust employees trust in an organization. This concept of participation also includes feedback. Research shows that timely feedback is an important communication characteristic for improving employ ees performance and organizational identification (Smidts et al., 2001). Mayfield and Mayfield (2002) point out

PAGE 33

33 that feedback is both critical to fostering loyalty and integrally linked with listening (p. 90). Reina and Reina (1999) emphasize giving and receiving constructive feedback, stating that providing constructive feedback sends a message that we are invested in the relationship, that we trust that the individual will pay attention to what we have to say (p. 90). Clampitt and Downs (1993) stress personal feedback as a significant communication satisfaction factor for positively affecting productivity. When Spurlock and ONeil (2009) conducted a case study of a hospital adopting an updated intranet, they found that employees participation in givi ng feedback about the communication system contributed to employees perceptions about communication effectiveness, employee voice, and satisfaction. Adopting Cameron and McCollum (1993), this study defines participation as direct, interactive communicati on with management and supervisors. Substantial i nformation Substantial information (information adequacy) has been examined in numerous studies as a unique communication construct (Spiker & Daniels, 1981; Trombetta & Rogers, 1988; White et al., 2010; Zhu, May, & Rosenfeld, 2004). Spiker and Daniels conceptualized information adequacy as the difference between an individuals perceptions of the amount of information which he or she receives and the amount desired (p. 348). Similarly, Trombetta and Rogers define information adequacy as the degree to which individuals reported a discrepancy between the information they wished to receive and the information they actually received (p. 500). Research finds that information adequacy can contribute to employe es relational satisfaction (Spiker & Daniels, 1981), increase job satisfaction (Trombetta & Rogers, 1988; White et al., 2010), contribute to trust (Ellis & Shockley Zalavak, 2001), and reduce employees intention to leave (Scott et al., 1999). Ellis and S hockley Zalavak found that the amount of information about job and organizational issues can explain employees trust of top management

PAGE 34

34 and immediate supervisors. Reina and Reina (1999) warn that limiting information for employees may send the message that employees are not trusted and thus do not deserve to receive adequate information. White et al. also emphasize that providing adequate information from top management for employees can be a sign they are respected (p. 80). In fact, research finds that i nsufficient information can cause uncertainty and ambiguity (Elving, 2005; Scott et al., 1999; Spiker & Daniels, 1981; Weick, 1979; White et al., 2010). White et al. emphasize the importance of sharing an appropriate amount of substantial information: Com municating too little creates a vacuum that causes distrust and speculation. However, too much information can result in information overload or the paradox of plenty in which an overabundance of information is ignored (p. 69). This study uses Trombetta a nd Rogers (1988) definition of substantial information as the degree to which individuals reported a discrepancy between the information they wished to receive and the information they actually received. This section has presented a review of relevant literature about employee communication. In the following section, research about organizationpublic relationship theory is presented. Public Relations as Organization Public Relationship This section presents a review of organizationpublic relationship theories and studies about employee relationship. Additionally, trust, one of the relationship quality outcomes, is explored, and the relationship of employee communication and trust is discussed. Organization Public Relationship and Employee Relationshi p Ferguson (1984) argued for public relations as a relationship building role between an organization and its publics more than two decades ago. This argument gave a new direction to many public relations studies (Broom, Casey, & Ritchey, 1997; Grunig & Huang, 2000; Ledingham, 2003; Ledingham & Bruning, 1998). For example, Ledingham and Bruning examined how five relationship dimensions trust, openness, involvement, investment, and

PAGE 35

35 commitmentaffect publics behavioral relationships with an organization. The ir study showed the significance of communication management as an organizational strategic tool for achieving organizationa l goals. Later, Ledingham argued that organizationpublic relationship management should frame a general theory of public relations. He concluded that the appropriate unit of measurement of public relations impact is the organization public relationship (p. 188) and that relationship state reflects perceptions of needs and expectations fulfillment (p. 188). Huang (1998) defines org anization public relationship (OPR) as the degree that the organization and its publics trust one another, agree on who has rightful power to influence, experience satisfaction with each other, and commit oneself to one another (p. 12). Broom, Casey, and Ritchey (2000) understood OPR as the patterns of interaction, transaction, exchange, and linkage between an organization and its publics (p. 18). Ki and Hon (2009) define OPR in the following way: Studies of organizationpublic relationships include three stages: (a) antecedents of relationships, (b) relationship maintenance strategies, and (c) relationship quality outcomes (p. 1). Antecedents of relationships are social and cultural norms, collective perceptions and expectations, needs for resources, perceptions of uncertain environment, and legal/voluntary necessity (Broom et al., 1997, p. 94). Relationship maintenance strategies are daily communication activities performed by organizations (Ki & Hon, 2009, p. 19). The six relationship cultivation strategies developed by Hon and Grunig (1999) access, positivity, openness, sharing of tasks, networking, and assurances have been examined in many studies (Bortree, 2010; Ki & Hon, 2009). The consequences of organizationpublic relationships are the out puts that have the effects of changing the environment and of achieving, maintaining or changing goal states both inside and outside of the organization (Broom et al., 1997, p. 94). Ki

PAGE 36

36 and Hon (2009) also note that relationship quality outcomes are the m ost meaningful means of evaluating public relations effectiveness (p. 3). The effectiveness of public relations efforts can be evaluated through OPR. Four relationship quality outcomes control mutuality, satisfaction, trust, and commitmenthave been appl ied in many previous studies (e.g., Jo, 2006; Ki, 2006; Yang, 2007; Yang & Grunig, 2005). Relationships can be both dependent and independent variables in OPR (Broom et al., 2000). This means that OPR outcomes can be cultivated as an outcome of organizational management, or as an antecedent for other outcomes. For example, Yang and Grunig investigated how propensity for active communication behavior and familiarity affect OPR outcomes, treating OPR as an outcome. However, Yang examined the effect of OPR out comes on organizational reputation and confirmed the positive linkages between OPR and organizational reputation, understanding OPR as an antecedent. Specifically, Ledingham (2003) has called for studies of organizationemployee relationships for future re search opportunities because of the scarcity of research in that area. T here have been a few studies exploring organizationpublic relationships focusing on employee relationships ( e.g., Jo & Shim, 2005; Ni, 2007, 2009; Rawlins, 2009; Wilson, 2000). Jo and Shim explored the effect of employee communication in nurturing trusting relationships with employees. When Ni (2007) explored the employees perceptions about employee organization relationships (EOR) in multinational and domestic companies in China as a globalization context, the study pointed out the uniqueness of employees inherent economic dependence on organizations, the need to belong to organizations, and the need for formal contracts to establish EOR in differentiating EOR from other organization public relationships. She found that exchange and contractual relationships are the most salient EOR, suggesting that management

PAGE 37

37 have fair exchange relationships with employees. Therefore, this nature of employee publics is unique because employees did n ot consider EOR as the single factor in their decisions to stay or to leave a certain organization (p. 62). Employees receive pay, experience, and career opportunities, while companies receive employees labor, skills, revenue, and growth. Ni (2007) also emphasizes the significance of the job positions of employees, developmental stages of organizations, influence of top management, and organizational types as critical factors affecting EOR. Among those four outcomes, this dissertation focuses on trust bec ause previous studies have shown linkages indicating that trust can be cultivated as an outcome of employee communication (Jo & Shim, 2005; Muchinsky, 1977; Ruppel & Harrington, 2000). Relationship Quality Outcome: Trust Trust has been studied in diverse disciplines, including interpersonal communication (Burgoon & Hale, 1984), organizational communication (Ellis & Shockley Zalabak, 2001; Hubbell & Chory Assad, 2005), advertising (Soh, Reid, & King, 2009), and marketing (Doney & Cannon, 1997; Jarvenpaa, Tra ctinsky, & Vitale, 2000). However, Mayer, Davis, and Schoorman (1995) point out that there is a lack of clarity in scholarship about trust and have attempted to clarify a definition of trust and to present a model of its antecedents and outcomes. They rega rd trust as willingness of a party to be vulnerable (p. 729) and differentiate trust from other similar constructs (cooperation, confidence, and predictability). However, they emphasize ability, benevolence, and integrity in explaining trust and note tha t the issue on which you trust them depends not only on the assessment of integrity and benevolence, but also on the ability to accomplish it (p. 729). Theoretically and practically, trust has been noted for its significance to achieve organizational ef fectiveness and success. Numerous studies confirm that trust is vital for effective crisis management (Mishra, 1996; Webb, 1996), reduced litigation charges (Brockner

PAGE 38

38 & Siegel, 1996), and economic performance (Knack & Keefer, 1997). Three decades ago, Cook and Wall (1980) mentioned that trust between individuals and groups within organizations is a highly important ingredient in the long term stability of the organization and the well being of its members (p. 39). In the real world, trust is recognized as a significant value for organizational success. Caudron (2002) notes, According to Watson Wyatts Work USA 2002 survey, the threeyear total return to shareholders is almost three times lower at companies with low trust levels than at companies with high trust levels (p. 30). As Ni (2007) notes, employees perceive trust in employee organization relationships (EOR) at both interpersonal and organizational levels, meaning that there exists both trust toward supervisors and trust in an organization. Shockl ey Zalabak, Ellis, and Winograd (2000) clarify individual trust and organizational tr ust in the following way : Individual trust refers to expectations about individual relationships and behaviors. Organizational trust refers to expectations individuals ha ve about networks or organizational relationships and behaviors. In this current work, organizational trust is viewed as positive expectations individuals have about the intent and behaviors of multiple organizational members based on organizational role s, relationships, expe riences, and interdependencies ( Shockley Zalabak et al., 2000, p.37) Differentiating trust in management role relationships (top management and supervisors), Ellis and Shockley Zalabak (2001) found that trust in top management is mor e significantly related to employees satisfaction and perceptions about organizational effectiveness than is trust in immediate supervisors. Studies about interpersonal trust have focused on identifying factors that influence trust in immediate supervisor s (Engelbrecht & Cloete, 2000; Ferrin, Dirks, & Shah, 2006; Muchinsky, 1977). One of the most common definitions of trust in organizational literature reflects Rotters (1967) concept of interpersonal trust, which refers to an expectancy held by an indivi dual or a group that the word, promise, verbal or written statement of another individual or group can be relied upon (p. 651). Information flow is known to affect employees

PAGE 39

39 trust in supervisors (Muchinsky, 1977). Others have investigated employees trus t in their management and organization (e.g., McCauley & Kuhnert, 1992; Schoorman, Mayer, & Davis, 2007; Shockley Zalabak et al., 2000). McCauley and Kuhnert believe that trust between employees and management is not interpersonal in nature, but is seen a s deriving from the roles, rules, and structured relations of the organization (p. 279). They examined employees trust in top management and found that system wide variables (professional development, job security, and performance appraisal) can contribu te to employees trust in management more than the task and relational variables (communication, autonomy, participation, feedback, and supervisory support). Their conclusion emphasizes the influence of organizational climates in employees trusting relationships with management. Some scholars regard employees trust as the result of effective and long term organizational management in stakeholder management. Caudron (2002) describes employees trust in their companies in this way: Trust is the result of countless management decisions made over a long period that help employees feel secure about their ownand the organizations future (p. 32). Ruppel and Harrington (2000) provide the following commentary regarding trust: Trust is confidence that the self interests of the company owners and managers will not necessarily take total precedence over the self interests of the other stakeholders. a corporate climate oriented around either extreme, management self interests or extended stakeholder interests, i s a manifestation of managerial actions over time that have or have not been right, just, and fair. (Ruppel & Harrington, 2000, p. 314) Their understanding suggests that employee trust can indicate the results of organizational efforts to value emplo yees. In public relations, trust has been emphasized because trust from diverse stakeholders, such as stockholders, employees, consumers, governments, and communities, is fundamental for organizations to exist and survive (Vercic & Grunig, 1995). From an OPR perspective,

PAGE 40

40 Ledingham and Bruning (1998) define trust as a feeling that those in the relationship can rely on each other. Dependability, forthrightness and trustworthiness are key components (p. 58), reflecting Woods (1995) interpersonal relationship approach. Hung (2002) identified five dimensions in trust: Dependability refers to the consistency in ones words and behaviors; faith is the confidence one party has in another to face an unknown future; competence refers to the ability one party has to capably perform his or her duties and obligations; benevolence refers to the desire to do good to the other party, but not for ones own interest; and integrity relates to parties sense of justice and whether the parties behaviors are consistent with their words. (Ni, 2007, p. 55) Hon and Grunig (1999) define trust as one partys level of confidence in and willingness to open oneself to the other party (p. 3) and see trust as having three dimensions: INTEGRITY. T he belief that an organization is fa ir and just DEPENDABILITY. T he belief that an organization will do what it says it will do and COMPETENCE. T he belief that an organization has the abilit y to do what it says it will do ( Hon & Grunig, 1999, p. 3). These three dimensions have been used to investigate trust in several recent studies (Ki & Hon, 2007; Yang, 2007; Yang & Lim, 2009). Testing the interrelationships among relationship quality constructs, control mutuality, satisfaction, trust, and commitment, Ki and Hon confirmed the desirable reliability and validity of those measures and found that after publics form a sense of satisfaction, they can develop trust, which can lead to commitment to an organization. Yang and Lim showed relational trust as an outcome of effective blog mediated pu blic relations. In public relations literature, trust has been used as a unique dimension to examine organization and various public relationships, such as communities (Heath, Seshadri, & Lee, 1998), bloggers (Yang & Lim, 2009) and employees (Jo & Shim, 2005; Rawlins, 2009). Most of those studies regard trust as an outcome. For example, Yang and Lim show relational trust as an outcome of effective blog mediated public relations. Jo and Shim explore how management of employee communication affects employees trusting relationships with their organizations.

PAGE 41

41 Rawlins specifically emphasizes trust in investigating organizational transparency in OPR research. Additionally, Grunig and Huang (2000) argue that four relationship outcomes trust, control mutuality, sat isfaction, and commitmentrepresent the essence of OPR and state that trust reflects the cognitive and affective aspects of relationship (p. 42). When Bruning and Ledingham (2000) investigated the perceptions of business relationships, such as business owners or managers selection of local telephone service providers, they found trust to be the most influencing organizationpublic relationship outcome in business to business relationships, as compared to openness, involvement, investment, and commitment They also called for future research focusing on trust in other various relationships: Because trust appears to be a variable that plays an integral role in business to business relationships regarding perceptions of satisfaction and consumer behavior, future research clearly is appropriate in order to clearly define this (Bruning & Ledingham, 2000, p. 171). Employee Communication and Trust Communication style, content, and amount of communication are critical for building a theory of organizationpubli c relationships (Broom et al., 2000; Grunig, 1992b; Ledingham, 2003; Ledingham & Bruning, 2000; Reina & Reina, 1999; Walton, 1969). In fact, Walton stresses communication as the most significant factor accounting for the total behavior of the organization (p. 109). Ledingham notes, Within the relational perspective, communication functions as a strategic tool in the building and maintaining of organizationpublic relationships (p. 195). Reina and Reina describe trust as a relationship of mutual confide nce in contractual performance, honest communication, expected competence, and a capacity for unguarded interaction (p. 10). They consider betrayal to be the opposite of trust and define it as an intentional or unintentional breach of trust or the perception of a breach of trust (p. 10). Mayer et al. (1995) explain the close relationship between integrity and trust:

PAGE 42

42 The consistency of the partys past actions, credible communications about trustee from other parties, belief that the trustee has a strong sense of justice, and the extent to which the partys actions are congruent with his or her words all affect the degree to which the party is judged to have integrity. (Mayer et al., 1995, p. 719) Research demonstrates that employee communication plays a significant role in nurturing employees trust in their organizations. Employee trust is rooted in honesty, confidence, and beliefs toward the management (Caudron, 2002), and it is argued that employees trust in their organization is the result of effecti ve and longterm management functions and cannot be built in a short time. Reina and Reina (1999) conceptualized the term communication trust: [Communication trust] is the willingness to share information, tell the truth, admit mistakes, maintain confid entiality, give and receive constructive feedback, and speak with good purpose. How we practice these behaviors demonstrates our willingness to disclose and the quality of that disclosure (p. 81). This construct is very similar to the employee communication constructs (accountability, secrecy, participation, and substantial information) of this dissertation, as shown in Table 21. Accountability is similar to admitting mistakes, and secrecy is the opposite of openness and telling the truth. Participation i s similar to giving and receiving constructive feedback, and substantial information is close to sharing information. There have been previous studies linking employee communication and trust from both interpersonal perspective s (e.g., Ellis & Shockley Z alabak, 2001; Ruppel & Harrington, 2000; Thomas et al. 2009) and organizational perspectives (e.g., Shockley Zalabak et al., 2000; Smidts et al., 2001). From an interpersonal perspective, Thomas et al. investigated the role of communication in developing employees trust towards coworkers, supervisors, and top management. They separated the quantity and quality of information in employee communication and found that quality of information is more significant in developing trust with coworkers and supervisors, while quantity of information is more important in developing trust

PAGE 43

43 towards top management. Those studies emphasize the importance of employee trust in interpersonal relationship with coworkers. Hubble and Chory Assad (2005) emphasize the importance of keeping promises for being considered trustworthy: To be trustworthy, superiors or managers must follow through and keep their word and/or promises. They must act as they say they will. Thus, trust is predic a ted on prior relational experience or at least the belief that the individual being trusted will continue to act in a positive way. (p. 51) Employee communication influences employees trust in their organization (Caudron, 2002; Rawlins, 2009; Sanchez, 2006; Shockley Zalabak & Ellis, 2006). Sanchez em phasizes the role of communication in nurturing trust: The true power of communication as a force to implement and sustain a change of culture is its ability to win the hearts and minds of employees to establish trust. This creates a value chain that can result in improved customer service, productivity, and mission accomplishment. To win hearts and minds, however, requires communication planning of the most strategic nature. It requires sustained and comprehensive activity across a spectrum of communicati on channels and stakeholders, from face to face to mass communication activity. It also demands interactivity and participation throughout the organization, from the boardroom to the mailroom. ( Sanchez, 2006, p. 41) Shockley Zalabak and Ellis strongly arg ue that both leadership and communication professionals have the responsibility of developing employees trust in their organization. Their five critical dimensions of trust are competence, openness and honesty, concern for employees, reliability, and identification. Their definitions for these dimensions are as follows: COMPETENCE. As it relates to organizational trust, competence involves the extent to which we see not only our coworkers and leaders as being effective, but also our organization as a whole Competence reflects how strongly we believe that our organization will compete and survive in the marketplace. OPENNESS AND HONESTY. Openness and honesty are the words people use most often when they are asked what contributes to organizational trust. T his dimension involves not only the amount and accuracy of information that is shared but also how sincerely and appropriately it is communicated.

PAGE 44

44 CONCERN FOR EMPLOYEES. Concern for employees includes the feelings of caring, empathy, tolerance, and safety that are exhibited when we are vulnerable in business activities. Sincere efforts to understand feelings contribute to high trust levels in any relationship. RELIABILITY. Reliability is determined by whether management, coworkers, teams, suppliers, or or ganizations act consistently and dependably. In other words, can we count on them to do what they say they will do? Does congruency exist between their words and actions? IDENTIFICATION. Identification reflects the extent to which we hold common goals, nor ms, values, and beliefs associated with our organizations culture. This dimension indicates how connected we feel to management and to coworkers. (Shockley Zalabak & Ellis, 2006, p. 49) From their perspective, trust both influences and is the outcome of communication behaviors such as providing accurate information, giving explanations for decisions, and demonstrating sincere and appropriate openness. Trust is also linked to planned organizational communication (p. 49). W hile employee trust is the outcome of planned employee communication, employee trust can accelerate employee communication and lead to organizational success. Their understanding of trust can be compared with Hon and Grunigs (1999) definition, which includes the three dimensions of integ rity, dependability, and competence. Integrity is similar to Shockley Zalabak and Ellis concept of openness and honesty, and dependability is very close to Shockley Zalabak and Ellis concept of reliability. Although competence appeared in both studies, H on and Grunig limit competence to the ability to communicate, while Shockley Zalabak and Ellis regard competence as business ability in markets. Caudron (2002) emphasizes the role of employee communication as the first factor of nurturing employees trust in their organization while acknowledging the significance of support from leadership. This study adopts Hon and Grunigs (1999) OPR based definition of trust as one partys level of confidence in and willingness to open oneself to the other party. Thus far in this review of the literature, research about OPR, trust, and employee communication and trust has been reviewed. The following section presents a review of relevant

PAGE 45

45 literature regarding organizational culture and organizational climate. Additionally, studies regarding the relationship between employee communication and organizational climate are explored. Finally, ethical organizational climate theories and the relationship between employee communication and ethics are discussed. Ethical Organizat ional Climate This section clarifies the definition of organizational culture, the definition of organizational climate, and the linkages of employee communication and organizational climate. Ethical organizational climate theories, the linkages of employe e communication and ethics, and conceptual definitions of ethical organizational climates (caring climate, instrumental climate, law and code climate, rules cl imate, and independence climate) are also discussed. Definition of Organizational Culture Schein (1992) defines organizational culture in the following way: [Organizational culture is] a pattern of shared basic assumptions that the group learned as it solved its problems of external adaptation and internal integration, that has worked well enough to be considered valid and, therefore, to be taught to new members as the correct way to perceive, think, and feel in relation to those problems. (Schein, 1992, p. 12) Kotter and Heskett (1992) state, When people talk of the corporate culture, they usually mean values and practices that are shared across all groups in a firm, at least within senior management (p. 6). Sathe (1983) also offers a definition: Culture is the set of important understandings (often unstated) that members of a community share in common (p. 6). An organizational culture has been said to have strength, such as a thick or a thin culture, and history, leadership, organizational size, and the stability of its membership (Sathe, 1983, p. 13), all of which affect the strength of corporate culture. A strong culture does not imply an inherent positivity or negativity, but it may affect employees more than a weak culture does. Trice and Beyer (1993) argue that a variety of subcultures can be present in a weak culture since

PAGE 46

46 there are no clear values. Drake and Drake (1988) warn that strong cultures can limit individual freedom and diverse opinion. Organizational culture can directly affect the performance of an organization. Culture influences an organizations functions pervasively and i s significantly related to business strategy (Sanchez, 2006). Kotter and Heskett (1992) performed indepth research about corporate culture in the late 1980s and early 1990s by conducting surveys with top officers in 207 companies. Their main conclusions w ere as follows: 1. Corporate culture can have a significant impact on a firms long term economic performance. 2. Corporate culture will probably be an even more important factor in determining the success or failure of firms in the next decade. 3. Co rporate cultures that inhibit strong long term financial performance are not rare; they develop easily, even in firms that are full of reasonable and intelligent people. 4. Although tough to change, corporate cultures can be made more performance enhanci ng. (Kotter & Heskett, 1992, pp. 1112) They found a rather weak positive correlation between corporate culture and long term performance. In other work, Mike and Slocum (2003) studied how one company successfully changed the company s ineffective cultures and showed the significance of management teams innovative efforts to change the corporate culture and to motivate employees. Leader and management teams recognition of the need to change a corporate culture led to the creation of a new organizational c ulture to encourage cooperation and appreciation among employees to make their organization succeed in the long term. Definition of Organizational Climate Organizational climate is commonly defined as the shared perceptions held by individual members of an organization (Reichers & Schneider, 1990; Schneider, 1975; Schneider & Snyder, 1975; Vardi, 2001). Schneider defines a work climate as perceptions that are psychologically meaningful molar descriptions that people can agree characterize a systems practi ces and procedures (p. 474). Schneider and Snyder describe organizational climate in the following

PAGE 47

47 way: [It is] a summary perception which people have of (or about) an organization. It is, then, a global impression of what the organization is (p. 318). Reichers and Schneider refer to organizational climate as shared perceptions of organizational policies, practices, and procedures, both formal and informal (p. 22). Denison (1996) investigated the differences between organizational culture and organiza tional climate, defining them as follows: Climate refers to a situation and its link to thoughts, feelings, and behaviors of organizational members. Thus, it is temporal, subjective, and often subject to direct manipulation by people with power and influen ce. Culture, in contrast, refers to an evolved context (within which a situation may be embedded). Thus, it is rooted in history, collectively held, and sufficiently complex to resist many attempts at direct manipulation. (p. 644) However, Denison conclude d that the distinctions should be understood as differences in interpretation rather than differences in the phenomenon (p. 645). On the other hand, Ruppel and Harrington (2000) point out that climate is a less broad construct than organizational cultur e (p. 314) as compared to organizational culture. P sychological climate refers to individual perceptions of the work environment, while organizational climate refers to collective perceptions of the work environment (Kuenzi & Schminke, 2009, p. 701) However, several studies suggest that meanings of psychological climate and organizational climate have been confused and that unit of analysis issues have not been clear in empirical studies of organizational climate (James, 1982; James et al., 2008; Kue nzi & Schminke, 2009; Robertson, 1993). Robertson notes that numerous previous studies focused on individual level analysis and that few efforts have been made at the group level of analysis in organizational climate studies. In this study, organizational climate is defined as individual perceptions about shared perceptions of organizational policies, practices, and

PAGE 48

48 procedures, both formal and informal, incorporat ing definitions by Reichers and Schneider (1990) and Kuenzi and Schminke ( 2009). Employee Co mmunication, Organizational Culture, and Organizational Climate Communication plays a critical role in forming organizational contexts, and it provides vital evidence about organizational contexts. Harshman and Harshman (1999) note that communication is a powerful factor in organizational performance, in part because it is tangible evidence about what the leadership believes and the values for which leadership stands (p. 5). Sriramesh Grunig, & Dozier (1996) note, Communication among employees, in forma l and informal settings, often indicates the type of culture present in an organization (p. 233) and express the relationship of communication and culture as being reciprocal (p. 238). Bowen (2004b) describes the close relationship between organizationa l culture and communication: Organizational culture and communication are linked in two ways. First, the culture of an organization is conveyed and perpetuated through the use of communication. Second, organizational culture often dictates the type and str ucture of communication in a company, as exemplified by the model of public relations that the organization prefers in communicating with publics or the communication hierarchy in the organization. (Bowen, 2004b, p. 313) In public relations literature, th ere have been several studies focusing on the relationship between employee communication and organizational culture (e.g., Cameron & McCollum, 1993; Chen, 2008; Grunig, 1992b; Kim, 2007; Rhee & Moon, 2009; Sriramesh et al. 1996). Some of these studies (C hen, 2008; Grunig, 1992 b; Kim, 2007; Sriramesh et al., 1996) applied Grunigs Excellence Theory to investigate the relationship. Sriramesh et al.s broad quantitative approach, using data taken from 4,631 employees in 321 organizations in the United States Canada, and the United Kingdom, provided the first opportunity to link corporate culture and public relations with quantitative analysis. They concluded that organizational cultural variables are not determinant conditions for excellent public relations practice, although they did find that

PAGE 49

49 a participative culture provides a more supportive condition for excellent public relations than does an authoritarian culture. Kim evaluated organizational structure and internal communication by applying the Excellen ce Theory and found that although symmetrical internal communication does not guarantee good employee relationships, an organic structure, a symmetrical communication system, and a fair organizational system (p. 193) are significant factors in determinin g positive employee organization relationships. Chen investigated the impact of internal/employee communication on the organizational effectiveness measured by employees trust and openness with the management and by employees job satisfaction. The study found that participative culture and two way symmetrical communication were significant factors in increasing employees openness, trust, and job satisfaction. Alternatively, Cameron and McCollum (1993) studied organizational media messages and corporate culture by inquiring about the opinions of the message sender (organizational managers and communication practitioners) and the message receiver (employees) in two different organizations. They investigated whether there is a consensus or a discrepancy bet ween management and employees perceptions about a company and determined that having a consensus for the communication process within an organization is significant in having shared beliefs between two groups. Rhee and Moon (2009) investigated how organiz ational culture affects employee communication and confirmed that organizational culture has a significant impact on public relations strategies. They analyzed four different types of cultures (group culture, developmental culture, hierarchical culture, and rational culture) and three different types of employee communication strategies (information adequacy, information flow, and interaction supportiveness). Their study found that group culture and developmental culture encourage a free flow of information; however, a hierarchical culture impedes the free flow of

PAGE 50

50 information. The group culture and the developmental culture are also better at providing adequate information and interaction support than are the other cultures. The previous sections reviewed l iterature regarding organizational culture and organizational climate, as well as the relationship of employee communication, organizational culture, and organizational climate. In the following section, the focus moves towards ethical topics, ethical orga nizational climate, the relationship of employee communication and ethics, and conceptual definitions about ethical organizational climate types. Ethical Organizational Climate Following Schneider (1983), Victor and Cullen (1987, 1988) pioneered the ethic al climate theory and developed nine ethical climate types. These types do not refer to the ethical development level, but rather to equally valid organizational norms. E thical organizational climate influences organizational employees or members moral conduct (Cohen, 1995; Victor & Cullen, 1987, 1988) Victor and Cullen (1988) describe ethical climate as how people in an organization typically decide whether it is right or wrong to pay kickbacks (p. 102) and hypothesized the following: (1) Organizati ons and subgroups within organizations develop different institutionalized normative systems; (2) although not completely homogeneous, these normative systems are known to organizational members sufficiently well to be perceived as a type of work climate; and (3) perceptions of ethical work climate differ from affective evaluations of ethical work climate. ( Victor & Cullen 1988, p. 102) Ethical climate is one sub dimension of organizational climate (Lemmergaard & Lauridsen, 2008). Parboteeah and Cullen (2003) note that the ethical climate construct delineates a group of prescriptive climates reflecting prevailing organizational practices with moral consequences (p. 138). Martin and Cullen (2006) state that ethical climate is a group of prescriptive clima tes

PAGE 51

51 reflecting the organizational procedures, policies, and practices with moral consequences (p. 177). Ruppel and Harrington (2000) define ethical work climate as an appropriate indicator of the implementation policies of executive managers and whether executive managers have protected the interests of extended stakeholders, or only those of owners and managers (p. 314). Malloy and Agarwal (2003) point out that ethical climate is defined generally by the group and, in turn, identifies for the group and for individuals what is ethical or unethical behaviour and how ethical issues are managed (p. 225). Deshpande (1996b) regards ethical climate as the shared perception of how ethical issues should be addressed and what is ethically correct behavior (p. 655). Ethical climate theory is known as one of the most influential conceptual foundations in the business ethical domain (Martin & Cullen, 2006, p. 175). Victor and Cullens (1987, 1988) ethical organizational climate research is based on two theoret ical dimensions: the ethical criterion (egoism, benevolence, and principle) and the locus of analysis (individual, local, and cosmopolitan). Regarding the ethical criterion, the egoistic climate acknowledges that company norms support the satisfaction of self interests (Cullen et al., 2003, p. 129). The benevolent climate pursues maximizing the interests of a particular social group, and the company norms of the principled climate emphasize abstract principles independent of situational outcomes (Cull en et al., 2003, p. 129). The locus of analysis refers to the important reference group in making ethical decisions (Victor & Cullen, 1988). At the individual level, the normative standards for ethical climate are individual level sources. Organizational n orms for ethical reasoning are reference groups at the organizational level, and external sources are norms at the cosmopolitan level. Those theoretical frameworks create a 3 3 matrix like the one presented in Table 2 2 from Victor and Cullen (1988, p.104)

PAGE 52

52 Victor and Cullen (1987) developed the Ethical Climate Questionnaire (ECQ), and their original questionnaire used 26 items to describe nine possible ethical climates based on three ethical criteria and three loci of analysis. While these nine ethical clim ates show the basic theoretical roots, empirical studies have shown fewer than nine climate types. In 1988, Victor and Cullen found five ethical climate types (caring, law and code, rules, instrumental, and independence) and replicated the results from the ir 1987 study. In 1990, Victor and Cullen identified six climate types (professionalism, caring, rules, instrumental, efficiency, and independence). Professionalism is similar to law and code climate, and efficiency is a new climate type that emphasizes th e efficient way to gain organi zational success. Later, Cullen et al. (1993) added ten items to the original 26 items of Victor and Cullen (1987) and provided a new version of the questionnaire. However, some studies have suggested that the more parsimonious original version of 26 items has stronger validity (Fritzche, 2000; Peterson, 2002b). Victor and Cullens (1988) ethical climate frameworks have been used in numerous studies to investigate how ethical organizational climate affects employees attitudinal and behavioral outcomes. For positive work attitudes, a covenantal relationship with employer (Barnett & Schubert, 2002), employees ethical behavior (Barnett & Vaicys, 2000; Deshpande, 1996a; Wimbush & Shepard, 1994), employees organizational commitm ent (Cullen et al. 2003), employees job satisfaction (Deshpande, 1996b; El i & Alpkan, 2009), and employees workplace spirituality (Parboteeah & Cullen, 2003) have been studied, along with employees negative work attitudes, bullying behaviors (Bulutlar & z, 2009), unethical behavior (Peterson, 2002b), and organizational misbehavior (Vardi, 2001). Barnett and Schubert found that employees who perceive their work climate as egoistic have less probability of perceiving a covenantal relationship with their employer, while employees whose work climate is seen as

PAGE 53

53 being benevolent and principled are more likely to have a covenantal relationship with their employer. Similarly, Parboteeah and Cullen suggest that benevolent local and principledlocal ethical climate types are more likely to support workplace spirituality, which can help employees to find meaning in their work and lives, rather than an egoistic ethical climate, the least desirable climate for developing workplace spirituality. In general, egoism cl imate is significantly correlated with employees unethical and undesirable attitudes/behaviors, while benevolent and principled climates are closely related to ethical and desirable attitudes/behaviors (e.g., Barnett & Schubert, 2002; Cullen et al., 2003; Parboteeah & Cullen, 2003; Peterson, 2002b). Martin and Cullen (2006) point out that the antecedents of ethical climate theory are under researched compared to the consequences of ethical climate. A few studies have investigated the antecedents of ethical organizational climate (e.g., Malloy & Agarwal, 2003; Morris, 1997; Peterson, 2002b). Morris confirmed that stakeholder management devices, like a code of ethics, rewarding systems, and training workshops, affect employees perceptions of ethical organiz ational climates and emphasized the significance of stakeholder management in establishing or altering ethical organizational climate. Peterson also found that organizations without codes of ethics are more likely to have a self interest climate type than are organizations with codes of ethics. On the other hand, Malloy and Agarwal investigated how individual specific factors, organizational specific factors, and dilemmaspecific factors affect employees perceptions of ethical organizational climate in nonprofit sectors. Among organizational factors, neither organizational size nor existence of organizational codes of ethics influenced employees perceptions of ethical climate, while organizational decision style did affect employees perceptions in nonpr ofit contexts. Malloy and Agarwal stress that local norms are not as influential as internal and cosmopolitan norms for nonprofit members.

PAGE 54

54 Martin and Cullens (2006) meta analytic review of ethical climate theory confirmed Victor and Cullens (1987, 1988) theoretical tenet that five different types of ethical climate affect peoples reactions to their perceived ethical environments and provided a comprehensive understanding of ethical organizational climate theory. In this study, ethical organizational cli mate is defined as individual perceptions about shared perceptions of organizational policies, practices, and procedures with moral consequences, incorporating definitions of Reichers and Schneider (1990) Kuenzi and Schminke ( 2009) and Martin and Culle n (2006). This study explores psychological organizational climate. Employee Communication and Ethics In business ethics scholarship, codes of ethics and ethical training have often been emphasized as prerequisites for achieving organizational ethics ( Ada ms, Tashchian, & Shore, 2001; McDevitt, Giapponi, & Tromley, 2007; Sims, 1991). For example, McDevitt et al. argue that formal codes of ethics include organizational culture as one type of organizational context that affects managers ethical decision maki ng. Others, however, have argued that the ethical decision process or the embraced values are more important than the concrete programs themselves, such as the codes of ethics or ethics training and that codes of ethics or ethical training cannot, by thems elves, result in desirable business ethics ( Cleek & Leonard, 1998; Weaver, Trevi o, & Cochran, 1999). Bowen (2004a) emphasizes the importance of researching organizational culture, rather than studying codes of ethics, for understanding ethical decision m aking in an organization. To institutionalize ethics effectively, Jose and Thibodeaux (1999) identified and compared implicit forms of institutionalizing ethics (reward system, performance evaluation system, promotion system, corporate culture, ethical leadership, top management support, and open communication channels) with explicit forms (codes of ethics, ethics training, ethics newsletters, ethics hotlines,

PAGE 55

55 ethics officers, and ethics committees). They found that managers valued the implicit forms more t han the explicit forms and stressed the importance of corporate culture, ethical leadership, and open communication channels in any effort to institutionalize ethics (p. 139). Schwartz (2002) acknowledges that including employees in the process of creati ng a code of ethics is important for the dignity of the employees, and this argument acknowledges the significance of valuing employees for creating an ethical corporate culture. Borgerson et al. (2009) warn about having empty ethical values without accompanying ethical and socially responsible commitment (p. 219), which occurs when a corporations ethical identity is only emphasized to its publics without efforts to embrace those values within the corporation itself. Employee communication, a common, e veryday practice within an organization, is also integral in forming an ethical organizational climate. For example, Borgerson et al. (2009) conducted a case study of Benetton Corporation and revealed the corporations failure in corporate communication by not embracing ethical values within the organization. They argue that a consistent communication of ethical values is important for inspiring employees corporate identity and emphasize the significance of ethical inspiration towards employees in corporat e communication. Toth and Trujillo (1987) also argue that the corporate communicators of an organization must take the lead in articulating the ethical framework of that organization (p. 50). The outcome of ethics is not the visible provision, but how m uch people embrace those values according to research. As a result, employee communication can be critical in determining ethical organizational values. Harshman and Harshman (1999) provide the following explanation: Organizational communication is among the critical functions in transition and is one of the areas for which underlying values is critical. Inherent in the relationship between an organization and its workers is an ethical dimension which affects the

PAGE 56

56 content and structure of the organizations formal and informal internal communication. (Harshman & Harshman, 1999, p. 3) In considering the significance of employee communication in affecting the ethical behaviors of an organization, public relations practitioners are often described as an organi zations conscience, since they are at the heart of relationship management with various publics. Bowen (2008) asserts that public relations officers should act as a corporate conscience, integrity and honesty judge, or ethics counsel, to top decision makers in the organization (p. 276). Bowen (2005, 2008) emphasizes the importance of the ethical conscience role played by public relations practitioners for successful relationship management with publics and related organizations. In public relations scholarship, there have been a few studies conducted exploring employee communication as an important organizational factor for influencing ethical aspects of organizations. Bowen (2004b) attempted to identify significant organizational factors for encouraging ethical decision making in an ethically exemplar organization. She clarified that a symmetrical worldview, open communication, deontological organizational philosophy rewarding ethical behavior, ethics training, and an individual fit with organizational e thical value can lead to an ethical decision making organization. Rawlins (2009) investigated how communication transparency efforts (participation, substantial information, accountability, and secrecy) affect three organizational transparency reputation t raits (integrity, respect for others, and openness). He concluded that organizational communication transparency efforts are a contributing factor for employees developing integrity, respect for others, openness, and ethical behavior. He acknowledges the contribution of transparency communication efforts for the ethical nature of organizations because of the following reasons: First, it holds organizations accountable for their actions and policies; and second, it respects the autonomy and reasoning abilit y of individuals who deserve to have access to information that might affect their position

PAGE 57

57 in life (p. 77). He points out that the concepts of openness and trust are the most logically tied in to explaining transparency in organizationpublic relationshi p research. Conceptual Definitions of Ethical Organizational Climate Martin and Cullens (2006) meta analytic review of ethical climate theory concluded that five different ethical climate types caring, instrumental, law and code, rules, and independence were the most frequently investigated ones in previous studies. They suggested the description of five climate types against the original theoretical matrix, as shown in Table 23 (Martin & Cullen, 2006, p. 178). Instrumental climate is at the intersection of individual and local loci of analysis and the egoism ethical criterion. Caring climate is at the intersection of individual and local loci of analysis and the benevolence ethical criterion. The other three climate types (independence, rules, and law an d code climates) are principle ethical criterion varying by individual, local, and cosmopolitan locus of analysis. Detailed reviews of five ethical climate types are discussed in the following section. Caring c limate A c aring climate is at the intersectio n of individual and local loci of analysis and the benevolence ethical criterion, and it has the most positive employees workrelated outcomes, such as ethical behavior perception (Deshpande, 1996a), less negative organizational misbehavior (Vardi, 2001), and work place spirituality (Parboteeah & Cullen, 2003). Martin and Cullens (2006) meta analysis confirmed that a caring climate gives employees the impression that they are valued, and accordingly, employees develop loyalty to and trust in their organiz ations. Martin and Cullen (2006) describe the characteristics of a caring climate: In this atmosphere, individuals perceive that decisions are and should be based on an overarching concern for the well being of others. They perceive that ethical concern exists for others within the organization, as well as society at large. Concern for and consideration of others is also perceived to be supported by the

PAGE 58

58 policies, practices, and strategies of the firm by its actors. (Martin & Cullen, 2006, p. 179) In a car ing climate, employees regard benevolence as an important value of their organizations and believe that their organizations endorse caring for e ach other. In this study, adapt ing Martin and Cullens (2006) description, a caring climate is defined as an et hical organizational climate in which individuals perceive that decisions are and should be based on an overarching concern for the well being of others. Instrumental c limate Instrumental climate is at the intersection of individual and local loci of anal ysis and the egoism ethical criterion It primarily represents the egoism and self interest dimensions among the five different climate types. Martin and Cullen (2006) describe instrumental climate in this way: [Instrumental climate involves] norms and ex pectations that encourage ethical decision making from an egoistic perspective. What is more, the actor perceives that self interest guides behavior, even to the possible detriment of others (p. 179). Cohen (1993) describes the instrumental climate in mor e detail: [It is] characterized by a focus on self interest and individualism, an absence of concern for ethical standards or moral values, a minimal sense of interpersonal responsibility, an emphasis on cost control and efficiency, a lack of consideration for employee welfare, an outcomedriven incentive system and finally, an expectation that, regardless of the consequences, employees should do whatever is necessary to advance the organizations goals. (Cohen, 1993, p. 348) Victor and Cullen (1988) report that instrumental climate is the least dominant and the least preferred climate type. In an instrumental climate, employees believe that organizations value the self interest of the organization the most, and accordingly, employees also become egoistic. Numerous studies have concluded that an instrumental climate is the climate type having the most negative impact on employees work attitudes, such as less organizational commitment (Martin & Cullen, 2006), more dysfunctional behavior (Martin & Cullen, 2006), more unethical

PAGE 59

59 behavior (Peterson, 2002 b; Victor & Cullen, 1988), and less satisfaction with promotions, coworkers, supervisors, and overall job satisfaction (Deshpand, 1996b). Victor and Cullen suggest that instrumental climate shows the highest level of unethical behavior by employees. Peterson found that organizations without a code of ethics are more likely to have a self interest dimension of ethical organizational climate and instrumental climate. Peterson also found that instrumental climate is correlated with employees unethical behaviors. In organizations with an instrumental climate, personal interest is pursued as the most important value without regard to external factors, such as the organization, professional codes, and even law. In t his study, instrumental climate is defined as an ethical organizational climate in which norms and expectations encourage ethical decisionmaking from an eg oistic perspective, adapting Martin and Cullens (2006) description of the term. Law and c ode c limate Law and code climate is at the intersection of cosmopolitan locus of analysis and the principle ethical criterion, and it is prevalent in for profit organizations ( Fritzsche, 2000; Victor & Cullen, 1987, 1988). For example, Fritzche investigated emplo yees perceptions about the ethical climate of a high tech firm, finding that more than half of survey respondents perceived their firm as having a law and code climate. In Victor and Cullens (1988) study, one savings and loan company showed the greatest emphasis on law and code and rules climates. A law and code climate is described in the following way: The organization supports principled decisionmaking based on external codes such as the law, the Bible, or professional codes of conduct. In decisionma king situations with a law and code climate, it is perceived that actors should make decisions based on the mandate of some external system. (Martin & Cullen, 2006, p. 179) A law and code climate emphasizes external professional codes, such as the legal s ystem, professional codes, and religious values. Scholars argue that law and code climates lead to

PAGE 60

60 employees positive work attitudes (Malloy & Agarwal, 2003; Martin & Cullen, 2006). Martin and Cullen conclude that externally based rules such as professio nal or religious codes, when perceived to be internalized within the organization, also seem to produce positive relationships with organizational outcomes (p. 188). Malloy and Agarwal stress the importance of global codes of conduct rather than local nor ms in influencing employees perceptions about ethical climate, because when employees perceive that their organizations incorporate global norms, they are more likely to consider their organizations as being a part of strategic alliances in an era of globalization. Based on Martin and Cullens (2006) understanding of the law and code climate, this study defines it as an ethical organizational climate in which external rules, such as professional or religious codes, are internalized within the organization. Rules climate Rules climate is at the intersection of local locus of analysis and principle ethical criterion and emphasizes company rules and procedures. A few studies argue that a rules climate is effective in positively affecting employees ethical b ehavior. Vardi (2001) found that a rules climate affects employees organizational misbehavior negatively, as does a caring climate. Barnett and Vaicys (2000) also concluded that when organizations have a rules climate, employees show ethical judgment behavioral intentions relationship, and employees are less likely to engage in ethically questionable practices. Based on Martin and Cullens (2006) description of rules climate, this study defines it as an ethical organizational climate in which company rule s and procedures are emphasized within the organization. Independence c limate Independence climate is at the intersection of individual locus of analysis and the principle ethical criterion and personal morality is the sole significant criterion in eth ical decision making. Independence climate is described in the following way:

PAGE 61

61 Individuals believe they should act on deeply held, personal moral convictions to make ethical decisions. In their view of the organization, decisions with moral consequences should emphasize personal moral beliefs with minimal regard for external forces and outside influence on ethical quandaries. (Martin & Cullen, 2006, p. 179) Martin and Cullens (2006) meta analysis concluded that i ndependence climate showed weak relationship with most outcomes in general. For example, Deshpande (1996b) also found that independence climate did not significantly affect any facets of job satisfaction. However, Victor and Cullen (1988) found that their one sample company, a small printing company having 33 employees, showed a strong caring and independence climate. They interpreted this to mean that the absence of direct supervision and rules results in a similar reliance on caring and independence judgment (p. 12). In this study, independence cl imate is defined as an ethical organizational climate in which decisions with moral consequences should emphasize personal moral beliefs with minimal regard for external forces and outside influence on ethical quandaries, reflecting Martin and Cullens ( 2006) description of the term. Research Questions and Hypotheses This study predicts the linkages among employees perceptions of employee communication, employees trust in their organizations, and their perceptions of ethical organizational climate type s. Trust is tested as a mediator to link employee communication and ethical organizational climates. Mediating effect refers to the effect of a third variable/construct intervening between two other related constructs (Hair, Black, Babin, Anderson, & Tat ham, 2006, p. 844). Specifically, MacKinnon, Fairchild, and Fritz (2007) define mediation as the addition of a third variable to this X Y relation, whereby X causes the mediator, M, and M causes Y, so X M Y (p. 595). To test this, this study attempts to examine (1) the relationship of employee communication (defined as a specialized sub discipline of communication that examines how people communicate in organizations and the nature of effective communication

PAGE 62

62 systems in organizations) and employees trus t (defined as one partys level of confidence in and willingness to open oneself to the other party in an organization), (2) the relationship of employees trust and ethical organizational climate (defined as individual perceptions about shared perceptions of organizational policies, practices, and procedures with moral consequences ), and (3) the relationship of employee communication and ethical organizational climate. Therefore, the indirect effects of a sequence of employee communication, trust, and ethi cal organizational climates, and the direct effects of the relationship between employee communication and ethical organizational climates are tested using path analysis. The purpose of this dissertation is to explore the role of employee communication as it relates to ethical organizational climates. Ruppel and Harrington (2000) examined the linkages of employee communication, trust, and ethical organizational climate, the topics in this dissertation. They found that an ethical organizational climate emph asizing benevolence leads employees to trust in an organization and that open communication increases employees trust levels, which increases commitment and innovation. In their study, the only dimension of employee communication was open communication, w hile this dissertation includes the dimensions of accountability, secrecy, participation, and substantial information in understanding employee communication. Strategic management of employee communication plays a significant role in nurturing employee tr ust in an organization (Caudron, 2002; Shockley Zalabak & Ellis, 2006). Trust has been studied as one construct of organizationpublic relationship outcomes (Jo, 2006; Ki, 2006; Yang, 2007). Caudron warned about organizations that experience a lack of empl oyees trust, stating that a lack of trust can also be fostered by incompetence, or a sense that the organization is floating (p. 32), referring to Ilene Gochman, organizational measurement practice director for

PAGE 63

63 Watson Wyatt. He pointed out that a key pr edictor for employees trust can be an HR function responsible for employee communication. Shockley Zalabak and Ellis argue that employees organizational trust has numerous positive linkages with (1) more adaptive organizational forms and structures, (2) the ability to form strategic alliances, (3) effective crisis management, (4) reduced litigation costs, (5) reduced transaction costs, (6) product innovation, and (7) economic performance (p. 46). Therefore, strategic management for employee communicatio n is important for developing employee trust and organizational success. T his study attempts to examine the relationship of employee perceptions of employee communication constructs (accountability, secrecy, participation, and substantial information) and employees trust in their organizations. Previous studies have explored the linkages of employee communication and trust, concluding that trust can be cultivated as an outcome of employee communication characteristics (Jo & Shim, 2005; Muchinsky, 1977; Ruppel & Harrington, 2000). This study includes the dimensions of accountability, secrecy, participation, and substantial information in understanding employee communication. Accountability, participation, and substantial information are known to have positi ve outcomes for employees (Cameron & McCollum, 1998; Rawlins, 2009; Reina & Reina, 1999; Zhu et al., 2004). Accountability shows organizational transparency efforts and encourages employees ethical attitudes (Rawlins, 2009). Participation and interactivit y of employee communication is known to win employees trust (Ni, 2007; Reina & Reina, 1999; Sanchez, 2006). Ellis and Shockley Zalavak (2001) found that the amount of information about job and organizational issues can explain employees trust of top mana gement and immediate supervisors. Reina and Reina (1999) warn that limiting information for employees may send a message that employees are not trusted and thus do not deserve to receive adequate information. While openness increases employees

PAGE 64

64 trust (Ruppel & Harrington, 2000; Shockley Zalabak & Ellis, 2006), secrecy is known to have a negative relationship with employees positive outcomes (Rawlins, 2009; Reina & Reina, 1999). Thus, the following hypotheses we re presented: H1 : Perceptions of accountabili ty of employee communication will be related positively to employees trust in their organization. H2 : Perceptions of participation of employee communication will be related positively to employees trust in their organization. H3 : Perceptions of secrecy of employee communication will be related negatively to employees trust in their organization. H4 : Perceptions of substantial information of employee communication will be related positively to employees trust in their organization. Employees trust ca n reflect organizational climate and organizational culture (Elving, 2005; Ruppel & Harrington, 2000). Most organizations have dominant ethical climates that are distinct from those of other organizations (Victor & Cullen, 1987, 1988). Five different ethic al organizational climates caring, instrumental, law and code, rules, and independence are examined in many studies. Of the five different organizational ethical climate types, the caring climate is known to develop the most positive employee attitudes or perceptions (Deshpande, 1996a; Martin & Cullen, 2006; Parboteeah & Cullen, 2003; Vardi, 200). Alternatively, instrumental climates are known to have the most negative and undesirable employee attitudes (Martin & Cullen, 2006; Parboteeah & Cullen, 2003; Pet erson, 2002b; Victor & Cullen, 1988). Principled climate types include law and code, rules, and independence ethical climate types (Fritzche, 2000). Barnett and Vaicys (2000) describe principled climates as having moral behavior as behavior that arises fr om a deliberate choice to subordinate the circumstances one faces to certain universal principles of right and wrong (p. 355). Peterson (2002b) found that principled climates show a negative relationship with unethical behavior. Barnett and Schubert (2002) also found that principled climates are positively related to affective commitment. While

PAGE 65

65 law and code and rules climates emphasize external standards, independence climates stress personal morality as the sole significant criterion in ethical decision m aking. Although independence climate is shown to have weak relationships with most outcomes in general (Martin & Cullen, 2006), Victor and Cullen (1988) indicate that independence climate can reflect an absence of direct supervision and rules When trust i s explored to find its relationship with ethical organizational climate types, the positive relationship of trust with caring, law and code, and rules climates is predicted, while the negative relationship of trust with instrumental and independence climat es is proposed. Therefore, the following hypotheses regarding the relationship of employees trust and their perceptions about the five different ethical climate types were proposed: H5 : Employees trust will be positively related with their perceptions of an organization as having a caring climate. H6 : Employees trust will be negatively related with their perceptions of a n organization as having an instrumental climate. H7 : Employees trust will be negatively related with their perceptions of an organiz ation as having an independence climate. H8 : Employees trust will be positively related with their perceptions of an organization as having a law and code climate. H9 : Employees trust will be positively related with their perceptions of an organization a s having a rules climate. Understanding ethical organizational climate is a critical component for leaders in managing their organizations or companies ethically and successfully. This study regards employee communication as an antecedent to ethical organi zational climate. There have been studies that have investigated antecedents of ethical organizational climates (e.g., Malloy & Agarwal, 2003; Morris, 1997; Peterson, 2002b). For example, Malloy and Agarwal investigated the impact of organizational factors on employees ethical climate perceptions in non profit

PAGE 66

66 contexts. One factor was organizational decision style. Autocratic styles in which individuals wield authority from positions of legitimate and/or charismatic power (p. 231), and democratic and consensual styles, which infer group participation and power distribution, (p. 231) were compared in their study. They found that the autocratic decision style was prevalent in ego centric climates and that democratic and consensual styles were most often f ound in benevolent cosmopolitan climate types. Five different ethical organizational climates caring, instrumental, law and code, rules, and independence are examined in many studies, and this study applies four different aforementioned employee communicat ion constructs as antecedents of organizational ethical climates. This study anticipate d that two employee communication constructs, accoun tability and participation, w ould show correlations with a caring climate, which is known to have the most positive employee attitudes. Rawlins (2009) confirms that accountability is a valid and reliable communication concept in defining organizational transparency efforts in employee communication. Accountability includes enforceability (Utting, 2008) and answerability (Phillips & Abey, 2007) for justification. Therefore, this study regards accountability as presenting an enforceable mechanism to justify organizational performance. Beu and Buckley (2004) argue that employees need to understand that there is a formal me chanism in place for raising ethical concerns (p. 75). Accordingly, accountability of employee communication can impact the attainment of a high ethical organizational climate. Participation, which includes interaction with management an d timely feedback, can make employees to perceive their organization as having a caring ethical climate, as participation shows managements willingness to listen to employees opinions and to respect its employees (Ni, 2007; Reina & Reina, 1999). Bowen (2004b) also believes that participation of employee communication is a vital component for creating ethical

PAGE 67

67 organizations. Therefore, employees are likely to regard a caring climate as their ethical organizational climate type. Therefore, the following hypotheses were propos ed: H10: Perceptions of accountability of employee communication will be positively related with employees perceptions of their organization as having a caring climate. H11: Perceptions of participation of employee communication will be positively related with employees perceptions of their organization as having a caring climate. In this study, trust is tested as a mediator, which involves a sequencing of relationships so that some construct intervenes in a sequence between two other constructs (Hai r et al., 2006, p. 882). I n the proposed model, the relationship between accountability and a caring climate mediated through trust is addressed by H1, H5, and H10. Additionally, H10a wa s proposed to predict the mediated effects of trust on the relationship between accountability and a caring climate. Similarly, the relationship between participation and a caring climate mediated through trust is addressed by H2, H 5, and H11. Additionally, H11a wa s proposed to predict the mediated effects of trust on the re lationship between participation and a caring climate: H10a: Employees trust mediates in the positive relationship between their perceptions of accountability and a caring climate. H11a: Employees trust mediates in the positive relationship between the ir perceptions of participation and a caring climate. Secrecy of employee communication is the opposite of communication openness and is known to influence employees negative attitudes and perceptions (Rawlins, 2009; Reina & Reina, 1999). When secrecy of employee communication is prevalent within an organization, employees often feel that their organizations are closed to them and that they cannot trust other employees or their organization Therefore, this study predict ed that secrecy would have a positiv e relationship with two ethical climates, instrumental and independence climates. In an instrumental climate, employees have less satisfaction with promotions, coworkers, supervisors, and overall job satisfaction (Deshpande, 1996b). Additionally, secrecy of employee

PAGE 68

68 communication can cause employees to follow their own beliefs without considering other employees beliefs or external norms, because direct supervision or open communication is not possible in an independence climate. Employees perceptions ab out i ndependence climate, which is an individual principled climate, can mean the absence of direct supervision ( Victor & Cullen, 1988). Accordingly, the two following hypotheses were proposed: H12: Perceptions of secrecy of employee communication will be related positively with employees perceptions of their organization as having an instrumental climate. H13: Perceptions of secrecy of employee communication will be related positively with employees perceptions of their organization as having an inde pendence climate. In the proposed model, therefore, the relationship between secrecy and an instrumental climate mediated through trust is addressed by H3, H6 and H12. H12a wa s proposed to predict the mediated effects of trust on the relationship between secrecy and an instrumental climate. Additionally, the relationship between secrecy and an independence climate mediated through trust is addressed by H3, H7, and H13. H13a wa s proposed to predict the mediated effects of trust on the relationship between s ecrecy and an independence climate: H12a: Employees trust mediates in the positive relationship between their perceptions of secrecy and an instrumental climate. H13a: Employees trust mediates in the positive relationship between their perceptions of se crecy and an independence climate. Law and code climate and rules climate are both principled climates that put emphasis on external standards as criteria for ethical decision making. The former emphasizes external standards beyond organizations, and the latter embraces organizational rules. Legitimate procedures are important because employees unethical behavior emerges when organizations put strong emphasis on goal attainment without legitimate procedures (Cohen, 1993). Substantial information wa s predi cted to show correlations with law and code and rules climate types. A law and code climate can impact organizations positively (Martin & Cullen, 2006), and a rules

PAGE 69

69 climate is also effective in positively affecting employees ethical behaviors (Barnett & V aicys, 2000; Vardi, 2001). Substantial information is critical in reducing uncertainty and ambiguity among employees in an organization (Scott et al., 1999; Spiker & Daniels, 1981; Weick, 1979), and employees perceptions about law and code and rules climates can lead employees to reduce uncertainty because organizations have objective norms and standards to follow. Consequently, the following hypotheses were proposed: H14: Perceptions of substantial information of employee communication will be related positively with employees perceptions of their organization as having a law and code climate. H15: Perceptions of substantial information of employee communication will be related positively with employees perceptions of their organization as having a rule s climate. In the proposed model, therefore, the relationship of substantial information and a law and code climate mediated through trust is addressed by H4, H8, and H14. H14a wa s proposed to predict the mediated effects of trust on the relationship betwe en substantial information and a law and code climate. The relationship of substantial information and a rules climate is addressed by H4, H9, and H15. H15a wa s proposed to predict the mediated effects of trust on the relationship between substantial infor mation and a rules climate: H14a: Employees trust mediates in the positive relationship between their perceptions of substantial information and a law and code climate. H15a: Employees trust mediates in the positive relationship between their perceptio ns of substantial information and a rules climate. Finally, this study aimed to find the most significant employees perceptions about const r ucts of employee communication to relate employees perceptions about five different ethical organizational climate types among four different const r ucts (accountability, secrecy, participation, and substantial information). This give s direction for public relations practitioners

PAGE 70

70 and researchers who desire to better understand the role of employee communication as it relates to ethical organization al climate s. Thus, the following research questions we re asked: RQ1a : Of the const r ucts of employee communication, which ones will be strongly associated with employees perceptions about a caring climate? RQ1b : Of the const ructs of employee communication, which ones will be strongly associated with employees perceptions about an instrumental climate? RQ1c : Of the constructs of employee communication, which ones will be strongly associated with employees perceptions about a law and code climate? RQ1d : Of the constructs of employee communication, which ones will be strongly associated with employees perceptions about a rules climate? RQ1e : Of the constructs of employee communication, which ones will be strongly associated with employees perceptions about an independence climate? This chapter has presented a review of literature about employee communication, organizationpublic relationship theories, and ethical organizational climate theories. Hypotheses and research questions were derived from theoretical frameworks discussed in this chapter. A graphical representation of the basic conceptual model is presented in Figure 21, and a more detailed conceptual model to show the relationships between each of the variables is shown in Figure 2 2.

PAGE 71

71 Table 2 1. Comparison of construct s of e mployee c ommunication Rawlins, 2009 Communication efforts Accountability Secrecy (opposite of openness) Participation Substantial information Caudron, 2002, Rebuilding trust through communicat ion Get your leaders in front of people Tell all the news you have even bad news Offer the opportunity for dialogue Remind people of the fundamentals Reina & Reina, 1999 Communication trust Admit mistakes Tell the truth Give and receive constructive fee dback Share information Rhee & Moon, 2009 Employee communication strategies Information flow Interaction supportiveness Information adequacy Trombetta & Rogers, 1988 Communication variables Communication openness Participation in decision making Infor mation adequacy Table 2 2. Victor and Cullens (1988) e thical c limate t ypes Locus of Analysis Individual Local Cosmopolitan Ethical Criterion Egoism Self interest Company profit Efficiency Benevolence Friendship Team interest Social r espon sibility Principle Personal morality Company rules and procedures Law and professional codes Table 2 3. Five c ommon e mpirical derivatives of e thical c limate Locus of Analysis Individual Local Cosmopolitan Ethical Criterion Egoism Instrumental Benevolence Caring Principle Independence Rules Law and c ode

PAGE 72

72 c a b b c' a: a linear relationship between the independent variable ( employees perceptions about employee communication) and the mediator (trust) b: a linear relationship between the mediator (trust) and the dependent variable ( employees perceptions about ethical organizational climate) c: a linear relationship between the independent variable ( emplo yees perceptions about employee communication) and dependent variable ( employees perceptions about ethical organizational climates) c': the direct effect estimated while controlling for the indirect, mediated effect Figure 21. An i nitial c onceptual m odel Employee c ommunicat ion Trust Ethical organizational c limate s Employee c ommunication Ethical organizational c limate s

PAGE 73

73 Figure 22. Proposed c omprehensive c onceptual m odel

PAGE 74

74 CHAPTER 3 METHODS This chapter describes the metho ds employed in this study. The chapter presents unit of analysis issues in organizational climate studies, a description of the sample for thi s study, survey procedures, a description of questionnaire construction and measures and statistical analyses. Unit of Analysis Issues Unit of analysis refers to the what or whom being studied (p. 94), and the common units of analysis in social research are individuals, groups, organizations, and s ocial interactions (Babbie, 2006). Particularly in exploring the relationship between individual perception and organizational context, Schneider (1975) notes that researchers should be careful when considering the issue of level of analysis. Psychological climate refers to individual perceptions of the work environment, while organizational climate refers to collective perceptions of the work environment (Kuenzi & Schminke, 2009, p. 701). However, many studi es suggest that meanings of psychological climate and organizational climate have been confused and that unit of analysis issues have not been clear in empirical studies of organizational climate (James, 1982; James et al., 2008; Kuenzi & Schminke, 2009; R obertson, 1993). Robertson notes that numerous previous studies have focused on individual level analysis and that few efforts have been made at the group level of analysis in organizational climate studies. Some researchers suggest that Victor and Cullen s Ethical Climate Questionnaire (ECQ) does not adequately indicate the unit of analysis (Cullen et al., 1993: Webber, 2007). Distinguishing individual and organizational levels of analysis in applying ECQ, Cullen et al. concluded that their study supporte d the validity and reliability of the questionnaire at the individual level by testing 1,167 individuals, while the organizational level analysis is debatable,

PAGE 75

75 having used a small number of organizations (n=12). Webber points out the unclear concepts of in dividual and group levels in ECQ: Victor and Cullen sought to analyze the formal normative rules used to make decisions in the workplace. They employed a questionnaire as the data collection instrument expecting that individuals within the organization could serve as representative agents of organizational norms. However, both the structure of the typology and the wording in the questionnaire conflated the concepts of individual decision making and organizational decision making. (Webber, 2007, p. 567) Ther efore, these limitations of ECQ have been acknowledged mostly at the group level analysis. This study focuses on ethical organizational climate at the psychological climate level, which evaluates individual perceptions of the work environment. There are three reasons for this decision. First, the majority of previous studies utilizing ECQ conducted individual level analysis and found significant results in ethical organizational climate studies as described in Chapter two of this dissertation (e.g., Barnett & Vaicys, 2000; Deshpande, 1996b; El i & Alpkan, 2009; Forte, 2004; Malloy & Agarwal, 2003; Peterson, 2002; Ruppel & Harrington, 2000; Vardi, 2001; Victor & Cullen, 1987). There have been few studies that employed organizational level analysis in ECQ studies, and significant results at the group level have not yet been supported by the theory (e.g., Wimbush, Shepard, & Markham, 1997). Wimbush et al. tested the relationship between several dimensions of ethical climate and ethical behavior at the individual and district (group) levels. They conducted a mail survey with 4,400 employees in 440 retail stores and analyzed responses from 643 employees at the individual level and 40 districts at the group level. Although they found strong support for a significant relationship at the individual level, their attempt to find a relationship at the group level failed. Therefore, ECQ has been examin ed at the individual level. Second, the practical issues of collecting data at the group level are also considered for thi s dissertation. When Kuenzi and Schminke (2009) reviewed empirical studies of

PAGE 76

76 organizational climates from the most wellrespected general management journals and specialized journals, they found that many studies about the construct of organizational clim ate actually investigated psychological climate. They suggested reasons for operationalizing organizational climate as psychological climate: The decision may be a pragmatic one, based on how data can be collected (Was it impossible to survey multiple resp ondents from different work groups?), on how the data can be coded (Was the researcher prevented from identifying respondents at the level of the work group?), or on the degree of agreement between unit members (Did low agreement preclude aggregation of individual data into unit scores?). (Kuenzi & Schminke, 2009, p. 701) As an example, Spell and Arnold (2007) conducted a multi level analysis using 483 employees from 56 groups in investigating the relationships between organizational justice climate, struct ure, and employee mental health. They regarded employee mental health at the individual level and organizational justice at the group level. Their method of collecting data was to ask undergraduate students to distribute a survey to colleagues in a work gr oup for earning extra credit opportunities. Their study succeeded in collecting data on multiple levels using class students and showed a possible way to collect data at multiple levels using a compulsory method with students. Thus, the difficulty of colle cting data at the group level has been acknowledged in previous studies of organizational climate studies. Considering issues of cost versus value, as well as time constraints for this dissertation, collecting data at the group level was no t selected for t his study In support of this decision, previous studies have investigated topics similar to that of this dissertation at the individual level and found significant and meaningful results (Rhee & Moon, 2009; Ruppel & Harrington, 2000). When Rhee and Moon i nvestigated how organizational culture affects employee communication, they operationalized organizational culture and employee communication at the individual perception level. Ruppel and Harrington

PAGE 77

77 examined the linkages of employee communication, trust, and ethical organizational cl imate, the topics examined in this dissertation, by conducting surveys with IT managers in 1,300 companies, and they also conducted the individual unit of analysis. These previous studies confirmed the linkages among perception s of employee communication, trust, and ethical organizational climates at the individual level. Accordingly, the unit of analysis in three key variables (employee communication, trust, and ethical organizational climates) is the perceptions of individual employees in this study The goal of this study was to explore the relationships between individual employees perceptions about employee communication, trust in their organization, and perceptions about ethical organizational climates. Therefore, in this study, it was not an issue whether individuals perceptions about ethical organizational climates in their organizations represent ed the majority of their group members perceptions. Rather, this study investigate d the linkages among individual perceptions about employee communication, trust, and ethical organizational climates. Questionnaire Construction and Measures The questionnaire for this study consisted of scales for employee communication (accountability, secrecy, participation, and substantial information), trust, ethical organizational climate types (caring, instrumental, law and code, rules, and independence), demographic items, and openended questions. The scales were revised by adding my organization to every scale to be consistent with other measures defining trust and ethical organizational climate, since the original measure did not include a subject. The words my organization were replaced by the official name of each employees organization. The survey items were asked by the same con structs Detailed explanations of each scale are presented in the following sections. Copies of the consent form and survey questionnaire are included in the appendix.

PAGE 78

78 Employee Communication This study ada pted employee communication measures from Rawlins ( 2009), who attempted to develop a reliable and valid measure of employee communication in understanding organizational transparency. The study includes five items measuring accountability, six items measuring secrecy, six items measuring participation, and eight items measuring substantial information. In total, there were 25 items ( Table 3 1) Rawlins reports that Cronbachs alpha for accountability items was .86, while it was .78 for secrecy items, .92 for participation items, and .92 for substantial information items. Therefore, all items were reported to have excellent reliability. Langdridge (2004) states that Cronbachs alpha coefficient is used to assess the internal reliability of items with scaled responses (e.g., strongly agree to strongly disagre e) (p. 77) and suggests .70 as an acceptable alpha score. The response choices consisted of Likert scales ranging from 1= Strongly disagree to 7= Strongly agree. Trust This study adopted Ki and Hons (2007) trust scales ( Table 3 2) They applied Hon and Grunigs (1999) OPR measures with a membership organization to refine measurement. In their study, Cronbachs alpha of seven trust measures is reported as .90, indicating excellent reliability, according to L angdridge (2004) In this study, the origina l measurement was revised to apply the context of this study. Therefore, the blank for the name of the organization was replaced by my organization, and the word members was changed to employees. The response choices consisted of Likert scales rangin g from 1= Strongly disagree to 7= Strongly agree. Ethical Organizational Climate This study adopted Victor and Cullens (1988) scales of ethical organizational climate types ( Table 3 3 ) The scales were revised by replacing the company with the org anization.

PAGE 79

79 There were seven items measuring caring climate, seven items measuring instrumental climate, four items measuring law and code climate, four items measuring rules climate, and four items measuring independence climate. In total, there were 26 i tems. In Victor and Cullens (1988) study, the Cronbachs alphas were are follows: .80 for caring climate, .79 for law and code climate, .79 for rules climate, .71 for instrumental climate, and .60 for independence climate. Therefore, except for independen ce climate, the reliabilities of all four other ethical climates are excellent, according to L angdridges (2004) criteria. Reliability is an indicator of the degree to which a set of indicators of a latent construct is internally consistent based on how highly interrelated the indicators are (Hair et al., 2006, p. 712), and increasing the number of items also increases the reliability value (Hair et al., 2006). However, John and Benet Martinez (2000) note that an alpha of .70 is not a benchmark every sca le must pass (p. 346), but rather a guide. They also mention that alpha needs to be interpreted in terms of its two main parameters interitem correlation as well as scale length and in the context of how these two parameters fit the nature and definition of the construct to be measured (p. 346). Therefore, this study also adopt ed the scale to define independence climate, even though its reliability is not considered excellent. Therefore, in total, there are 2 6 items. The response choices consisted of Likert scales ranging from 1= Strongly disagree to 7= Strongly agree. Demographics and Other Items In testing the main effects, individual demographic variables are used as covariates for the adjustment of their influence. The demographic questions asked about employees length of full time work experience, t enure and the title of their present position E mployees were asked to provide their present position for the organizational report s not for this study. They also ask ed about employees education degree, gender and age. Two openended questions were included to allow respondents to expres s their opinions on the role employee communication plays in their

PAGE 80

80 attitude, beliefs, and perceptions about their organization, as well as the relationship between e mployee communication characteristics and ethical values in their organizations. Pretest Pretesting is a method used to detect issues related to the layout of a questionnaire, the meaning of questions, and ways to probe incomplete answers in survey resear ch (Visser, Krosnick, & Lavrakas, 2000). Pretesting is especially important when data are to be collected via self administered questionnaires, because interviewers will not be available to clarify question meaning or probe incomplete answers (Visser et al. 2000, p. 243). For this study, a pretest was conducted with ten full time employees in various organizations, including an educationbased organization, a government organization, and a for profit organization. The participants were acquaintances of the researcher in the United States. The wording of a few questions was revised after the pretest. As an example, item SI3 of the employee communication questionnaire was originally My organization provides information that can be compared to previous per formance. Pretest results showed that the term previous performance was not clear. Therefore, this item was changed to My organization provides information that can be compared to the organizations previous performance. Additionally, prior to distributing the survey to their employees, staff in the human resources and public relations departments of the participating organizations took the pretests. They carefully reviewed the survey questionnaires, and one item in the Trust category was revised following their comments. The original T5 item was I feel very confident about my organizations abilities. The word abilities was found to be unclear and needed to be more specific. Therefore, the item was revised to I feel very confident about my organiz ations abilities to accomplish what it says it will do, which reflects Hon and Grunigs (1999) definition

PAGE 81

81 of competence as the belief that an organization has the ability to do what it says it will do (p. 3). After the pretesting, the survey questionna ire was finalized. Survey The goal of this study wa s to identify employees perceptions of employee communication, trust, and ethical organizational climates. To achieve these goals, it wa s necessary to explore employees perceptions of employee communicat ion constructs (accountability, secrecy, participation, and substantial information), employees trust in their organizations, and employees perceptions of ethical organizational climate types (caring, instrumental, law and code, rules, and independence). A survey research method was used to collect data in this study. There are two major types of surveys, descriptive and analytical (Wimmer & Dominick, 2006), and this study used an analytical survey, which attempts to describe and explain why situations exist (p. 179). In the case of this study, it was used to explain the relationships between employee communication, trust, and ethical organizational climates. In testing the main effects, individual demographic variables were used as covariates for the adjustment of their influence. Population and Sample This study aimed to investigate the relationship between employees perceptions of employee communication, trust, and their perceptions of ethical organizational climates T he sample of this study is full time employees of various organizations. In previous ethical organizational climate studies, the samples have been employees of various organizations and the methods of collecting the data from employees have differed. Some studies sampled employees from limited numbers of organizations or firms (e.g., Deshpande, 1996b; Vardi, 2001; Victor & Cullen, 1987; Wimbush et al. 1997). For example, Victor and Cullen conducted a survey with 872 employees of four firms, and Deshpande

PAGE 82

82 recruited a national sample of 252 middle level managers of a large non profit charitable organization. Others recruited samples from membership lists (e.g., Barnett & Vaicys, 2000; El i & Alpkan, 2009; Malloy & Agarwal, 2003). Barnett and Vaicys conducted mail surveys with 1,000 random ly selected members from a membership list of the American Marketing Association. Malloy and Agarwal conducted mail surveys with 400 members of a Canadian provincial sports federation. A few studies used samples from alumni of universities (e.g., Peterson, 2002a ). Other studies limited employees job categories, such as business managerial and executive levels from Fortune 500 firms (Forte, 2004) or IT managers in 1,300 different companies (Ruppel & Harrington, 2000). Rather than collecting the data from a single organization, this study attempted to collect the data from diverse organizations to ensure cross validation of the model. The criterion used to select the organizations was diversity in organization type. The goal of this study was not to generali ze from the immediate samples, but to test the hypothesized variables of the model in this study. Previous studies explor ing employee communication and organizational culture in public relations scholarship also collected data from various organizations. F or example, Rhee and Moon (2009) collected employees responses from 19 organizations and Kim (2007) collected them from 31 companies. To acquire the sample and to select organizations for this study, the researcher tried various methods. First, the rese archer sent invitation letters requesting employees participation for the research to organizations listed as places of employment for members of a public relations departmental advisory council for the University of Florida. Second, the researcher asked acquaintances who may be familiar with human resource or marketing directors in any corporations or organizations to forward invitation letters. Third, the researcher used professional

PAGE 83

83 network Web sites to post a message about research assistance for a graduate student. Fourth, the researcher sent invitation letters to various local companies and organizations through professional public relations associations. In the invitation letter, the researcher emphasized four primary benefits of participation in th e study. Participating organizations would (1) receive an evaluation of how the organizations employees perceive employee communication; (2) see what the current trust level between employees and organization is; (3) determine employees perceptions about organizational ethical values regarding organizational procedures, policies, and practices; and (4) obtain employee communication strategies for inducing more supportive behaviors from the organizations employees. The researcher also promised not to reve al the organizations name in any report. Holbert and Stephenson (2002) recommended a minimum sample size of 150 for structural equation modeling (SEM) analyses in communication studies The total number of variables among the major topics of this study ( e mployee communication, trust, and ethical organizational climates ) was 58. The recommended sample size for 58 variables is 5 times 58, or 290 (Hair et al., 1998). Therefore, this study attempted to reach th is goal. Finally, seven organizations in differen t industries and having different sizes agreed to participate in this study from July to December 2010. An online survey was offered to all employees in the seven organizations The researcher wrote the initial invitation letters for the employees and asked staff members at the organizations to make any necessary revisions. The fi r st survey invitation letter emphasized the importance of participating in the survey, ensured anonymity of participants, provided clear deadlines for the online survey, told emplo yees that they were allowed to complete the survey while at work, and encouraged participation in the survey The invitation letters, which included a link to the online survey, were sent out by the

PAGE 84

84 Vice President of Human Resources in each organization. A survey reminder was sent out after the first week. After the data were collected, individual organizational report s were written and delivered to each of the seven organizations with a thank you letter. Of the seven organizations four were forprofit and three were non profit. To secure the confidentiali ty of all organizations, names and detailed information about the organizations are not disclosed in this dissertation. The organizations are simply expressed as A Bank, B Marketing agency, C Insurance com pany D Cleaning company, E Special education non profit, F Children support non profit, and G Animal support nonprofit The next paragraph provides descriptions of the survey procedures for the seven organizations that agreed to participate in the study A Bank is a regional bank with 100 employees. An online survey was conducted with A Bank for two weeks from July 19 to July 30, 2010. The first survey invitation email was sent by the company s Human Resources department on July 19, and a reminder about the survey was sent on July 26. The online survey was closed on July 30. B Marketing Agency is a full service integrated communications agency having 102 employees. The online survey was conducted with employees for ten business days, from August 2 to Aug ust 13, 2010. The human r esources department distributed the first survey invitation email to employees on August 2, and the reminder was sent on August 9. The online survey for C Insurance company, which has a total of 19 employees, was available for two weeks from August 9 to August 20, 2010. An email invitation to take the survey was sent out by the company s public r elations department on August 9, and the reminder was distributed on August 16. The online survey was conducted with D Cleaning company, w hich has 28 employees, for two weeks from October 18 to October 29, 2010. An email invitation to take the survey was sent out by company s owner on October 18, and the reminder was distributed on October 25. T he online survey was closed on October 29. E -

PAGE 85

85 S pecial education nonprofit employed 42 employees An online survey was conducted with them from October 11 to October 22, 2010. The survey invitation email was sent out on October 11, and the reminder followed on October 18. F Children support nonprofit has a total of 171 employees and participated in this study from October 11 to October 29, 2010. The survey invitation email was sent out on October 11, and the reminder s followed on October 18 and October 25. G Animal support nonprofit employees particip ated in the online survey from November 30 to December 10, 2010. The first survey invitation email was sent on November 30, and the reminder was sent on December 6. Online Survey An o nline survey was implemented with full time employees of seven organizat ions Previous studies regarding employee communication (e.g., Rawlins, 2009) also used an online survey method. Online surveys have advantages of low cost and ease of implementation. One disadvantage is the difficulty of ensuring that invited respondents complete the survey (Wimmer & Dominick, 2006). This study used the online survey method for the following reasons. First, the sample d organizations did not want to reveal employees information (e.g., names of employees, mailing addresses) to the researc her and want ed to control the procedure of survey distribution to their employees Therefore, the human resources or public relations team at each organization chose the distribution method of the surveys in this study Second, t he sampled organizations pr eferred to conduct online surveys rather than mail surveys due to the convenience and cost effectiveness of online surveys. All of the organizations ha d already been using emails as a primary communication method with their employees and email was believed to be the easiest way to reach and get responses from employees A unique online survey link was created for each organization.

PAGE 86

86 Validity and Reliability Tests Good survey questions should be valid and reliable (Weisberg, Krosnick, & Bowen, 1996). However in general, survey research has low construct validity and strong reliability because of the artificiality of survey formats (Wimmer & Dominick, 2006). Reliability represents a matter of whether a particular technique, applied repeatedly to the same obj ect, yields the same results each time (Babbie, 2007, p. 143) Cronbach s alpha is one of the most widely used measures of reliability to evaluate the degree of intercorrelations (Hair et al., 2006), and the reliability of measurement was examined by Cron bach s alpha in this study. Measurement validity refers to the extent to which an empirical measure adequately reflects the real meaning of the concept under consideration (Babbie, 2007, p. 146). The validity of survey questions can be assessed by face validity, convergent validity, divergent validity, criterion validity, content validity, and construct validity, as described below: Does the question wording really seem reasonable (have good face validity?) Does it give results similar to the results of other measures of the same concept (have good convergent validity)? Does it give results different from questions that are suppos ed to be measuring different concepts (have good divergent validity)? Can it be compared against a direct measure of the concep t (have good criterion validity)? Does it measure the full breadth of the concept (have good content validity)? Does it relate to other variables as theory and previous research suggest it should (have good construct validity)? (Weisberg et al., 1996, p. 96) In this dissertation, face validity was checked by conducting a pretest with general full time employees, as well as with human resources and public relations staff in the organizations. Construct validity is the extent to which a set of measured items actually reflects the theoretical latent construct those items are designed to measure (Hair et al., 2006, p. 776). In this study, it was checked by using c onfirmatory factor analysis ( CFA ) that test ed whether the observed variables accurately represent the constructs CFA can define latent variables in terms of

PAGE 87

87 observed variables and assess the construct validity of a proposed measurement theory (Hair et al., 2006, p. 776). Statistical Analyses To test the 21 hypotheses and five research questions, sev eral statistical analyses were used. Before testing the hypotheses, confirmatory factor analysis ( CFA ) w as employed to define the underlying structure among the variables. To test hypotheses, structural equation modeling (SEM) and mediation analysis were used with a proposed model of four exogenous variabl es and six endogenous variables To answer the five research questions, hierarchical multiple regr ession analyses were conducted. P revious studies have explored the linkages of employee communication and t rust, concluding that trust can be cultivated as an outcome of employee communication characteristics (Jo & Shim, 2005; Muchinsky, 1977; Ruppel & Harrington, 2000). In this study, t he f our exogenous variables are employee communication constructs (accountability, participation, secrecy, and substantial information), and the six endogenous variables are trust and five ethical organizational climate type constructs (caring climate, instrumental climate, independence climate, law and code climate, and rules climate). Some previous studies ( e.g., Rawlins, 2009; Ruppel & Harrington 2000) have regarded employee communication practices as exogenous variables, and this study also attem pted to investigate the role of public relations in organizational context. There fore, this study treats employee communication as an exogenous variable. This study used the program M plus Version 6.1 for the analyses To test the 21 hypotheses, the twostep rule (Bollen, 1989) was employed. The first step of the two step rule involves testing the fit of the measurement model. A fter the measurement model is identified, the second step is to test the SEM to be identified. To test the fitness of proposed models, SEM was used. SEM estimates and tests models that specify causal

PAGE 88

88 relationships of variables. SEM has some advantages over regression or multivariate analyses of variance in that SEM can estimate and remove the measurement error (Ullman & Bentler, 2004). Particularly, SEM can model mediation effects, testing not only direct effects b ut also indirect effects between variables (Ullman & Bentler, 2004). SEM is often called the path model. To handle incomplete data, this study used full information analysis in conducting CFA and SEM using M plus 6.1. F ull information analysis enables the researcher to include every available score in the analysis w hile a listwise deletion method involves d rop ping any incomplete data for the analysis In M plus 6.1, the number 9 was input ted for all missing values to conduct the full information analysis. SEM generally requires a large sample size, and how to deal with missing data is an important issue (Hair et al., 2006). Since Full Information Maximum Likelihood (FIML) estimation use s all available subject s in the sample (Albright & Park, 20062009), it is considered a better method for deal ing with missing data than the listwise deletion method. Therefore, this study used the full information method in CFA and SEM using M plus This study used a 7 point Likert scale for all of the constructs in the model except for control variables such as demographic variables. A Likert scale indicates degrees of agreement and implies a rank order. Most SEM s use the maximum likelihood ( ML ) method, which assumes normal distributions (Kline, 2011). However, only when endo genous variables are continuous variables can normal distribution be assumed. Therefore, in this study, item scores were treated as ordinal measures and ML could not be used. LISREL, M plus and SAS/STAT CALIS deal with ordinal observed variables with diag onally weighted least square (DWLS) estimation (Albright & Park, 2006 2009). Finally, this study used the DWLS estimation method to estimate model parameter as an alternative estimation method using the M plus program. DWLS is considered to be a mathematic ally simpler form of WLS estimation that may be better when the

PAGE 89

89 sample size is not very large (Kline, 2011, p. 181). Fully weighted least squares (WLS) estimation is applied to either continuous and ordinal outcomes because it does not assume a particula r distribution form (Kline, 2011, p. 180). In evaluating the goodness of fit of the CFA and path model, several goodness of fit indices were used. Since the 2 goodness of fit test determines whether the model fits the data exactly rather than if the model fits the data well, it was not used as the criterion to assess the model fit. Instead, g oodness of fit indices were adopted. In this study, various goodness of fit indices were used, including 2 / df (ratio of 2 to the degrees of freedom), CFI, TLI, and RMSEA. The criterion for the 2 / df ratio is 3.0 or less (Bollen, 1989). The comparative fit index (CFI) refers to the relative improvement in fit of the re searcher s model compared with a statistical baseline model (Kline, 2011, p. 196). While the criterion of CFI has historically been .90, CFI values greater than 0.95 are considered to be a model of goodness of fit (Hu & Bentler, 1999). The Tucker Lewis In dex (TLI) is a non normed fit index (NNFI). TLI values greater than 0.95 are considered to meet the criterion of goodness of fit ( Shen & Chen 2008) T he root mean square error of approximation (RMSEA) is a badness of fit index and values less than .06 ar e considered to represent a good model fit ( Shen & Chen 2008) Hair et al. (2006) recommend having a RMSEA less than .07 with CFI of .90 or higher for good fit criteria when the sample size is larger than 250 and the number of observed variable s is larger than 30. Therefore, this study used the following criteria : 2 / df < 3.0, CFI, TLI> .95, RMSEA<.06. Mediation Analysis Iacobucci (2008) defines mediation analysis in this way: [Mediation analysis is] a set of statistical procedures used to investigate whether a particular data set exhibits a meditational structur e. A meditational structure posits a particular conceptualization of the mechanism through which an independent variable might affect a dependent variablenot directly, but rather through an intervening process, captured by the mediator variable. ( Iacobucc i 2008, p. 1)

PAGE 90

90 Hoyle and Robinson (2004) explain that questions of how and why concern mediators (p. 213). Therefore, mediation analysis includes independent variable, dependent variable, and mediator, and at the conceptual level, the evaluation of a mediated effect involves partitioning the effect of an independent variable on a dependent variable into two portions, the direct effect and the indirect effect (Hoyle & Robinson, 2004, p. 214). Mediation analysis can be conducted in SEM by estimating the paths from X M X Y and M Y simultaneously, where t he X is called an exogenous variable and M and Y are called endogenous variables (Iacobucci, 2008). This study conducted the mediation analysis using M plus 6.1. Hierarchical Multiple Regression To examine the five research questions to find the most explanatory employee communication dimensions for explain ing the five types of ethical organizational climates, a series of hierarchical multiple regression analyses was performed, controlling for demographic and employment information profiles. Three employee information variables were organization type, length of full time work experience, and length of practice in the current organization, and the three demographic variables were age, gender, and education. Categorical variables were treated as dummy variables; organization type was coded as 0 (for profit) and 1 (nonprofit), gender as 0 (male) and 1 (female), education as 0 (low education, which includes high school graduates) and 1 (high education, which includes bachelor s and graduate degrees). The objectives of multiple regression are to maximize the overall predictive power of the independent variables as represented in the variate and [to compare] two or more sets of independent variables to asce rtain the predictive power of each variate ( Hair et al., 2006, p. 190). In conducting hierarchical multiple regressions, mean substitution for employee communication, trust, and ethical organizational climate items was employed, and the listwise deletion approach for demographic and employee information items was employed to handle the

PAGE 91

91 missing data. The Statistical Package for the Social Sciences (SPSS) 16.0 program was used to perform this analysis F irst regression model: Caring climate: + DEMO + EMPLOYEE INFO + 1A + 2S + 3P + 4SI (DEMO=demographics, EMPLOYEE INFO=employee information, A=accountability, S=secrecy, P=participation, SI=substantial information) S econd regression model: Instrumental climate: + DEMO + EMPLOYEE INFO + 1A + 2S + 3P + 4SI (DEMO=demographics, EMPLOYEE INFO=employee information, A=accountability, S=secrecy, P=participation, SI=substantial information) T hird regression model: Law and code climate: + DEMO + EMPLOYEE INFO + 1A + 2S + 3P + 4SI (DEMO =demographics, EMPLOYEE INFO=employee information, A=accountability, S=secrecy, P=participation, SI=substantial information) F ourth regression model: Rules climate: + DEMO + EMPLOYEE INFO + 1A + 2S + 3P + 4SI (DEMO=demographics, EMPLOYEE INFO=emplo yee information, A=accountability, S=secrecy, P=participation, SI=substantial information) F ifth regression model: Independence climate: + DEMO + EMPLOYEE INFO + 1A + 2S + 3P + 4SI (DEMO=demographics, EMPLOYEE INFO=employee information, A=accountability, S=secrecy, P=participation, SI=substantial information)

PAGE 92

92 Table 3 1. Measures of e mployee c ommunication Accountability A1 My organization presents more than one side of controversial issues. A2 My organization is forthcoming with information that might be damaging to the organization. A3 My organization is open to criticism by people like me. A4 My organization freely admits when it has made mistakes. A5 My organization provides information that can be compared to industry standards. Secrecy S1 My organization often leaves out important details in the information it provides to people like me. S2 My organization provides information that is full of jargon and technical language that is confusing to people like me. S3 My organization blames o utside factors that may have contributed to the outcome when reporting bad news. S4 My organization provides information that is intentionally written in a way to make it difficult to understand. S5 My organization is slow to provide information to peopl e like me. S6 My organization only discloses information when it is required. Participation P1 My organization asks for feedback from people like me about the quality of its information. P2 My organization involves people like me to help identify the information I need. P3 My organization provides detailed information to people like me. P4 My organization makes it easy to find the information people like me need. P5 My organization asks the opinions of people like me before making decisions. P6 M y organization takes the time with people like me to understand who we are and what we need. Substantial i nformation SI1 My organization provides information that is relevant to people like me. SI2 My organization provides information that could be ver ified by an outside source, such as an auditor. SI3 My organization provides information that can be compared to organizations previous performance. SI4 My organization provides information that is complete. SI5 My organization provides information tha t is easy for people like me to understand. SI6 My organization provides accurate information to people like me. SI7 My organization provides information that is reliable. SI8 My organization presents information to people like me in language that is cl ear.

PAGE 93

93 Table 3 2. Measures of t rust Trust T1 My organization treats employees fairly and justly. T2 Whenever my organization makes an important decision, I know it will consider the decisions impact on employees. T3 My organization can be relied on to keep its promises to employees. T4 My organization takes the opinions of employees into account when making decisions. T5 I feel very confident about my organizations abilities to accomplish what it says it will do T6 Sound principles guide my orga nizations behavior. T7 My organization misleads employees. [R] Note: [R] indicates that an item is reverse coded.

PAGE 94

94 Table 3 3. Measures of e thical organizational c limate t ypes Caring c limate C1 What is best for everyone in the organization is the major consideration here. C2 The most important concern is the good of all the people in the organization as a whole. C3 Our major concern is always what is best for the other person. C4 In this organization, people look out for each others good. C5 In th is organization, it is expected that you will always do what is right for the customers and public. C6 The most efficient way is always the right way in this organization. C7 In this organization, each person is expected above all to work efficiently. I nstrumental c limate IS1 In this organization, people protect their own interests above all else. IS2 In this organization, people are mostly out for themselves. IS3 There is no room for ones own personal morals or ethics in this organization. IS4 Peop le are expected to do anything to further the organizations interests, regardless of the consequences. IS5 People here are concerned with the organizations interests to the exclusion of all else. IS6 Work is considered substandard only when it hurts th e organizations interests. IS7 The major responsibility of people in this organization is to control costs. Law and code c limate LC1 People are expected to comply with the law and professional standards over and above other considerations. LC2 In this organization, the law or ethical code of their profession is the major consideration. LC3 In this organization, people are expected to strictly follow legal or professional standards. LC4 In this organization, the first consideration is whether a decisi on violates any law. Rules c limate R1 It is very important to follow the companys rules and procedures here. R2 Everyone is expected to stick by organization rules and procedures. R3 Successful people in this organization go by the book. R4 People in this organization strictly obey the organizations policies. Independence c limate ID1 In this organization, people are expected to follow their own personal and moral beliefs. ID2 Each person in this organization decides for themselves what is right or wrong. ID3 The most important concern in this organization is each persons own sense of right and wrong. ID4 In this organization, people are guided by their own personal ethics.

PAGE 95

95 CHAPTER 4 ANALYSES AND RESULTS T his chapter describes the data procedur e for this study, discusses the testing of hypotheses, and provides answers to the research questions. Statistical analys i s about descriptive statistics, confirmatory factor analysis (CFA), and s tru c t ur al e quation m odel (SEM) and multiple regression analy ses are also explained. Description of Collected Data This study recruited respondents, all of whom were full time employees, from seven different organization s The organizations were A Bank, B Marketing a gency, C Insurance c ompany, D Cleaning company, E Special education non profit, F Children support nonprofit, and G Animal support nonprofit The following section provides response rates of the employees at each of the organizations, as well as a comparison of demographic information for the sampled r espondents and the population of each organization. Response Rates This study recruited respondents from seven organizations, and the response rates of these organizations varied from 50.0% to 84.2% Reilly and Wrensen (2007) suggest that organizations should try to reach a response rate of at least 50% on employee satisfaction surveys in order to obtain results that are valid enough to generalize for the organization. However, f or this study, the response rate for one organization is not a significant iss ue for external validity since the responses from various organizations were aggregated and examined as a whole. Table 41 shows the response rates for all organizations. For this study, a survey was considered to be c omplete if the respondent finished m ost of the sections about employee communication, trust, and ethical organizational climates, as well as all of the demographic

PAGE 96

96 information A survey was considered to be incomplete if the respondent start ing answering the survey but dropped out during the session. In addition, the data were carefully examined by the researcher to find any overly consistent answers throughout all items (e.g., giving neutral values to all items) and any untrustworthy answers ; as a result, the responses from two surveys were deleted because the respondent gave all neutral values to all of the variables and these responses were not included in the complete answers in T able 41. In this study, both complete and incomplete responses were used for CFA and SEM analyses using the f ull information method in M plus to test hypotheses. Mean substitution and listwise deletion were employed for hierarchical multiple regression analyses to answer the research questions. The response rates includ ing complete and incomplete responses for each organization were as follows: 69.0% for A Bank 50.0% for B Marketing agency, 84.2% for C Insurance company, 53.6% for D Cleaning company, 66.7% for E Special education nonprofit, 59.1% for F Children support nonprofit, and 55.6% for G Animal suppor t nonprofit. These responses were used for the CFA and SEM analysis. In total, the sample size was 305. The response rates for complete responses from each organization were as follows: 53.0% for A Bank 39.2% for B Marketing agency, 73.6% for C Insuranc e company, 42.9% for D Cleaning company, 38.1% for E Special education nonprofit, 43.9% for F Children support nonprofit, and 34.0% for G Animal support nonprofit. Only complete d responses, which were available for mean substitution for employee communi cation, trust, and ethical organizational climates, were used for the hierarchical multiple regression analysis, resulting in a total sample size of 227. For this study, the samples from seven organizations were integrat ed. T able 4 2 shows the composition ratio for the sample of this study. Sixty nine responses (22.6%) were from A -

PAGE 97

97 B ank 51 (16.7%) from B Marketing a gency 16 (5.2%) from C Insurance c ompany 15 (4.9%) from D Cleaning company, 28 (9.2%) from E Special education non profit, 101 (33.1%) from F Children support nonprofit, and 25 (8.2%) from G Animal support nonprofit. Approximately half of the sample (n=151, 49.5%) was from the for profit sector, and the other half (n=154, 50.5%) was from the non profit sector. Profile of Survey Respondents a nd Population Wimmer and Dominick (2006) suggest that researchers look for any possible biases in survey responses T o ascertain whether the responses to this study were skewed each organization was asked to provide demographic information on their emplo yees gender, age, and education. This demographic information for each organizations population was compared with the same information for the sample of this study. The following tables compare this demographic information in the populations and samples for this study. There were some missing values in the demographic profiles for all seven organizations It is possible that some employees did not provide their demographic information to further protect their anonymity Alt hough the external validity of e ach organization is not a significant issue for this study, the following information is provided to help the reader understand minimum organizational characteristics More detailed characteristics are not disclosed for purposes of confidentiality. Table 4 3 compares the demographic information for the population and sample of A Bank employees The two groups show similar demographic patterns. In each group, there were more females than males and more college graduates than high school graduates However, t here was a lower percentage of high school graduates in the sample of this study as compared to the total population of A Bank employees. Table 4 4 compares the demographic information for the population and sample of B Marketing a gency employees There we re significantly lower percentages of employees in their 20s and 40s in the sample of this study as compared to the total

PAGE 98

98 population of employees at the company However, in general, t he two groups show similar demographic patterns with respect to gender and highest degree. Table 45 compares the demographic information for the population and sample of C Insurance c ompany employees The two groups show similar demographic patterns, although there were lower percentages of employees who were in their 20s and who only attained a high school education in the sample of this study as compared to the total population of employees. Table 46 compares the demographic information for the population and sample of D Cleaning company employees A ll of this companys emp loyees were college students, so education information was not asked of them The two groups show similar demographic patterns in terms of gender and age ratio s Table 4 7 compares the demographic information for the population and sample of E Special e duc ation nonprofit employees This information shows that the two groups have similar demographic patterns, although there was a lower percentage of females and a lower percentage of employees in their 20s and 50s in the sample as compared to the population. Table 4 8 compares the demographic information for the population and sample of F Children s upport nonprofit employees. Education information was not available for this organization. The two groups show similar demographic patterns, although there was a lower percentage of employees in their 20s and a higher percentage of employees in their 50s in the sample of this study as compared to the total population of employees. Table 4 9 compares the demographic information for the population and sample of G Ani mal support nonprofit employees The majority of the employees were female in both groups, and the largest group in age segmentation was the 2029 age band in both groups al though the response rate of employees in their 20s was low While there were exceptions the demographic information provided by each organizations survey respondents was generally similar to th at of the organizations population.

PAGE 99

99 Demographics Table 4 10 shows the demographic profile of the respondents. Of the 305 respondents, 257 ( 84.3%) identified their gender with 206 (67.5%) being female and 51 (16.7%) male. Forty eight (15.7%) did not identify their gender. Seven (2.3%) were in the 1519 age group, 62 (20.3%) were in the 20 29 age group, 64 (21.0%) were in the 3039 age group, 49 (16.1%) were in the 4049 age group, 48 (15.7%) were in the 5059 age group, and 20 (6.6%) were in the 6069 age group. Fifty five (18.0%) did not identify their age. Regarding respondents highest degrees, one (0.3%) had some high school, 17 (5.6%) wer e high school graduates, 76 (24.9%) had some college, 121 (39.7%) had a bachelor s degree, 46 (15.1%) had a master s degree, and one (0.3%) had a doctorate degree. Six respondents (2.0%) noted having other degree s and 37 (12.1%) did not answer this question. The mean length of full time work experience for the 245 respondents answering that question was about sixteen years and 10 months. The mean length of employment at the current company for the 240 respondents answering that question was about five years and seven months. Descriptive Statistics Before testing the hypotheses and research questions, d escriptive statistics were performed to find out means and standard deviations of measurement variables of employee communication, trust, and ethical organiz ational climates. Table 4 11 shows the means and standard deviations for employees perceptions of employee communication. Table 4 12 and Table 4 13 show the means and standard deviations for employees trust and perception s of ethical organizational clima tes, respectively. Employee Communication Table 4 11 shows means and standard deviations for employee communication measures. Of the four dimensions, respondents perceived the substantial information dimension ( M =5.1,

PAGE 100

100 SD =1.1) most positively. Accountabi lity ( M =4.6, SD =1.3) and participation ( M =4.4, SD =1.5) were evaluated at the positiveneutral level. Respondents disagreed moderately that employee communication practices in their organization have secrecy problems ( M =3.0, SD =1.2). Of the 25 items about e mployee communication, respondents perceived the following item most highly: My organization presents information to people like me in language that is clear ( M =5.4, SD =1.2) Employees disagreed most with the item stating My organization provides inform ation that is intentionally written in a way to make it difficult to understand ( M =2.3, SD =1.3). Trust Table 4 12 shows means and standard deviations for measures of trust. In general, respondents trust level was moderately positive ( M =5.1, SD =1.3). O f the seven items, Sound principles guide my organization s behavior received the highest score ( M =5.3, SD =1.4). However, the item stating My organization takes the opinions of employees into account when making decisions received a neutral score ( M =4. 6, SD =1.6). The reversed item, My organization misleads employees, was the most disagree d with response ( M =2. 6, SD =1.5). Ethical Organizational Climate Table 4 13 shows means and standard deviations for measures of ethical organizational climates. Of t he five types of ethical organizational climates, law and code climate ( M =5.4, SD =1.2) received the highest scores. Respondents also moderately agreed that their organization s ha d a rules climate ( M =5.0, SD =1.3) and a caring climate ( M =4.9, SD =1.0). Respondents moderately disagreed that their organizations had an instrumental climate ( M =3.1, SD = 1.1) and an independence climate ( M =3.5, SD =1.1). Of the 26 items, respondents strongly agreed with the item stating In my organization, it is expected that you wi ll always do what is right for the customers and public ( M =6.1, SD =1.1). On the other hand, the item stating People are

PAGE 101

101 expected to do anything to further my organizations interests, regardless of the consequences was the most disagreed with response ( M =2.5, SD =1.5). Reliability of Measurement Items To assess the reliability of the data, Cronbach s alpha test was conducted. Table 4 14 shows the reliability results for ten dimensions. All Cronbach s alpha values were more than .80, except for independen ce climate (.75). In particular, the values of participation (.93), substantial information (.93), and trust (.94) were excellent. Therefore, all items had alphas above .70 and were therefore excellent according to Langdridges (2004) criteria. Measurement Models Before testing hypotheses and exploring research questions, measures of employee communication, trust, and ethical organizational climates were examined to identify factors In this study, there were ten latent variables and 58 observed variables All ten factors were latent variables having several observed variables : four latent variables of employee communication constructs, one latent variable of trust, and five latent variables of ethical organizational climate type constructs. Of the 25 obse rved variables under employee communication constructs, there were five items measuring accountability, six items measuring secrecy, six items measuring participation, and eight items measuring substantial information. To measure trust, seven items were us ed. Finally, under ethical organizational climate constructs, seven items were used to measure caring climate, seven items to measure instrumental climate, four items to measure law and code climate, four items to measure rules climate, and four items to measure independence climate. A Likert scale ranging from 1 to 7 w as used ( 1=Strongly Disagree, 2=Disagree, 3=Somewhat Disagree, 4=Neutral, 5=Somewhat Agree, 6=Agree, and 7=Strongly Agree)

PAGE 102

102 Confirmatory Factor Analysis A series of CFA s was performed using M plus 6.1. The initial CFA results indicated that the model demonstrated marginally acceptable overall fit ( 2=3691.25, df =1550, 2/ df =2.38, p=.00, CFI=.933, TLI=.934, RMSEA=.067). However, M plus provided a warning message for ID2 ( Each person in my organi zation decides for themselves what is right or wrong ) The standardized factor loading for ID2 was 1.051 and R2 for ID2 showed that it was undefined. Therefore, ID2 was deleted to improve the model. After ID2 was dropped, the improved model also showed the same warning message for ID1 ( In my organization, people are expected to follow their own personal and moral beliefs ) The standardized factor loading for ID1 was 326.496 and the model was not identified. Therefore, ID1 was also dropped. In the new mode l, the standardized factor loading for ID4 was 1.001 and R2 for ID4 showed the warning message that it was undefined. Accordingly, ID4 ( In my organization, people are guided by their own personal ethics) was removed. After deleting ID4, independence climate (ID) consist ed of only ID3 ( The most important concern in my organization is each persons own sense of right and wrong) and the results showed that ID was not statistically distinguishable from two latent variables, t rust and c aring climate Finally, the results showed that all four indicators for defin ing ID were not defined, indicating that ID should not be used. Therefore, this study deleted all of the four variables to define ID construct. Since previous studies have argued that independence climate showed weak or insignificant results ( Deshpande 1996b; Martin & Cullen 2006) the decision to delet e the ID construct was theoretically supported. At this point the model showed a better fit and no more error messages appeared ( 2=3271.150, df =1341, 2/ df =2.44, p=.00, CFI=.943, TLI=.939, RMSEA=.069). Alt hough the model fit was improved over the initial one, CFI, TLI, and RMSEA still needed to be improved to meet the criteria ( 2 / df < 3.0, CFI, TLI> .95, RMSEA<.06).

PAGE 103

103 In order to i nvestigate the possible improvement of the model fit, modification indices (MI), squared multiple correlations ( R2) for each observed variable, and standard residuals were examined. Modification index is the amount the overall model 2 value would be reduced by freeing any single particular path that is not currently estimated (Hair et al., 2006, p. 772). Several large scores of MI were found within the same factors : 222.83 (between SI5 and SI8), 77.72 (between SI2 and SI3), 75.16 (between C6 and C7), 69.02 (between R1 and R2), 39.06 (between IS1 and IS2), 39.24 (between C1 and C2), 39.32 (between L1 and L2), 33.19 (between SI6 and SI7), 30.60 (between S2 and S4), and 24.44 (between P1 and P2). Since it is understandable that there can be correlated measur ement errors of observed variables under the same latent variable, measurement errors of above ten MIs were allowed. Finally, after allowing measurement errors between SI5 and SI8, SI2 and SI3, C6 and C7, R1 and R2, IS1 and IS2, C1 and C2, L1 and L2, SI6 a nd SI7, S2 and S4, and P1 and P2, the model fit met all criteria ( 2=2707.208, df =1331, 2/ df = 2.03, p=.00, CFI=.959, TLI=.959, RMSEA=.058). Finally, a chi square difference test using WLSMV was conducted to compare the modified model to the initial model. Since the finalized measurement model deleted four observed vari ables of ID that were present in the initial model, the models could not be nested. Therefore, the initial model was determined to be the revised model after four variables to define independence climate were deleted and before the model allowed measuremen t errors of observed variables. The chi square test statistic is used to test the statistical significance of the decrement in overall fit as free parameters are eliminated (trimming) or the improvement in fit as free parameters are added (building) (Kli ne, 201 1, p. 215). WLSMV represents the weighted least square parameter estimates using a diagonal weight matrix with standard errors and mean and varianceadjusted chi square statistic that use a full weight matrix ( Muthn & Muthn, 2010

PAGE 104

104 p. 533) Sinc e the model regarded item scores as ordinal measures and diagonally weighted least square (DWLS) was used to estimate model parameter as an alternative estimation method, WLSMV was determined to be the proper model comparison test. The results showed that 2=328.437, df =10, and p =.00, and the modified final model improved the model fit significantly. Table 4 15 shows the results of standard factor loading estimates in the final measurement model. Standardized factor loading estimates should be statisticall y significant and should be .5 or higher to have high convergent validity (Hair et al., 2006). All of the 54 observed variables significantly loaded on their constructs. The minimum factor loadings were .37 (C7, In my organization, each person is expected above all to work efficiently ) in the caring climate construct and .46 (IS7, The major responsibility of people in my organization is to control costs ) in the instrumental climate construct. Therefore, all of the indicators of employee communication, trust and ethical organizational climate types have good convergent validity except for two items of ethical organizational climate types. Structural Equation Modeling After CFA was confirmed, a latent variable path analysis was conducted to examine the hypo theses. The goodness of fit indices indicated that the model fit s the data well ( 2=2652.897, df =1342, 2/ df = 1.98, p=.00, CFI=.961, TLI=.959, RMSEA=.057). T he chi square difference test using WLSMV was conducted to compare the m easurement model (CFA model) and the path model. The hybrid model is a constrained version of the measurement model. The results could not conclude that the measurement model fit s better than the path model and there is no significant decrement in fit ( 2=12.349, df =11, p=.338).

PAGE 105

105 Evidence for Research Questions and Hypotheses Hypotheses Testing The hypotheses p redicted that employee communication constructs accountability (H1), participation (H2), and substantial information (H4) would be positively related to employees trust in their organization. One employee communication construct secrecy (H3) wa s hypothesi zed to be related negatively to employees trust. Results showed that among the four constructs of employee communication, accountability (H1: standard coefficient=.26, standard error=.06, p<.001), participation (H2: standard coefficient=.15, standard error=.07, p<.05), and secrecy (H3: standard coefficient=.42, standard error=.08, p <.001) supported hypotheses. However, substantial information (H4: standard coefficient=.07, standard error=.07, p >.10) did not show a significant relationship with employees trust. Therefore, H1, H2, and H3 were supported, and H4 was not supported. H ypotheses predicted that employees trust would be positively correlated to employees perceptions of caring climate (H5), law and code climate (H8), and rules climate (H9). In tu rn, employees trust was expected to be negatively related to employees perceptions of instrumental climate (H6) and independence climate (H7). Trust had a significant positive relationship with caring climate (H5: standard coefficient=.67, standard error =.05, p <.001) and rules climate (H9: standard coefficient=.20, standard error=.07, p<.01) and a significant negative relationship with instrumental climate (H6: standard coefficient= .49, standard error=.07, p<.001). Therefore, H5, H6, and H9 were supporte d. However, unexpectedly, the relationship between trust and the law and code climate was not significant (H8: standard coefficient=.10, standard error=.08, p>.10), so H8 was not supported. In addition, the CFA model did not identify the independence clima te, so independence climate was dropped from this analysis resulting in H7 not being supported.

PAGE 106

106 The other hypotheses dealt with the relationship between employee communication and ethical organizational climate constructs The relationship between accountability and caring climate (H10: standard coefficient=.05, standard error=.07, p >.10) was not significant, while the relationship between participation and caring climate (H11: standard coefficient=.24, standard error=.07, p<.01) was significant. The rela tionship between secrecy and instrumental climate (H12: standard coefficient=.33, standard error=.08, p<.001) was significant. The relationships between substantial information and law and code climate (H14: standard coefficient=.51, standard error=.07, p< .001) and between substantial information and rules climate (H15: standard coefficient=.55, standard error=.07, p<.001) were significant Since the independence climate was unidentified in the CFA model, H13 which predicted the positive relationship between secrecy and independence climate, was not supported. Accordingly, H11, H12, H14, and H15 were supported, while H10 and H13 were not supported. Finally, indirect effects were examined using mediation analysis, and Table 4 16 show s the direct and indirec t effects on exogenous variables. H10a was supported because the indirect path from accountability to trust and to caring climate (indirect effect coefficient=.17, standard error=.04, p<.001) was significant and the direct effect from accountability to caring climate (standard coefficient=.05, standard error=.07, p>.10) was not significant. Trust completely mediates the relationship between accountability and caring climate. H11a was also supported because the indirect path from participation to trust and to caring climate (indirect effect coefficient=.10, standard error=.05, p<.05) and the direct path from participation to caring climate (standard coefficient=.24, standard error=.07, p<.01) were significant. H12a was supported. The indirect path from secrecy to trust and to instrumental climate (indirect effect coefficient=.21, standard error=.05, p<.001) and the direct path from secrecy to instrumental

PAGE 107

107 climate (standard coefficient=.33, standard error=.08, p<.001) were significant. H13a which predicted th e indirect path from secrecy to trust and to independence climate was not supported because independence climate was not identified in the CFA model. In addition, H14a was not supported because the indirect path from substantial information to trust and t o law and code climate (indirect effect coefficient=.01, standard error=.01, p >.10) was not significant al though the direct path from substantial information to law and code climate (standard coefficient=.51, standard error=.07, p<.001) was significant. F inally, H15a was not supported. The indirect path from substantial information to trust and to rules climate (indirect effect coefficient=.01, standard error=.02, p>.10) was not significant al though the direct path from substantial information to rules cl imate (standard coefficient=.55, standard error=.07, p <.001) was significant Trust did not mediate the relationship between substantial information and law and code and rules climates. Additional analysis: Correlations among exogenous variables of employee communication constructs A correlation analysis among the four exogenous variables of employees perceptions of accountability, participation, secrecy, and substantial information was conducted. All of the constructs showed significant correlations with other construct s at the pvalue of .001. Three positive employee communication constructs accountability, participation, and substantial information had significant positive relationships among themselves: accountability and participation (coefficient=.83), accountability and substantial information (coefficient=.79), and participation and substantial information (coefficient=.87). T hree constructs showed negative correlations with secrecy: secrecy and accountability (coefficient=.73), secrecy and partici pation (coefficient= .78), and secrecy and substantial information (coefficient= .80). Since the results showed high correlations among all four constructs of employee communication, it should be questioned whether all four constructs represent the same construct.

PAGE 108

108 However, this study found differences in exploring the relationships of four constructs of employee communication, trust, and five constructs of ethical organizational climate types, and this confirms that all four constructs of employee communic ation do not represent the same construct but rather stand for distinct constructs of employee communication. Additional analysis: Correlations among endogenous variables of ethical organizational climate types A c orrelation analysis among the four endog enous variables of employees perceptions of ethical organizational climate types caring, instrumental, law and code, and rules climates was also conducted. The caring climate showed a significant relationship with instrumental climate (coefficient=.19, p<.05), law and code climate (coefficient=.38, p<.001), and rules climate (coefficient=.52, p<.001). The instrumental climate had no significant relationship with law and code climate (coefficient=.05, p>.05) or rules climate (coefficient=.01, p>.05). Final ly, law and code and rules climates had a significant positive relationship (coefficient=.80, p<.001) These two climates are similar in that both exist under principle d ethical criteri a and emphasize external standards It is understandable that these two climates have high correlations. However, employees trust showed different results related to these two climates; it had a significant relationship with a rules climate while no relationship with law and code climate. Accordingly, it is difficult to see that law and code and rules climates represent the same construct, al though there is high correlation between them. Figure 4 1 shows the results of the proposed model in this study and Figure 42 presents the specified indirect paths between employee co mmunication constructs and ethical organizational climate types with a mediator of trust.

PAGE 109

109 Research questions The f ive research questions for this study explored the most significant constructs of employee communication to explain five different types of ethical organizational climates: caring climate (RQ1a), instrumental climate (RQ1b), law and code climate (RQ1c), rules climate (RQ1d), and independence climate (RQ1e). To investigate these research questions, hierarchical multiple regression analyses were conducted. As was mentioned in the me thodology chapter, the responses which were available for mean substitution for employee communication, trust, and ethical organizational climates, and complete responses for demographic and employee information var iables were included in the analysis T he sample size for the hierarchical multiple regression analysis was 227. Correlation analysis Correlation analysis for all the variables was conducted before conducting hierarchical multiple regression analyses. T able 4 17 shows P earson product moment correlation coefficient tables for major variables. Alt hough trust was not involved with the hierarchical multiple regression analysis, the correlation analysis also included trust. It shows that age was positive ly co rrelat ed with nonprofit sectors ( =.21, p <.01), length of full time work experience ( =.79, p<.001), and tenure ( =.41, p<.001) while negative ly correlat ed with instrumental climate ( = .20, p<.01) and secrecy of employee communication ( = .17, p <.05). L ow education level (coded as 0) ha d positive correlations with caring climate ( =.26, p<.001), rules climate ( =.19, p <.01), and participation dimension of employee communication ( =.13, p<.05). Nonprofit sectors (coded as 1) ha d positive correlations wit h education level =.17, p <.05), length of full time work experience ( =.24, p<.001), and secrecy dimension of employee communication ( =.14, p<.05) while forprofit sectors (coded as 0) had positive correlations with trust ( = .14, p <.05) and independen ce climate ( = .14, p<.05). The length of full time work experience had positive

PAGE 110

110 correlations with tenure ( =.46, p<.001), trust ( =.19, p<.01), caring climate ( =.14, p <.05), and three positive employee communication constructs: accountability ( =.15, p<. 05), participation ( =.19, p<.01), and substantial information ( =.20, p<.01) Length of full time work experience had negative correlations with instrumental climate ( = .17, p<.01) and secrecy ( = .16, p <.05). Finally, of the three employee information variables (organization type, length of full time work experience, and tenure) and the three demographic variables (age, gender, and education), length of full time work experience showed several significant correlations ; however, gender had no significant relationship with any of the variables. Trust, employee communication constructs and ethical organizational climate constructs had significant relationship s among themselves at the .001 level except for independence climate. This is not surprising sin ce the independence climate was not identified in the CFA and SEM analyses Hierarchical multiple linear regression analysis Before conducting hierarchical multiple linear regression analysis, assumption checks were conducted. The first issue wa s multic ollinearity. The re is a problem of multicollinearity when there are moderate to high intercorrelations among predictor variables (IVs) to be used in a regression analysis (Mertler & Vannatta, 2005, p. 169). The values of variance inflation factor (VIF) o f independent variables should be less than 10 in order not to have the problem of multicollinearity (Stevens, 1992). In this study, all of value s of VIF w ere within 1.06 and 3.36. Second, to ensure normality, skewness and kurtosis scores of all variables were checked. The skewness and kurtosis values should be in the range of 1 to +1 to have a normal distribution (Hair et al., 2006). All of the variables in employee communication and ethical organizational climate types were within the criterion ranges (s kewness: between .76 and .71; kurtosis: between .73 and .83). While most of the demographic variables were within the criterion ranges

PAGE 111

111 (skewness: between 1.52 and .52; kurtosis: between 2.00 and .33), the variable of tenure was beyond the criteria (ske wness: 2.00 and kurtosis: 4.63). Finally linearity was checked using partial regression plots. The partial regression plots between each independent variable and dependent variable did not exhibit nonlinear patterns. Therefore, one employee information va riable tenure violated the assumption of normality. Hierarchical multiple regression analysis was conducted to answer five research questions. D emographics (gender, age, and education) were entered into the first block, employee information (organization type, length of full time work experience, and tenure) were entered into the second block, and mean values of employee communication constructs (accountability, secrecy, participation, and substantial information) were entered into the third block. A se t of control variables was entered into the first and second blocks. Table 418 shows the results of the hierarchical regression analysis for the five ethical climate types. The first research question asked about the strongest employee communication construct to explain employees perceptions about a caring climate. The regression model of caring climate accounted for 51.8% of the total variance in the caring climate. The first block regression model of three demographic variables explained 7.1% of the variances [ F (3,223) = 6.73, p<.001], and one demographic variable (education: = .21, p<.001) showed significant relationship with a caring climate. E mployees with lower degrees of education were more likely to perceive their organization as having a cari ng climate. In the second block regression model, no employee information variables showed significant relationships, and the R2 change of .01 was not significant [ F change(3, 220) = .44, p>.73]. The change in R2 R2) tells that the added predictor variab les have a significant relationship to the dependent variable after controlling the existing variables. The third block regression had significant explanatory power by R2 change of 42.9%

PAGE 112

112 [ F change(4, 216) = 47.60, p<.001] and secrecy ( = .21, p<.01), pa rticipation ( = .24, p<.01), and substantial information ( = .20, p<.05) had significant results. Therefore, when controlling for employees demographic and employee information profiles, secrecy had a negative relationship, and participation and substantial information had positive relationship s with caring climate. Among the three employee communication constructs, participation ( = .24, p<.01) was the most explanatory construct for explain ing employees perceptions about caring climate in answering th e first research question. To answer the second research question, the same procedures as in the previous hierarchical multiple regression model were conducted to predict the instrumental climate. The model had 47.3% explanatory power for predict ing the i nstrumental climate. The first block regression model accounted for 5.2% of variances [ F (3,223) = 4.02, p<.01], and gender ( = .11, p<.05) showed a negative relatio nship with instrumental climate. Male employees were more likely to perceive their organization as having an instrumental climate. The second block regression model failed to have significant explanatory power in explaining the instrumental climate [ F change(3, 220 ) = 2.46, p>.05], al though tenure ( = .14, p <.05) was significant. The third block regression had significant explanatory power by R2 change of 39.0% [ F change(4, 216) = 39.61, p<.001] and secrecy ( = 43, p <.001) and participation ( = .20, p<.05) had significant relationship s with the instrumental climate. Therefore, secrecy had a positive relationship and participation had a negative relationship with the instrumental climate when controlling for dem ographic and employee information profiles. In answering the second research question, the strongest construct for explain ing the instrumental climate was secrecy, followed by participation.

PAGE 113

113 The third research question regarded the most explanatory constr uct of employee communication in explain ing for the law and code climate. The hierarchical multiple regression model accounted for 27.4% of the total variances in explaining the law and code climate. The first block regression model [ R2 =.02, F (3,223) = 1.98, p>.05] and the second block regression model [ R2 change =.01, F change(3, 220) = .51, p >.05] were not significant, al though age ( = .20, p<.05) and the length of full time work experience ( = .23, p<.05 ) were significant The third block regression had significant explanatory power by R2 change of 24.1% [ F change(4, 216) = 17.76, p<.001] and substantial information ( = .50, p<.001) had a significantly positive relationship with the law and code climate. Therefore, the only explanatory construct of employee communication was substantial information in explaining for the law and code climate. The fourth research question explored the most explanatory construct of employee communication to be related to the rules climate. The hierarchical multiple re gression model accounted for 45.2% of the total variances in explaining the law and code climate. The first block regression model of three demographic profiles explained 4.5% of the variances [ F (3,223) = 6.73, p<.05], and age ( = .19, p<.05) and education ( = .16, p<.05) had a significant relationship with the rules climate. Therefore, the higher an employee s education level was and the older an employee was the less likely the employee was to perceive the organization as having a rules climate The second block regression model failed to have significant explanatory power in explaining the rules climate [ F change(3, 220 ) = .98, p>.05], while the length of full time work experience ( = .20, p<.05 ) was significant The thi rd block regression had significant explanatory power by R2 change of 39.4% [ F change(4, 216) = 38.49, p <.001] and participation ( = .21, p<.05) and substantial information ( = .47, p<.001) had significant relationships with

PAGE 114

114 the rules climate. Finally, the most explanatory construct of employee communication was substantial information, followed by participation. For the fifth research question, a hierarchical multiple regression analysis was conducted. The hierarchical multiple regression model for the independence climate accounted for 8.3% of the variances. The first block model failed to explain for the variances [ F (3,223)=1.79, p>.05] while the second block model significantly explained the independence climate by R2 change of 3.5% [ F change(3, 220 ) = 2.68, p<.05] Organization type ( = .17, p<.05) and tenure ( = .17, p<.05) showed significant relationships with the independence climate. The more likely that an employee s organization was for profit, and the less time that an employee had worked for the current organization, the more likely the employee was to perceive the organization as having an independence climate. The third block regression model failed to explain for the independence climate [ F change(4, 216 ) = 1.42, p>.05] and there were no employee communication constructs to be related to the independence climate when controlling for employees demographic and employee information profiles to answer the fifth research question. T his is understandable since independence climate was not identified in the SEM analysis. Main findings are summarized below Employees perceptions of employee communication practices showed significant relationships with employees trust in their organizations. Accountability and participation showed positive relationships with employees trust. Secrecy had a negative relationship with trust. Substantial information had no significant relationship with trust. Employees trust had significant relationships with employees perceptions of ethical organizational c limate types. Employees trust had positive relationships with a caring and a rules climate Trust had a negative relationship with an instrumental climate. Trust had no

PAGE 115

115 significant relationship with a law and code climate. An i ndependence climate was not identified in this study s model. Employees perception s of employee communication practices, employees trust, and their perceptions of ethical organizational climate types were related directly and indirectly. Accountability had an indirect relationship with a caring climate through employees developed trust. Secrecy had direct and indirect relationships with an instrumental climate. Participation also had direct and indirect relationships with a caring climate. Substantial information had only direct r elationships with both rules and law and code climates.

PAGE 116

116 Table 4 1. Response r ates Name of o rganization Formula Application Result A Bank Complete / Total (Complete+Incomplete) / Total 53 /100 69 /100 53.0 % 69 .0 % B Marketing a gency Complete/Total 40 / 1 0 2 39.2% (Complete+Incomplete) / Total 51/10 2 50.0% C Insurance c ompany Complete/Total 14/19 73.6% (Complete+Incomplete) / Total 16/19 84.2% D Cleaning company Complete/Total 12/28 42.9% (Complete+Incomplete) / Total 15/28 53.6% E Special education non profit Complete/Total 16/42 38.1% (Complete+Incomplete) / Total 28/42 66.7% F Children support non profit Complete/Total 75/171 43.9% (Complete+Incomplete) / Total 101/171 59.1% G Animal support non profit Complete/Tot al 17/50 34.0% (Complete+Incomplete) / Total 25/50 50.0% Table 4 2. C omposition ratio for the final sample from each organization N ame of organization Frequency Percentage Profit/Non profit Frequency (Percentage) A Bank 69 22.6% 151 (49.5%) B Mark eting a gency 51 16.7% C Insurance c ompany 16 5.2% D Cleaning company 15 4.9% E Special education non profit 28 9.2% 154 (50.5%) F Children support non profit 101 33.1% G Animal support non profit 25 8.2% Total 305 100.0% 305 (100.0%)

PAGE 117

117 Table 4 3. Comparison of population and sample for A Bank Population Sample Gender Female 8 0 (80.0%) 47 (68.1 % ) Male 2 0 (20.0%) 9 ( 1 3 0 % ) Unidentified 13 (18.8%) Age 20 29 years 29 (29.0%) 19 (27 5 % ) 30 39 years 20 (20.0%) 10 (14.5 % ) 40 49 years 30 ( 30.0%) 12 (17.4 % ) 50 59 years 14 (14.0%) 8 ( 1 1.6 % ) 60 69 years 7 (7.0%) 1 (1.4 % ) Unidentified 19 (27.5%) Education High s chool g raduate 22 (22.0%) 7 ( 1 0 .1% ) Some c ollege 39 (39.0%) 24 (34.8 % ) Bachelors d egree 34 (34.0%) 21 ( 3 0.4 % ) Masters d egree 5 (5.0%) 6 (8.7 % ) Unidentified 11 (15.9%) Total 100 (100.0%) 69 (100.0%) Table 4 4. Comparison of population and sample for B Marketing a gency Population Sample Gender Female 73 (71.5%) 3 5 ( 68 6 %) Male 29 (28.5%) 9 ( 17 6 %) Unidentifie d 7 (13.7%) Age 20 29 years 31 (30.5%) 9 ( 17 6 %) 30 39 years 41 (40.0%) 1 8 ( 35 3 %) 40 49 years 26 (25.3%) 9 ( 17 6 %) 50 59 years 4 (4.2%) 2 ( 3 9 %) Unidentified 13 ( 25 5 %) Education High s chool gra duate 6 (6.3%) 1 (2. 0 %) Some c ollege 10 (9.5%) 5 ( 9 8 %) Bachelors d egree 72 (70.5%) 31 (6 0 8 %) Masters d egree 14 (13.7%) 6 (1 1 8 %) Other 2 (3.9%) Unidentified 6 (11.8%) Total 102 (100.0%) 51 (100.0%)

PAGE 118

118 Table 4 5. Comparison of population and sample for C Insurance c ompany Population S ample Gender Female 12 (63.2%) 9 ( 56 2 %) Male 7 (36.8%) 6 ( 37 5 %) Unidentified 1 (6.2%) Age 20 29 years 7 (36.8%) 4 (2 5 0 %) 30 39 years 2 (13.3%) 2 (1 2 5 %) 40 49 years 3 (20.0%) 2 (1 2 5 %) 50 59 years 5 (26.3%) 3 ( 18 8 %) 60 69 years 2 (13.3%) 2 (1 2 5 %) Unidentified 3 (1 8 8 %) Education High school graduate 5 (26.3%) 1 (6. 2 %) Some college 4 (26.7%) 4 (2 5 0 %) Bachelors degree 9 (47.4%) 8 (5 0 0 %) Masters degree 1 (6.7%) 1 (6. 2 %) Other 1 (6. 2 %) Unidentified 1 (6. 2 %) Total 19 (1 00.0%) 1 6 (100.0%) Table 4 6. Comparison of population and sample for D Cleaning company Population Sample Gender Female 24 ( 8 5 7 % ) 12 ( 8 0 0 % ) Male 4 ( 1 4 3 % ) 2 ( 1 3 .3% ) Unidentified 1 (6.7%) Age 15 19 years 5 (17.9%) 4 (26 7 % ) 20 29 years 23 (8 2.1 % ) 10 (66 7 % ) Unidentified 1 (6.7%) Total 28 (100.0%) 1 5 (100.0%) Table 4 7. Comparison of population and sample for E Special education non profit Population Sample Gender Female 72.5% 14 (51.9%) Male 27.5% 7 (25.9%) Unidentified 6 (22.2 %) Age 15 19 years 1 (3.7%) 20 29 years 8% 30 39 years 10% 3 (11.1%) 40 49 years 16% 4 (14.8%) 50 59 years 39% 8 (29.6%) 60 69 years 27% 7 (25.9%) Unidentified 4 (14.8%) Total 42 (100.0%) 28 (100.0%)

PAGE 119

119 Table 4 8. Comparison of population and sample for F Children non profit Population S ample Gender Female 150 (87.7%) 71 (7 0 3 %) Male 21 (12.3%) 13 (1 2 9 %) Unidentified 17 ( 16 8 %) Age 15 19 years 1 (1. 0 %) 20 29 years 46 (26.9%) 14 (1 3 9 %) 30 39 years 52 (30.4%) 26 (2 5 7 %) 40 49 years 29 (17.0%) 1 9 (1 8 .8%) 50 59 years 30 (17.5%) 2 2 (2 1 8 %) 60 69 years 14 (8.2%) 6 ( 5 9 %) Unidentified 13 ( 12 9 %) Total 171 (100.0%) 10 1 (100.0%) Table 4 9. Comparison of population and sample for G Animal support non profit Population S ample Gender Female 34 (68.0%) 18 (72.0%) Male 16 (32.0%) 5 (20.0%) Unidentified 2 (8.0%) Age 15 20 years 1 (4.0%) 20 29 years 23 (46.0%) 6 (24.0%) 30 39 years 7 (14.0%) 5 (20.0%) 40 49 years 3 (6.0%) 2 (8.0%) 50 59 years 11 (22.0%) 5 (20.0 %) 60 69 years 6 (12.0%) 4 (16.0%) Unidentified 2 (8.0%) Education High s chool g raduate 12 (24.0%) 2 (8.0%) Some c ollege 22 (44.0%) 9 (36.0%) Bachelors d egree 11 (22.0%) 10 (40.0%) Masters d egree 4 (8.0%) 2 (8.0%) Other 1 (2.0%) 1 (4.0%) Unidentified 1 (4.0%) Total 50 (100.0%) 25 (100.0%)

PAGE 120

120 Table 4 10. Sample demographic profiles Frequency Percentage Gender Female 206 67.5% Male 51 16.7% Unidentified 48 15.7% Age 15 19 years 7 2.3% 20 29 years 62 20.3% 30 39 years 64 21.0% 40 49 years 49 16.1% 50 59 years 48 15.7% 60 69 years 20 6.6% Unidentified 55 18.0% Education Some high school 1 0.3% High s chool g raduate 17 5.6% Some c ollege 76 24.9% Bachelors d egree 121 39.7% Masters d egree 46 15.1% Doctorate deg ree 1 0.3% Other 6 2.0% Unidentified 37 12.1% Total 305 100.0% N Min Max M SD Years of full time work experience 245 1.00 45 16.82 11.81 Years of tenure 240 0.17 34 5.56 5.93

PAGE 121

121 Table 4 11. Means and standard deviations for measure s of employe e communication Variable M SD Accountability Overall 4. 6 1.3 My organization presents more than one side of controversial issues. 4. 6 1. 5 My organization is forthcoming with information that might be damaging to the organization. 4.3 1.6 My organiza tion is open to criticism by people like me. 4.3 1. 8 My organization freely admits when it has made mistakes. 4.5 1. 7 My organization provides information that can be compared to industry standards. 5.1 1.5 Secrecy Overall 3.0 1.2 My organization oft en leaves out important details in the information it provides to people like me. 3.5 1.6 My organization provides information that is full of jargon and technical language that is confusing to people like me. 2.6 1.5 My organization blames outside facto rs that may have contributed to the outcome when reporting bad news. 2.8 1.5 My organization provides information that is intentionally written in a way to make it difficult to understand. 2.3 1.3 My organization is slow to provide information to people like me. 3.2 1.8 My organization only discloses information when it is required. 3.5 1.8 Participation Overall 4.4 1.5 My organization asks for feedback from people like me about the quality of its information. 4.4 1.8 My organization involves peopl e like me to help identify the information I need. 4.6 1.7 My organization provides detailed information to people like me. 4.5 1.7 My organization makes it easy to find the information people like me need. 4.7 1.5 My organization asks the opinions of people like me before making decisions. 3.7 1.8 My organization takes the time with people like me to understand who we are and what we need. 4.2 1.8 Substantial information Overall 5.1 1.1 My organization provides information that is relevant to peo ple like me. 4.8 1.5 My organization provides information that could be verified by an outside source, such as an auditor. 5.0 1.5 My organization provides information that can be compared to previous organizations performance. 4.8 1.6 My organization provides information that is complete. 4.9 1.5 My organization provides information that is easy for people like me to understand. 5.2 1.3 My organization provides accurate information to people like me. 5.1 1.3 My organization provides information tha t is reliable. 5.2 1.3 My organization presents information to people like me in language that is clear. 5.4 1.2

PAGE 122

122 Table 4 12. Means and standard deviations for measures of trust Variable M SD Trust Overall 5.1 1.3 My organization treats employees f airly and justly. 5.2 1.6 Whenever my organization makes an important decision, I know it will consider the decisions impact on employees. 5.1 1.5 My organization can be relied on to keep its promises to employees. 5.1 1.6 My organization takes the op inions of employees into account when making decisions. 4.6 1.6 I feel very confident about my organization s abilities to accomplish what it says it will do. 5.2 1.5 Sound principles guide my organization s behavior. 5.3 1.4 My organization does not m islead employees [ R ] 5.4 1.5 Note: [ R ] stands for the reverse meaning of trust in the original survey questionnaire.

PAGE 123

123 Table 4 13. Means and standard deviations for measures of ethical organizational climates Variable M SD Caring climate Overall 4.9 1.0 What is best for everyone in my organization is the major consideration here. 4.8 1.4 The most important concern is the good of all the people in my organization as a whole. 4.9 1.4 Our major concern is always what is best for the other person. 4. 3 1.5 In my organization people look out for each others good. 4.6 1.6 In my organization it is expected that you will always do what is right for the customers and public. 6.1 1.1 The most efficient way is always the right way in my organization 4. 2 1.7 In my organization each person is expected above all to work efficiently. 5.2 1.5 Instrumental climate Overall 3.1 1.1 In my organization people protect their own interests above all else. 3.9 1.7 In my organization people are mostly out fo r themselves. 3.3 1.7 There is no room for ones own personal morals or ethics in my organization. 3.0 1.5 People are expected to do anything to further my organization s interests, regardless of the consequences. 2.5 1.5 People here are concerned with my organization s interests to the exclusion of all else. 3.1 1.5 Work is considered substandard only when it hurts my organization s interests. 2.9 1.4 The major responsibility of people in my organization is to control costs. 3.3 1.6 Law and code clim ate Overall 5.4 1.2 People are expected to comply with the law and professional standards over and above other considerations. 5.5 1.4 In my organization the law or ethical code of their profession is the major consideration. 5.2 1.5 In my organizat ion people are expected to strictly follow legal or professional standards. 5.6 1.3 In my organization the first consideration is whether a decision violates any law. 5.3 1.5 Rules climate Overall 5.0 1.3 It is very important to follow my organizat ion s rules and procedures here. 5.7 1.3 Everyone is expected to stick by my organization s rules and procedures. 5.5 1.5 Successful people in my organization go by the book. 4.5 1.6 People in my organization strictly obey the organizations policies. 4.3 1.5 Independence climate Overall 3.5 1.1 In my organization people are expected to follow their own personal and moral beliefs. 3.8 1.4

PAGE 124

124 Table 4 13. Continued. Variable M SD Each person in my organization decides for themselves what is right or wrong. 3.2 1.6 The most important concern in my organization is each persons own sense of right and wrong. 3.1 1.4 In my organization people are guided by their own personal ethics. 3.8 1.5 Table 4 14. Measurement reliability for all items Variab le Number of i tems Number of cases Cronbachs Employee c ommunication measures Accountability 5 273 .88 Secrecy 6 278 .87 Participation 6 278 .93 Substantial i nformation 8 275 .93 Trust measures 7 296 .94 Ethical o rganizational c limate measures Caring c limate 7 286 .83 Instrumental c limate 7 275 .82 Law and c ode c limate 4 284 .85 Rules c limate 4 283 .86 Independence c limate 4 286 .75

PAGE 125

125 Table 4 15. The measurement model Variable Factor loadings( ) Standard errors Accountability A1. M y organization presents more than one side of controversial issues. .78 .03 *** A2. My organization is forthcoming with information that might be damaging to the organization. .72 .03 *** A3. My organization is open to criticism by people like me. .83 .02 ** A4. My organization freely admits when it has made mistakes. .87 .02 *** A5. My organization provides information that can be compared to industry standards. .82 .03 *** Secrecy S1. My organization often leaves out important details in the informat ion it provides to people like me. .78 .03 *** S2. My organization provides information that is full of jargon and technical language that is confusing to people like me. .65 .04 *** S3. My organization blames outside factors that may have contributed to t he outcome when reporting bad news. .72 .03 *** S4. My organization provides information that is intentionally written in a way to make it difficult to understand. .82 .03 *** S5. My organization is slow to provide information to people like me. .85 .02 ** S6. My organization only discloses information when it is required. .78 .03 *** Participation P1. My organization asks for feedback from people like me about the quality of its information. .73 .03 *** P2. My organization involves people like me to help identify the information I need. .88 .02 *** P3. My organization provides detailed information to people like me. .93 .01 *** P4. My organization makes it easy to find the information people like me need. .86 .02 *** P5. My organization asks the opi nions of people like me before making decisions. .83 .02 *** P6. My organization takes the time with people like me to understand who we are and what we need. .91 .01 *** Substantial information SI1. My organization provides information that is relevan t to people like me. .91 .02 *** SI2. My organization provides information that could be verified by an outside source, such as an auditor. .69 .03 *** SI3. My organization provides information that can be compared to previous organizations performance. .73 .03 *** SI4. My organization provides information that is complete. .89 .02 *** SI5. My organization provides information that is easy for people like me to understand. .79 .02 *** SI6. My organization provides accurate information to people like me. 93 .01 ***

PAGE 126

126 Table 4 15. Continued. Variable Factor loadings( ) Standard errors SI7. My organization provides information that is reliable. .92 .02 *** SI8. My organization presents information to people like me in language that is clear. .80 .02 *** Trust T1. My organization treats employees fairly and justly. .86 .02 *** T2. Whenever my organization makes an important decision, I know it will consider the decisions impact on employees. .84 .02 *** T3. My organization can be relied on to keep its promises to employees. .90 .02 *** T4. My organization takes th e opinions of employees into account when making decisions. .91 .01 *** T5. I feel very confident about my organization s abilities to accomplish what it says it will do. .90 .01 *** T6. S ound principles guide my organization s behavior. .90 .02 *** T7. M y organization does not mislead employees [ R ] .76 .03 *** Caring climate C1. What is best for everyone in my organization is the major consideration here. .82 .03 *** C2. The most important concern is the good of all the people in my organization as a whole. .80 .03 *** C3. Our major concern is always what is best for the other person. .58 .04 *** C4. In my organization people look out for each others good. .81 .02 *** C5. In my organization it is expected that you will always do what is right for the customers and public. .74 .04 *** C6. The most efficient way is always the right way in my organization. .52 .04 *** C7. In my organization each person is expected above all to work efficiently. .37 .05 *** Instrumental climate IS1. In my organiza tion people protect their own interests above all else. .74 .04 *** IS2. In my organization people are mostly out for themselves. .84 .04 *** IS3. There is no room for ones own personal morals or ethics in my organization .65 .05 *** IS4. People are e xpected to do anything to further my organization s interests, regardless of the consequences. .80 .03 *** IS5. People here are concerned with my organization s interests to the exclusion of all else. .59 .04 *** IS6. Work is considered substandard only wh en it hurts my organizations interests. .69 .04 *** IS7. The major responsibility of people in my organization is to control costs. .46 .06 ***

PAGE 127

127 Table 4 15. Continued. Variable Factor loadings( ) Standard errors L1. People are expected to comply with the law and professional standards over and above other considerations. .63 .04 *** L2. In my organization the law or ethical code of their profession is the major consideration. .73 .04 *** L3. In my organization people are expected to strictly follow legal or professional standards. .96 .03 *** L4. In my organization the first consideration is whether a decision violates any law. .80 .03 *** Rules climate R1. It is very important to follow my organization s rules and procedures here. .73 .04 *** R2. Everyone is expected to stick by my organization s rules and procedures. .81 .03 *** R3. Successful people in my organization go by the book. .84 .03 *** R4. People in my organization strictly obey the organizations policies. .79 .03 *** Note: *** p <.001 (twotailed), ** p <.01 (twotailed), [ R ] stands for the reverse meaning of trust in the original survey questionnaire. Table 4 16. Direct and indirect effects on endogenous variables Endogenous variables Paths Direct/indirect effect coefficients Standard errors Caring climate accountability caring climate .05 .07 accountability caring climate .17 *** .04 participation caring climate .24 ** .07 participation caring climate .10 .05 Instrumental climate secrecy instrumental climate .33 *** .08 secrecy trust i nstrumental climate .21 *** .05 Law and code climate substantial information law and code climate .51 *** .07 substantial information trust law and code climate .01 .01 Rules climate substantial information rules climate .55 *** .07 substantial information trust rules climate .01 .02 Note: *** p <.001, ** p <.01, *p<.05 (twotailed)

PAGE 128

128 Table 417. Pearson product moment correlation coefficients table for major variables 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 1. Age --2. Gender n .s. --3. Education n.s. n.s. --4. Org type .21 ** n.s. .17 ** --5. Full time years .79 *** n.s. n.s. .24 *** --6. Tenure .41 *** n.s. n.s. n.s. .46 *** --7. Trust .20 ** n.s. n.s. .14 .19 ** n .s. --8. Caring n.s. n.s. .26 *** n.s. .14 n.s. .70 *** --9. Instrumental .20 ** n.s. n.s. n.s. .17 ** n.s. .66 *** .54 *** --10. Law and code n.s. n.s. n.s. n.s. n.s. n.s. .40 *** .40 *** .26 *** --11. Rules n.s. n. s. .19 ** n.s. n.s. n.s. .53 *** .59 *** .40 *** .63 *** --12. Independence n.s. n.s. n.s. .14 n.s. .15 n.s. n.s. n.s. n.s. .13 --13. Accountability n.s. n.s. n.s. n.s. .15 n.s. .65 *** .57 *** .51 *** .32 *** .43 *** n.s. --14. Sec recy .17 n.s. n.s. .14 .16 n.s. .69 *** .60 *** .63 *** .36 *** .52 *** n.s. .62 *** --15. Participation n.s. n.s. .13 n.s. .19 ** n.s. .67 *** .64 *** .55 *** .40 *** .55 *** n.s. .75 *** .67 *** --16. Substantial information n.s. n.s. n.s. n.s .20 .17 .67 *** .60 *** .50 *** .49 *** .60 *** n.s. .69 *** .69 *** .76 *** Note: N=227, ***p<.001, ** p<.01, *p<.05 (2tailed). n.s. refers to not significant. Organization type (org type) was coded as 0 (for profit) and 1 (non profit), gender as 0 (male) and 1 (female), education as 0 (low education, which includes high school graduates) and 1 (high education, which includes bachelor s and graduate degrees).

PAGE 129

129 Table 418. Hierarchical regression on five ethical climate types Caring climate Instrumental climate Law and code climate Rules climate Independence climate Predictors (SE) (SE) (SE) (SE) (SE) Block 1 Age .08(.17) .12 (.18) .20(.22) .19(.22) .09(.25) Gender .02(.13) .11(.14) .01(.17) .05(.17) .04(.20) Education .2 1(.11) *** .10(.12) .12(.14) .16(.14) ** .04(.16) R 2 .08 *** .05 ** .02 .05 .02 Block 2 Org type .08(.11) .02(.12) .04(.15) .03(.15) .17(.17) Full time years .06(.01) .05(.01) .23(.01) .20(.01) .10(.01) Tenure .06(.01) .14(.01) .03(.01) .12(.01) .17(.02) R 2 change .01 .03 .01 .01 .04 R 2 .09 ** .08 ** .03 .06 .06 Block 3 Accountability .12(.06) .11(.07) .09(.08) .11(.08) .08(.09) Secrecy .21(.06) ** .43(.07) *** .01(.08) .12(.08) .11(.09) Participation .24(. 06) ** .20(.07) .09(.08) .21(.08) .16(.09) Substantial information .20(.07) .03(.08) .50(.10) *** .47(.10) *** .19(.11) R 2 change .43 *** .39 *** .24 *** .39 *** .02 R 2 .52 *** .47 *** .27 *** .45 *** .08 Note: N=227, ***p<.001, ** p<.01, *p<.05 (2tailed) Organization type was coded as 0 ( forprofit) and 1 (non profit), gender as 0 (male) and 1 (female) education as 0 (low education, which includes high school graduates) and 1 (high education, which includes bachelor s and graduate degrees)

PAGE 130

130 Note: Values are standardized coefficients. Thicker arrows represent more significant relationships (***p<.001, ** p<.01), and thinner arrows represent less significant relationships (*p <.05). ( 2=2652.897, df =1342, 2/ df = 1.98, p=.00, CFI=.961, TLI=.959, RMSEA=.057). Figure 41. Results of proposed m odel

PAGE 131

131 Note: Thicker arrows represent more significant relationships (***p<.001, ** p<.01), and a thinner arrow represents less significant relationships (*p <.05). Figure 42. Specified indirec t paths

PAGE 132

132 CHAPTER 5 DISCUSSION AND CONCLUSION This study explored the relationships among employees perceptions about employee communication practices, trust, and perceptions about ethical organizational climates by conducting a survey with full time employees in seven organizations. In this chapter, the results from the previous chapter are discussed with theoretical and practical implications. Finally, this chapter present s the limitations of the study and articulates the conclusions of this study. Emplo yee Communication Practices and Trust Previous studies argued that employees trust can be cultivated as an outcome of employee communication characteristics (Jo & Shim, 2005; Muchinsky, 1977; Ruppel & Harrington, 2000) This study investigated how employe es perceptions of employee communication practices are related to employees trust in their organization. The study found that of the four constructs of employee communication, accountability and participation had positive relationships with employees tr ust, secrecy had a negative relationship with employees trust and the substantial information dimension did not show any significant relationships. The study found that t he more an organization acts a ccountable the more employees have trust in the orga nization. This finding is consistent with previous studies. Rawlins ( 2009) argue s that the accountability communication trait can explain organizational transparency efforts, and Reina and Reina (1999) also emphasize admission of mistakes for nurturing com munication trust When the organization is responsible and accurate about its act ions employees can build trust in the organization because it is regarded as being transparent and reliable for employees. Participation and interactivity of employee commun ication is known to help build employees trust (Ni, 2007; Reina & Reina, 1999; Sanchez, 2006) and this study also found that

PAGE 133

133 the more employees perceive that their organization values employees input in important decision making, the more employees have trust in their organization. However, the relationship between participation and trust was weak (standard coefficient=.15) compared to other findings (accountability and trust: standard coefficient =.26, secrecy and trust: standard coefficient= .42). When comparing mean values among three positive constructs of employee communication (accountability, participation, and substantial information), the participation dimension received the lowest evaluation and was close to the neutral value, M =4.36. This shows that the participation construct was the weakest construct in general for employee communication practices in this study s sampled organizations. On the other hand, in an openended question about the role of employee communication in affect ing employees perceptions about their organization, one of the respondents most frequently mentioned comments was that management has not been willing to listen to employee feedback and to reflect employees opinions when making decisions. For example, respondents made such statements as I think that if upper management is going to ask for our thoughts and opinions, upon receipt of them they should try to put some of them to use. Listen to your employees, make sure they are happy and treat them the way we want to be tr eated and We need to do more to seek staff input While employees strongly desire for their organization to value employees participation, it appears that organizational management is not performing this task well. Accordingly, the small portion of var iance in explaining the relationship between participation and trust may be related to th e fact that employees gave neutral evaluations about participation. There are numerous factors that impact employees trust in their organization, and a neutral evaluation of the participation construct may not fully explain respondents mo derately positive trust ( M =5.12) in

PAGE 134

134 this study. In addition, the relationship between participation and trust could show stronger results in a larger sample size than this study s sam ple size. Additionally, numerous studies have found that openness has been known to encourage employees positive work attitudes (e.g., Burke & Wilcox, 1969; Lamb & McKee, 2005; Smidts et al., 2001; Trombetta & Rogers, 1988) Particularly, Ruppel and Harr ington (2000) examined the linkages of employee communication, trust, and ethical organizational climate and found that open communication increases employees trust level, which leads to increased commitment and innovation. T his study found that secrecy, which is the opposite of openness, has a significantly negative relationship with employees trust. Therefore, this study s results replicated Ruppel and Harrington s finding about the relationship between open communication and trust. Comparing the magnitude of variance, secrecy had the strongest relationship with employees trust This supports the assertion that closed and secret employee communication practices are seriously detrimental to employees trust in their organization. T his study failed to find a significant relationship between employees perception s of substantial information and trust. This finding is contradictory to previous studies conclusions that providing substantial information to employees contributes significantly to employees tr ust (Ellis & Shockley Zalavak, 2001) and can increase job satisfaction (Trombetta & Rogers, 1988) and employees relational satisfaction (Spiker & Daniels, 1981) However a recent study by White et al. (2010) revealed that al though much information is available for current employees through organizational Web si tes and email, they still want to receive more information through face to face communication to have responsive feedback and a sense of community. White et al .s finding demonstrate s that employees evaluation s of their organizations communication practices are not only based on receiving a large amount of information, but also on how the

PAGE 135

135 appropriate amount of information is communicated to the employees. Particularly, current innovations in W eb ba sed technologies have impacted the practice of employee communication and changed the dynamic between employees and organizations (Argenti, 2006; Holtz, 2005; Sinicka s, 2005; Wright & Hinson, 2006) While n ew technology has given employees the ability to s hare knowledge and information easily (Holtz, 2005) most employees do not want to depend entirely on electronic sources as their internal communication channels, and a significant number of employees still prefer face to face communication (Sinickas, 2005). O f the four constructs of employee communication, substantial information was the construct receiv ing the highest evaluation from respondents ( M =5.07) Accordingly, it appears that providing substantial information itself is not a critical factor in det ermin ing current employees trust in their orga nization although employees were satisfied the most with the substantial information construct. A possible explanation for this finding could be the influence of the vast amount of information on new technolog ies in organizations and in society. People cannot be satisfied and appreciat ive of large amount s of information alone and employees may not necessarily regard an organization s efforts to provide a large amount of information as a sign that the organizat ion is reliable Trust and Ethical Organizational Climates The relationship between employees trust in their organization and their perceptions of ethical organizational climate types was examined. Of the five ethical organizational climate types, an in dependence climate was not identified in this study s model. Victor and Cullen (1988) describe an i ndependence climate as an ethical organizational climate in which personal moral beliefs are the only criterion of ethical decisionmaking. However, previous empirical studies ( Deshpande 1996b; Martin & Cullen 2006) did not find significant findings with an independence climate. Martin and Cullen s meta analysis of ethical organizational climate theory

PAGE 136

136 concluded that independent ethical climate s have consist ently show n weak relationships with other outcomes. In reality, it is difficult to believe that people make ethical decision making regardless of any external factors and it is understandable that this study s model failed to identify an independence climate. Finally, this study investigated the relationships between employees trust and their perceptions of four ethical organizational climate types : caring, instrumental, law and code, and rules climates. Employees trust ha d positive relationships with em ployees perceptions of caring and rules climates, and a negative relationship with an instrumental climate. However, employees trust did not show any significant relationships with their perceptions of a law and code climate. Particularly, the positive relationship between employees trust and perceptions of a caring climate was the strongest (standard coefficient=.67) among all three significant relationships among employees trust and ethical organizational climate types. This confirms that employees are very likely to have high trust in their organization if they perceive it as having a caring climate. Numerous studies suggest that employees can have an impression that they are valued, and they can have positive work attitudes including trust in their organization, in a caring climate ( Deshpande, 1996a ; Martin & Cullen, 2006; Vardi, 2001). This result also replicates Ruppel and Harrington s (2000) finding that an ethical organizational climate emphasizing benevolence leads employees to trust an organiz ation An instrumental climate emphasizes only profitdriven goals of an organization to employees, and employees in this type of climate rarely perceive that they are valued by their organization. This study found that employees are likely to have low tr ust in their organization if it has an instrumental climate. This finding is consistent with previous studies finding s that an instrumental climate is known to encourag e employees negative work attitudes such as less

PAGE 137

137 organizational commitment (Martin & Cullen, 2006), dysfunctional behavior (Martin & Cullen, 2006), and unethical behavior (Peterson, 2002; Victor & Cullen, 1988) Law and code and rules climates are similar in that both emphasize external standards to employees. However, this study found a positive significant relationship with employees trust and a rules climate, and no significant relationship with trust and a law and code climate. Vardi (2001) found that a rules climate affects employees organizational misbehavior negatively, as does a caring climate. In a rules climate, employees are clearly aware of organizational rules and expectations for employees, and employees believe that their organization is trustworthy and reliable. On the other hand, this study found no significant relationship between employees trust and their perceptions about a law and code climate. A law and code climate has been shown to have a negative relationship with employees unethical work behavior such as lying, discrimination, coercion, stealing in vignettes (Fr itzsche, 2000; Wimbush et al., 1997), and deviant behavior (Peterson, 2002a). These results about law and code and rules climates in this study contrast with Martin and Cullen s (2006) findings, since their metaanalysis concluded that rules climate has sh own weak relationships in general while law and code climate has had significant relationships with positive outcomes. Finally, this study s finding about two principled climates relating to employees trust had contradictory results to a previous meta a nalysis study about ethical organizational climate theory. One reason for this could be the small sizes of the organizations in this study s sample. Organizational size has been known to affect individual s ethical decision making ( Murphy, Smith, & Daley, 1992; Weber, 1990) Alt hough Murphy et al. argue that organizational size affects individuals ethical behavior, they concluded that this assertion is difficult to interpret since one of their findings related to organizational size was that smaller compa nies tend to

PAGE 138

138 avoid unethical behavior on the marketing issues, while larger companies tend to avoid unethical behavior on the operational issues. (p. 18). This shows that organizational size significantly influences individuals beliefs about organization s al though this is difficult to interpret and may be due to other unique organizational factors. Of the seven organizations that participated in this study the largest one had 171 employees and the smallest one had 19 employees. The mean organizational size of the seven organizations was about 72 employees per organization. M any of the organizations used in previous studies about ethical organizational climates were much larger than the organization s in this study. For example, Victor and Cullen (1988) c onducted a survey about ethical organizational climates with employees from four organizations : a printing company with 33 employees, a savings and loan company with 450 employees, a telephone company with 500 employees, and a manufacturing plant with 200 employees. Brower and Shrader (2000) investigated ethical organizational climate types with 13 organizations (6 for profits and 7 nonprofits), with the largest organization ha ving a total of 7500 employees and the smallest one ha ving two employees. Other sampled organization s had workforce sizes of 1200, 320, 150190, 80100, 75, and 60 employees Therefore, in general these previous studies conducted survey s with fulltime employees from organizations larger than the ones used in this study. Since this s tudy conducted survey s with employees from smaller sized organizations with fewer than 200 employees, this could have affect ed employees perceptions about organizational rule and how it is more critical for develop ing trust in their organization than are law and professional codes. L arge r organizations are more likely than small and medium sized organizations to accept, adopt, and emphasize global professional standards and law s Therefore, the size of the organization could have affect ed employees percep tion s of the type of ethical organizational climate

PAGE 139

139 Employee Communication, Trust, and Ethical Organizational Climates This study investigated the relationships between employees perceptions regarding employee communication constructs and ethical organi zational climate types. In exploring these relationships, the study also tested whether trust can be a mediator to explain any of these relationships. A mediating effect is defined as an effect of a third variable/construct intervening between two other r elated constructs (Hair et al., 2006, p. 844), while a moderating effect is an effect of a third variable or construct changing the relationship between two related variables/constructs (Hair et al., 2006, p. 844). This study did not attempt to explain how employees trust changes the established relationships between employees perceptions about employee communication practices and ethical organizational climate types. Rather, it attempted to explain if employees trust can intervene between the relatio nships of employees perceptions about employee communication practices and ethical organizational climate types. Therefore, this study regarded trust as a mediator. Of the four constructs of employee communication and the four ethical organizational climate types, this study found direct relationships between secrecy and an instrumental climate, participation and a caring climate, substantial information and a rules climate, and substantial information and a law and code climate. An i ndirect relationship through trust was found between accountability and a caring climate, participation and a caring climate, and secrecy and an instrumental climate. This study found that secrecy had a significant positive relationship with an instrumental climate directly and also indirectly through employees trust. When employees believe that their organization is closed and secret ive to wards them, they are likely to believe that their organization has an instrumental climate. In addition, when employees believe that thei r organization has a secrecy problem regarding employee communication, employees trust

PAGE 140

140 decreases and employees are more likely to believe that their organization has an instrumental climate. This study found that secrecy, the opposite of openness of emplo yee communication, and an i nstrumental climate the least dominant and the least preferred climate type, are significantly related This finding supports Rawlins (2009) argument that i f transparency has a place in the OPR research agenda, it is most logi cally tied to the concepts of openness and trust (p. 95). Organizational transparency is guaranteed when organizational communication and act s are open and transparent. This study s finding that c losed and secretive employee communication practice s are de trimental to employees trust in their organization and their perceptions about ethical organizational climate types suggests that the danger of secrecy to organizations transparency efforts is quite serious Accordingly, when employee communication is open and transparent, employees can build high trust in their organization and perceive the organization as being transparent, rather than egoistic o r promoting self interests regardless of others This study s finding that c losed and secretive employee comm unication practice s are detrimental to employees trust in their organization and their perceptions about ethical organizational climate types suggests that the danger of secrecy to organizations transparency efforts is serious Accordingly, when employee communication is open and transparent, employees can build high trust in their organization and are more likely to perceive the organization as being transparent, rather than egoistic o r promoting self interests regardless of others While this study fou nd no significant relationship between accountability and a caring climate directly, there was a significant positive relationship between accountability and trust, as well as between trust and a caring climate. This means that when employees perceive that employee communication is accountable, they do not necessarily believe that it indicates that

PAGE 141

141 their organization has a caring climate. However, the accountability of employee communication characteristics can increase employees trust in their organizatio n, and employees high levels of trust can lead them to believe that the organization has a caring climate. Accountability is tied to how transparent and responsible an organization is (Rawlins, 2009), and a caring climate is related to how well an organiz ation values and is concern ed about employees, public, and society (Victor & Cullen, 1988). Therefore, even though both concepts can encourage employees positive work attitudes such as trust, they are different in that accountability is about an organiza tion s upfront act ions, while a caring climate is about an organization s affective value to the public. This finding clearly shows how accountability of employee communication is related to a caring climate through employees trust al though there was no direct relationship between two concepts Th is study found that employees perception s of participation and a caring climate had a positive relationship directly and also indirectly through employees trust. As previous studies (Ni, 2007; Reina & Reina, 1999) have suggested when management i s willing to listen to employees opinions and respect its employees employees believe that they are valued by their organization. This study s results were consistent with those of previous studies. In addition, empl oyees perceptions that an organization is active in listening to employees opinions and reflecting them in decision making can lead to employees having high trust in their organization, and employees trust can cause employees to believe that their orga nization has a caring climate. This study also found that providing substantial information to employees has a positive relationship with employees perceptions of the two principledethical organizational climate types, law and code and rules climates. B oth principled climates emphasize external standards for ethical decision making; the former stresses law and professional codes while the latter

PAGE 142

142 emphasizes internal organizational rules Substantial information is critical in reducing uncertainty and am biguity among employees in an organization (Scott et al., 1999; Spiker & Daniels, 1981; Weick, 1979) Accordingly, this study found that providing substantial information to employees gives the impression that an organization emphasi zes external standards including law and professional codes and internal organizational rules. Since there was no significant relationship between employees perceptions of substantial information and employees trust, employees trust cannot be the mediator between employees perceptions of substantial information and both climate types. Employee Communication and Ethical Organizational Climates Controlling for Demographic Variables To find the most explanatory employee communication dimensions to account for the five ethical organizational climate types, a series of hierarchical multiple regression analyses was performed controlling for demographic and employment information variables. SEM analysis does not control for employees demographic and employee information variables in linking the relationship between employees perception s about employee communication and ethical organizational climates. Findings from hierarchical multiple regression analysis showed similar results with the results from SEM analysis in general. Just a s the previous SEM analysis did not identify an independence climate, this analysis also failed to find any significant relationships with employee communication constructs and an independence climate. Of the four employee communication constructs, part icipation, secrecy, and substantial information showed significant relationships with employees perceptions about a caring climate. The more that employee communication values employees participation, the less it has secrecy problems and the more it provides substantial information to employees, the likelier employees are to perceive that their organization has embraced a caring climate. When comparing the

PAGE 143

143 magnitude of effects of employee communication constructs on a caring climate, participation and se crecy constructs showed more significant relationships than did substantial information. Particularly, the participation construct of employee communication had the strongest relationship with a caring climate. This supports the same finding from the previ ous SEM analysis. Employees perceptions about secrecy and participation showed significant relationships with their perceptions about an instrumental climate. The more an organization gives the impression that the employee communication practices are clo sed and secret ive and that the organization is not active in encouraging employees participation, the more likely employees are to perceive that their organization has an instrumental climate. When comparing the magnitude of variances of secrecy and parti cipation, the former had a more significant relationship with an instrumental climate than did the latter. Accordingly, this result reflects the previous result of this study s SEM model that the secrecy construct of employee communication can represent th at the organization has an egoistic and profit driven ethical organizational climate. In addition, this study found that the substantial information construct of employee communication is positively related to employees perception s about the law and code and rules climates. When employees perceive that their organization is doing well at providing necessary and appropriate amount s of information to them, they believe that their organization has a clear ethical criterion to follow not only law and professi onal codes but also organizational rules. This result is consistent with previous findings from the SEM analysis in this study. In addition, the study found that the participation construct also had a positive relationship with employees perceptions rega rding the rules climate al though the variance was small.

PAGE 144

144 Unexpectedly, one employee communication construct, accountability did not show any significant relationships to account for employees perceptions about the five ethical organizational climate ty pes. As was previously discussed, accountability is tied to how much the organization is transparent and responsible (Rawlins, 2009), and this does not necessarily directly relate to how employees perceive ethical organizational climate types. Ad Hoc Anal ysis of Demographic and Employee Information Variables O f the three demographic variables age, gender, and educationage showed si gnificant relationship with a rules climate, gender showed a significant relationship with an instrumental climate, and educat ion had a significant relationship with caring and rules climates. Of the three employee information variables organization type, length of full time work experience, and tenure both organization type and tenure showed significant relationships with an independence climate, al though the variances were small. These two organizational variables were the only variables having a significant relationship with employees perception s of an independence climate in this study. Older employees were more likely to pe rceive that their organization has a rules climate Older employees more so than younger employees, believed that their organization has clear rules. Regarding education, the higher educational background employees ha d, the less likely they were to percei ve that their organization has caring and rules climates. This could be interpreted to mean that employees with higher education were more critical than employees with lower education in assessing how much their organization values public and society, and also has the clear rules. Th ese results are similar to Malloy and Agarwal s (2003) finding that the higher an employees educational background is, the more likely the employee is to provide an egoistic evaluation for ethical organizational climates. Their finding show s that employees with higher education perceive more easily that their organization has an instrumental climate than do

PAGE 145

145 employees with lower education. Therefore, these results show that employees with higher education are more critical in eva luating ethical organizational climate s positively than are ones with lower education. T his study found that gender had a significant relationship with an instrumental climate al though the variances were small. The results showed that male employees are m ore likely to perceive their organization as having an instrumental climate. The results of this study indicate that employees from for profit companies are more likely to perceive their organization as having an independence climate, where personal moral beliefs are the only criterion of ethical decision making, than are those from nonprofit organizations. A few previous studies demonstrated different ethical organizational climate types between nonprofits and for profits. For example, Brower and Shrade r (2000) found that for profit companies had more egoistic ethical climates than did non profit organizations. Agarwal and Malloy (1999) also revealed that nonprofit sectors have a caring climate trend. Accordingly, previous studies have shown that nonpr ofits are likely to have a caring climate, and for profits are likely to have an instrumental climate. However, this study found that employees from for profit companies are more likely than employees from nonprofits to perceive that personal moral belief s are significant criteria for their ethical decision making. This finding is hard to interpret, since no previous studies have resulted in similar findings regarding independence climates between non profit and for profit sectors. Therefore, this result s hould be considered in light of this studys sample specific issues, such as small organizational sizes. Since an independence climate has been shown to have a weak relationship with other outcomes in numerous previous studies, this study s finding is not easy to interpret. In addition, this study found that the longer employees work in a current organization, the less likely they are to perceive it as having an independence climate. This is an unexpected result in that the longer

PAGE 146

146 employees work in their or ganization, the more they believe that personal moral beliefs are the only criterion of ethical decisionmaking in the organization. Regarding tenure, Victor and Cullen (1988) found that tenure has a positive relationship with perceptions about a caring cl imate. Accordingly, some findings from this study about the significant relationships of employee information variables with ethical organizational climate types contrast with the results of previous studies. It should be noted that one employee informati on variable, tenure violated the assumption of normality in assumption checks to conduct hi er archical multiple regression analysis. Therefore, it would be challenging to make a conclusion from this study about how employees tenure affects ethical organiz ational climate types. Nevertheless, it should also be acknowledged that there have been contradictory results among numerous previous studies about how individual factors affect ethical beliefs. When Ford and Richardson (1994) reviewed empirical studies a bout moral reasoning, their conclusion about how education and employment variables affect employees ethical decision making was as follows: In some instances, type and years of education and type and years of employment are related to an individual's et hical beliefs and decision making behavior. However, in other situations, ethical beliefs and decision making are independent of education and employment (p. 211). Therefore, they concluded that the effects of individual demographic and employment variabl es on ethical beliefs are hard to generalize or argue one consistent result. Finally, this study s findings about the relationships between employees demographic and information variables and their perceptions about ethical organizational climate types sh ould also correspond with Ford and Richardson s conclusion. Implications for Public Relations Research and Practice This study attempted to show how employee communication practices are related to employees trust and ethical organizational climate types. This study focused on public relations

PAGE 147

147 practice targeting internal publics which reflects employee communication Grunig (1992b) emphasizes that employees are a strategic public and argues that employee communication should be an important component of an organizations public relations practices. Th is study explored how employee communication can contribute to organization and employee relationships by adopting one dimension of organizationpublic relationship (OPR) outcomes (Hon & Grunig, 1999; Ki, 2006) which is employees trust. Of the four constructs of employee communication, this study found that secrecy, accountability, and participation of employee communication practices significantly affect employees trust in their organizations. This finding i s consistent with Fergusons (1984) argument about the significance of the relationship building role of public relations While there have been numerous OPR studies ( e.g., Broom et al., 1997; Grunig & Huang, 2000; Ledingham, 2003; Ledingham & Bruning, 199 8) few OPR studies have addressed employee communication practices. Ledingham (2003) has called for studies of organizationemployee relationships for future research opportunities because of the scarcity of research in that area. In addition, less than 1 0% of the public relations literature up to 2000 has explored employee communication or organizational communication topic studies ( Sallot et al., 2003). Therefore, this study can contribute by helping to fill the void of public relations academia by explo ring employee organization relationships in OPR studies. This study empirically presented how public relations practices are tied to organizational climate. Previous studies have argued that contextual variables significantly affect the practices of publi c relat This study found that the four constructs of employee communicationaccountability, participation, secrecy, and substantial informationhave significant relationships with four ethical organizational climate types caring, instrumental, law and code, and rules climate s both

PAGE 148

148 directly and indirectly through employees trust. Grunig (1992a) begins the first chapter of Excellence in P ublic R elations and C ommunication M anagement with the foll owing three questions: 1. When and why are the efforts of communication practitioners effective? 2. How do organizations benefit from effective public relations? 3. Why do organizations practice public relations in different ways? (p. 1). He point s out t hat public relations scholars should make efforts to answer these important questions, which have seldom been asked and answered with theoretical background. Investigating the effectiveness of public relations, Hon (1997) concluded that effective public relations can help organizations to build relationships with publics and contribute to organizations survival and success. This study can help to answer Grunig s three questions. For the first question, this study shows that when employee communication is o pen, accountable, and participatory, it can help organizations to be effective by enhancing employees trust in their organization. Regarding the second question, when public relations is effective, employees trust is developed and employees can develop positive perceptions about an organizational climate such as having a caring, law and code, or rules climate. On the contrary, when public relations is not effective as when it communicat es with employees in a secretive way, employees are more likely to believe that their organization is oriented to treat employees as a means to the end of making a profit. For the third question, employee communication is the product of organizational climate, and organizational climate is also determined by employee commu nication. In considering the significant interaction between public relations practice and organizational context, every organization practices public relations in different ways. This study can also contribute to the field by providing practical directio ns for public relations practitioners from various types of organizations (e.g., for profits, nonprofits). This study can guide how organizational management can change organizational work climates by

PAGE 149

149 modifying their employee communication style. For example, if organizational management realizes that its employees perceive it as having a very profit driven organizational climate and hopes to alter the organizational climate to be warmer to employees and to put more emphasis on publics and society, it can encourage employees participation, such as developing a hotline for asking employees opinions and feedback when making important decisions. This will help employees see and understand organizational managements efforts to learn about employees opinions and to reflect them in organizational decisions and to perceive that their organization has a caring climate. In addition, the organization should check to see if it has secretive and closed employee communication practices. If its employee communication practices are secretive, it should make efforts to change employee communication to be more transparent and open. This is critical for altering an instrumental climate to a caring climate. This study significantly showed how employee communication practic es influence employees trust and their perceptions of ethical organizational climates. This finding can apply to organizational relationships with other publics including community, consumer s and investors. The finding s from this study demonstrate that secretive public relations practices are detrimental to publics trust in an organization, and participatory public relations practices are effective in building publics trust. When attempting to build trust ing relationships with publics, organizations should make efforts to be open, transparent, and participatory. Finally, this approach can provide suggestions to public relations practitioners who mak e practical decisions about organizational management. Limitations and Suggestions for Future Research Al t hough t his study is original and theoretical, it has a number of possible limitations. First, the sample of this study was collected from seven particular organizations in different industries. While the sampling design allowed this study to collect the d ata from employees in

PAGE 150

150 different industries including for profits and non profits of differing sizes, the results from this study cannot represent all full time employees perceptions or assure external validity. In addition, as was previously discussed, t he small sizes of the organizations in this study s sample may bias the results. Of the seven organizations that participated in this study the largest one had 171 employees and the smallest one had 19 employees. The mean organizational size of the seven organizations was about 72 employees per organization. Since this study conducted survey s with employees from smaller sized organizations with fewer than 200 employees, this could have affect ed employees perc eptions about employee communication, ethical organizational climate and employees trust In addition, the majority of respondents were female, and this may have bias ed their perceptions about employee communication, trust, and their perceptions about ethical organizational climate types. If future r esearch explores employees perceptions using a random sampling method, the results could have more external validity. SEM generally requires a large sample size compared to other multivariate statistical analysis methods This study utilized a sample siz e of 305, including complete and incomplete responses in performing the SEM. Alt hough this sample size is larger than the minimumrequired sample size for SEM analysis with 58 variables (58 x 5 = 290), a larger sample size than 305 could produce results t hat are more valid than those from this study. For example, the relationship between participation and tr ust could show stronger results E thical organizational climate theory suggests that there is some grouplevel agreement on organizational climate ; how ever, this study focused on individual psychological climate which is individual perceptions about ethical organizational climates Alt hough t his study collect ed data at the group level of seven organizations, it analyzed data at the individual level

PAGE 151

151 not test ing whether group level effects exist. Accordingly, future studies should examine whether there are any grouplevel differences in exploring employee communication practices, employees trust, and ethical organizational climates. This study used path analysis assuming causal inference in SEM. Critically, the criteria for causality are (1) the variables must be correlated, (2) the cause takes place before the effect, and (3) the variables are nonspurious (Babbie, 2007, p. 90). This studys method did not satisfy two of the three conditions, since time order was not considered and possible other variables could explain the relationships. In this study, only covariation between constructs was present in the path model. Therefore, future studies that ass ume causal inference using path analysis should make efforts to meet the criteria for causality. For example, to have time order, a panel study can be conducted and employees can be asked about employee communication practices in the first study, and then they can be asked about trust and perceptions of ethical organizational climates in the second study. This research examined employees perceptions of employee communication practices, ethical organizational climates, and trust, and main variables include d only perceptual outcomes. If a future study adds any behavioral intention variables (e.g., organization citizenship behavior, productivity, absenteeism, job referral to friends) to the current study, it may guide organizational management to see more tan gible outcomes than this current studys findings It would help management to realize the importance of employee communication practices, trust, and ethical organizational climate for organizational success. The response rates for this study were between 50.0% and 84.2% and were considered to be high. Typical response rates are from 1% to 4% for mail surveys, from 10% to 75% for telephone surveys, and from 1% to 30% for Internet surveys (Wimmer & Dominick, 2006). One

PAGE 152

152 potential explanation for the high res ponse rate for this study is that the survey distributor was organizational management, not a researcher. Although finding organizations that would allow the researcher to conduct the survey with its employees was challenging, high response rates were achi eved through this method. Future research may replicate this method to achieve high response rates when investigating topics similar to those of this study. Conclusion This study began from curiosity about how public relations practices are related to con textual factors through publics perceptions. Specifically this study limited public relations practice to employee communication, contextual factors to ethical organizational climates, and publics to employees. To investigate these relationships, this st udy em pirically examined employee organizational relationships by conducting a survey with full time employees from seven organizations. This study found that employees perceptions about four different constructs of employee communication are distinctly tied to employees trust and their perception s about four different ethical organizational climate types. Of the four constructs of employee communication, accountability and participation showed positive relationships with employees trust, while secrecy had a n egative relationship with trust. The more that organizations act accountable, value employees participation, and do not have secretive employee communication practices, the more employees have trust in their organization. Employees trust had posit ive relationships with caring and rules climates and a negative relationship with instrumental climate. Employees are likely to have high trust in their organization if they perceive it as having a caring or rules climate, but not if they perceive it as ha ving an instrumental climate. Finally, accountability had an indirect relationship with a caring climate through employees developed trust. This means that when employees perceive that employee

PAGE 153

153 communication is accountable, they do not necessarily believ e that it indicates that their organization has a caring climate. However, the accountability of employee communication characteristics can increase employees trust in their organization and employees high levels of trust can lead them to believe that t he organization has a caring climate. Secrecy had direct and indirect relationships with an instrumental climate. When employees believe that their organization is closed and secret ive to wards them, they are more likely to believe that their organization has an instrumental climate. In addition, when employees believe that their organization has a secrecy problem regarding employee communication, employees trust decreases, and employees are more likely to believe that their organization has an instrumental climate. Participation also had direct and indirect relationship s with a caring climate. W hen management i s willing to listen to employees opinions and respect its employees employees believe that they are valued by their organization. In addition, empl oyees perception s that an organization is active in listening to employees opinions and reflecting them in decisionmaking can lead to employees high trust in their organization, and employees trust can cause employees to believe that their organizatio n has a caring climate. S ubstantial information had only direct relationships with both rules and law and code climates. P roviding substantial information to employees gives the impression that an organization emphasi zes external standards including law a nd professional codes and internal organizational rules. This empirical study is meaningful in that it brings attention to how public relations practice can contribute to employee organizational relationships. It also clearly show s how public relations pra ctices are tied to organizational contexts.

PAGE 154

154 APPENDIX A STATEMENT OF INFORMED CONSENT Dear XXX employees: On behalf of XXX, I am currently conducting a study to examine your perceptions of XXX. This study will explore what XXX does to maintain its relationships with employees and how employee communication efforts affect employees' perceptions about the organization. This survey will take about 15 minutes. Your response is extremely important and valuable to this research. Your answers will be used for statistical purposes only and will remain strictly anonymous to the extent by law. All responses are confidential and no individual data will be reported. You have the right to withdraw from the study at anytime without consequence. If you have any quest ions about the project, please feel free to email me at sykim@jou.ufl.edu If you have any questions about your rights as a participant, please call the University of Florida Institutional Review Board at (352) 3920433. Thank you in advance for your participation. Soo Yeon Kim Ph.D. Candidate College of Journalism and Communications University of Florida Note: XXX is the name of the organization name.

PAGE 155

155 APPENDIX B SURVEY QUESTIONNAIRE Section 1 In this secti on, we ask you about your relationship with XXX. Seven statements are listed below. Please identify your level of agreement or disagreement with each statement. Strongly Disagree Disagree Somewhat Disagree Neutral Somewhat Agree Agree Strongly Agree My organization treats employees fairly and justly. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 Whenever my organization makes an important decision, I know it will consider the decision s impact on employees. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 My organization can be relied on to keep its promises to employees. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 My organization takes the opinions of employees into account when making decisions. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 I feel very confident about m y organization s abilities to accomplish what it says it will do. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 Sound principles guide m y organization s behavior. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 My organization misleads employees. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 Section 2 In this section, we ask you about XXXs culture Twenty six statements are listed below. Please identify your level of agreement or disagreement w ith each statement based on h ow it really is in your organization, not how you would prefer it to be. Strongly Disagree Disagree Somewhat Disagree Neutral Somewhat Agree Agree Strongly Agree What is best for everyone in my organization is the major consi deration here. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 The most important concern is the good of all the people in m y organization as a whole. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 Our major concern is always what is best for the other person. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7

PAGE 156

156 In m y organization, people look out for e ach other s good. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 In m y organization, it is expected that you will always do what is right for the customers and public. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 The most efficient way is always the right way in m y organization. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 In m y organization, each person is expected above all to work efficiently. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 In m y organization, people protect their own interests above all else. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 In m y organization, people are mostly out for themselves. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 There is no room for one s own persona l morals or ethics in m y organization. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 People are expected to do anything to further m y organization s interests regardless of the consequences. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 People here are concerned with m y organization s interests to the exclusion of all else. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 Work is considered substandard only when it hurts m y organization s interests 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 The major responsibility of people in m y organization is to control costs. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 People are expected to comply w ith the law and professional standards over and above other considerations. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 In m y organization, the law or ethical code of their profession is the major consideration. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 In m y organization, people are expected to strictly foll ow legal or professional standards. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 In m y organization, the first consideration is whether a decision violates any law. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 It is very important to follow m y organization s rules and procedures here. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 Everyone is expected to stick by m y organization s rules and procedures. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7

PAGE 157

157 Successful people in m y organization go by the book. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 People in m y organization strictly obey the organization s policies. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 In m y organization, people are expected to follow their own personal and moral beliefs. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 Each person in m y organization decides for themselves what is right or wrong. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 The most important concern in m y organization is each person s own sense of right an d wrong. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 In m y organization, people are guided by their own personal ethics 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 Section 3 In this section, we ask you about XXX s employee communication practice s Twenty five statements are listed below. Please identify your level of agreement or disagreement with each statement based on h ow it really is in your organization, not how you would prefer it to be. Strongly Disagree Disagree Somewhat Disagree Neutral Somewhat Agree Agree Strongly Agree My organization presents mor e than one side of controversial issues. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 My organization i s forthcoming with information that might be damaging to the organization. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 My organization i s open to criticism by people like me. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 My organization f re ely admits when it has made mistakes. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 My organization provides information that can be compared to industry standards. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 My organization often leaves out important details in the information it provides to people like me. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 My organization provides information that is full of jargon and technical language that is confusing to people like me. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7

PAGE 158

158 My organization blames outside factors that may have contributed to the outcome when reporting bad news. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 My organization provides information that is intentionally written in a way to make it difficult to understand. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 My organization i s slow to provide information to people like me. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 My organization only discloses i nformation when it is required. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 My organization asks for feedback from people like me about the quality of its information. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 My organization involves people like me to help identify the information I need. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 My organization provides detailed information to people like me. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 My organization makes it easy to find the information people like me need. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 My organization asks the opinions of people like me before making decisions. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 My organization takes the time with people like me to understand who we are and what we need. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 My organization provides information that is relevant to people like me. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 My organization provides information that could be verified by an outside source, such as an auditor. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 My organization provides information that can be compared to previous organization s performance. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 My organization provides information that is complete. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 M y organization provides information that is easy for people like me to understand. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 My organization provides accurate information to people like me. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 My organization provides information that is reliable. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7

PAGE 159

159 My or ganization presents information to people like me in language that is clear. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 Section 4 Demographic information 1. How many years of full time work experiences do you have ? ___________________ 2 How many years have you worked in your orga nization? _______________________ 3. What is your age? ___________ years old 4. Which title best describes your present full time position? ____________ 5 Which is the highest degree you earned? e____ 6 What is your gender? Male______ Female______ 7 What role do you believe employee communication plays in your attitudes, beliefs, and perceptions about your organization? _________________________________________________________________________________ _________________________________________________________________________________ _________________________________________________________________________________ _________________________________________________________________________________ 8 If you have additional comments or thoughts on employee communication characteristics and ethical organizational values in your organization, please include them below _________________________________________________________________________________ _________________________________________________________________________________ _________________________________________________________________________________ _________________________________________________________________________________ Thank you so much for your time and consideration!

PAGE 160

160 LIST OF REFERENCES Adams, J. S., Tashchian, A., & Shore, T. H. (2001). Codes of ethics as signals for ethical behavior. Journal of Business Ethics, 29(3), 199211. Albright, J. J., & Park, H. M. (20062009). Confirmatory factor analysis using Amos, LISREL, Mplus, SAS/STAT CALIS Working Paper The Un iversity Information Technology Services (UITS) Center for Statistical and Mathematical Computing, Indiana University. http://www.indiana.edu/~statmath/stat/all/cfa/index.html Argenti, P. A. (2006). How technology has influenced the field of corporate com munication. Journal of Business and Technical Communication, 20(3), 357370. Ashford, S. J., & Black, J. S. (1996). The role of proactivity during organizational entry. Journal of Applied Psychology, 81, 199215. Babbie, E. (2007). The practice of socia l research Belmont, CA: Thomson Higher Education. Balkin, J. M. (1999). How mass media simulate political transparency. Cultural Values, 3(4), 393413. Bambacas, M., & Patrickson, M. (2008). Interpersonal communication skills that enhance organisationa l commitment. Journal of Communication Management, 12(1), 5172. Barnett, T., & Schubert, E. (2002). Perceptions of the ethical work climate and covenantal relationships. Journal of Business Ethics, 36(3), 279290. Barnett, T., & Vaicys, C. (2000). The m oderating effect of individuals' perceptions of ethical work climate on ethical judgments and behavioral intentions. Journal of Business Ethics, 27(4), 351362. Bendell, J. (2005) In whose name? The accountability of corporate social responsibility, Development in Practice, 15(3 4), 362 374. Berger, B., & Reber, B. (2006). Gaining influence in public relations: The role of resistance in practice Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, Inc. Beu, D. S., & Buckley, M. R. (2004). Using account ability to create a more ethical climate. Human Resource Management Review, 14(1), 6783. Bollen, K. A. (1989). Structural equations with latent variables New York: Wiley. Borgerson, J. L., Schroeder, J. E., Escudero Magnusson, M., & Magnusson, F. (2009). Corporate communication, ethics, and operational identity: A case study of Benetton. Business Ethics: A European Review, 18(3), 209223.

PAGE 161

161 Bortree, D. S. (2010). Exploring adolescent organization relationships: A study of effective relationship strategies with adolescent volunteers. Journal of Public Relations Research, 22(1), 1 25. Bowen, S. A. (2004a). Expansion of ethics as the tenth generic principle of public relations excellence: A Kantian theory and model for managing ethical issues. Journal of P ublic Relations Research, 16(1), 65 92. Bowen, S. A. (2004b). Organizational factors encouraging ethical decision making: An exploration into the case of an exemplar. Journal of Business Ethics, 52(4), 311324. Bowen, S. A. (2005). A practical model for ethical decision making in issues management and public relations. Journal of Public Relations Research, 17(3), 191216. Bowen, S. A. (2008). A state of neglect: Public relations as 'corporate conscience' or ethics counsel. Journal of Public Relations Re search, 20 (3), 271296. Braddy, P. W., Meade, A. W., & Kroustalis, C. M. (2006). Organizational recruitment Website effects on viewers perceptions or organizational culture. Journal of Business and Psychology, 20(4), 525543 Brockner, J., & Siegel, P. ( 1996). Understanding the interaction between procedural and distributive justice: The role of trust. In R. M. Kramer & T. R. Tyler (Eds), Trust in organizations: Frontiers of theory and research (pp. 390413). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage. Broom, G. M., Casey, S., & Ritchey, J. (1997). Toward a concept and theory of organizationpublic relationships. Journal of Public Relations Research, 9(2), 83 98. Broom, G. M., Casey, S., & Ritchey, J. (2000). Concept and theory of organizationpublic relationships. In J. A Ledingham & Bruning, S. D. (Eds). Public Relations as Relationship Management (pp. 322). Mahwah, New Jersey: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates. Brower, H. H., & Shrader, C. B. (2000). Moral r easoning and e thical c limate: Notforprofit vs. f or profit boards of directors. Journal of Business Ethics, 26(2), 147167. Bruning, S. D., & Ledingham, J. A. (2000). Organization and key public relationships: Testing the influence of the relationship dimensions in a business to business context. In J. A. Ledingham & B runing, S. D. (Eds). Public Relations as Relationship Management (pp. 159173). Mahwah, New Jersey: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates. Bulutlar, F., & z, E. (2009). The effects of ethical climates on bullying behaviour in the workplace. Journal of Business Ethics, 86, 273295.

PAGE 162

162 Burgoon, J. K., & Hale, J. L. (1984). The fundamental topoi of relational communication. Communication Monographs, 51(3), 193214. Burke, R. J., & Wilcox, D. S. (1969). Effects of different patterns and degrees of openness in superi or subordinate communication on subordinate job satisfaction. The Academy of Management Journal, 12(3), 319326. Cameron, G. T., & McCollum, T. (1993). Competing corporate cultures: A multimethod, cultural analysis of the role of internal communication. Journal of Public Relations Research, 5 (4), 217250. Canary, D. J., & Stafford, L. (1994). Maintaining relationships through strategic and routine interaction. In D. J. Canary & L. Stafford (Eds.), Communication and relational maintenance (pp. 3 22). S an Diego, CA: Academic Press. Caudron, S. (2002), Rebuilding employee trust. Workforce, 81(10), 2832. Chen, N. (2008). Internal/employee communication and organizational effectiveness: A study of Chinese corporations in transition. Journal of Contemporary China, 17(54), 167189. Clampitt, P. G., & Downs, C. W. (1993). Employee perceptions of the relationship between communication and productivity: A field study. The Journal of Business Communication, 30(1), 528. Cleek, M. A., & Leonard, S. L. (1998) Can corporate codes of ethics influence behavior? Journal of Business Ethics, 17(6), 619630. Cohen, D. V. (1993). Creating and maintaining ethical work climates: Anomie in the workplace and implications for managing change. Business Ethics Quarterly, 3 (4), 343358. Cohen, D. V. (1995). Creating ethical work climates: A socioeconomic perspective. The Journal of SocioEconomics, 24, 317343. Cook, J., & Wall, T. (1980). New work attitude measures of trust, organizational commitment and personal need nonfulfillment. Journal of Occupational Psychology, 53(1), 3952. Cotterrell, R. (2000). Transparency, mass media, ideology and community. Cultural Values, 3, 414426. Cravens, K. S., & Oliver, E. G. (2006). Employees: The key link to corporate reputation management. Business Horizons, 49(4), 293302. Cullen, J. B., Parboteeah, K. P., & Victor, B. (2003). The effects of ethical climates on organizational commitment: A two study analysis. Journal of Business Ethics, 46(2), 127141.

PAGE 163

163 Cullen, J. B., Victor B., & Bronson, J. W. (1993). The ethical climate questionnaire: An assessment of its development and validity. Psychological reports, 73, 667674. Deconinck, J., Johnson, J., Busbin, J., & Lockwood, F. (2008). An examination of the validity of the Down s and Hazen communication satisfaction questionnaire. Marketing Management Journal, 18(2), 145153. Denison, D. R. (1996). What is the difference between organizational culture and organizational climate? A native's point of view on a decade of paradigm w ars. The Academy of Management Review, 21(3), 619654. Deshpande, S. P. (1996a). Ethical climate and the link between success and ethical behavior: An empirical investigation of a nonprofit organization. Journal of Business Ethics, 15(3), 315320. Deshp ande, S. P. (1996b). The impact of ethical climate types on facets of job satisfaction: An empirical investigation. Journal of Business Ethics, 15(6), 655660. DiFonzo, N., & Bordia, P. (1998). A tale of two corporations: Managing uncertainty during organizational change. Human Resource Management, 37(3 4), 295 303. Dillard, J. P., Wigand, R. T., & Boster, F. J. (1986). Communication climate and its role in organizations. European Journal of Communication, 2, 83101. Doney, P. M., & Cannon, J. P. (1997). An examination of the nature of trust in buyer seller relationships. The Journal of Marketing, 61(2), 3551. Downs, C. W. (1994). Communication satisfaction questionnaire, In R. B, Rubin, P. Palmgreen, and Sypher, H. E. (Eds), Communication research meas ures: A source book, The Guilford Press, New York, NY. D owns C. W., & H azen M. D. (1977). A factor analytic study of communication satisfaction. Journal of Business Communicat ion, 14, 6373. Drake, B. H., & Drake, E. (1988). Ethical and legal aspects of managing corporate cultures. California Management Review, 30(2), 107 123. Eisenberg, E. M., & Witten, M. G. (1987). Reconsidering openness in organizational communication. The Academy of Management Review, 12(3), 418426. El i, M., & Alpkan, L. (2009). The impact of perceived organizational ethical climate on Work Satisfaction. Journal of Business Ethics 84(3), 297311. Ellis, K., & Shockley Zalabak, P. (2001). Trust in top management and immediate supervisor: The relationship to satisfaction, per ceived organizational effectiveness, and information receiving. Communication Quarterly, 49(4), 382 398.

PAGE 164

164 Elving, W. J. L. (2005). The role of communication in organizational change. Corporate Communications: An International Journal, 10(2), 129138. En gelbrecht, A. S., & Cloete, B. E. (2000). An analysis of a supervisor subordinate trust relationship. Journal of Industrial Psychology, 26(1), 2428. Euske, N. A., & Roberts, K. H. (1987). Evolving perspectives in organization theory: Communication implications. F. M. Jablin, L. L. Putnam, K. H. Roberts, & L. W. Porter (Eds.) Handbook of organizational communication: A interdisciplinary perspective (pp. 1840). CA: Sage Publications Ltd. Eyrich, N., Padman, M. L., & Sweetser, K. D. (2008). PR practitioners' use of social media tools and communication technology. Public Relations Review, 34, 412414. Ferguson, M. A. (1984). Building theory in public relations: Interorganizational relationships. Paper presented at the Association for Education in Journa lism and Mass Communication, Gainesville, FL. Ferrin, D. L., Dirks, K. T., & Shah, P. P. (2006). Direct and indirect effects of thirdparty relationships on interpersonal trust. Journal of Applied Psychology, 91(4), 870883. Ford, R. C., & Richardson, W. D. (1994). Ethical decision making: A review of the empirical literature. Journal of Business Ethics, 13(3), 205221. Forte, A. (2004). Business ethics: A study of the moral reasoning of selected business managers and the influence of organizational ethi cal climate. Journal of Business Ethics, 51(2), 167173. Frank, A., & Brownell, J. (1989). Organizational communication and behavior: Communicating to improve performance Orlando, FL: Holt, Rinehart & Winston. Fritzsche, D. J. (2000). Ethical climates and the ethical dimension of decision making. Journal of Business Ethics, 24(2), 125140. Gray, J., & Laidlaw, H. (2004). Improving the measurement of communication satisfaction. Management Communication Quarterly, 17(3), 425448. Grunig, J. E. (1992a). Communication, public relations, and effective organizations: An overview of the book. In J. E. Grunig (Ed.) Excellence in public relations and c ommunication management (pp. 128). Hillside, NJ: Erlbaum. Grunig, J. E. (1992b). Symmetrical systems of inte rnal communication. In J. E. Grunig (Ed.) Excellence in public relations and communication management (pp. 531 575). Hillside, NJ: Erlbaum.

PAGE 165

165 Grunig, J. E., & Huang, Y H. (2000). From organizational effectiveness to relationship indicators: Antecedents of relationships, public relations strategies, and relationship outcomes. In J. A. Ledingham & Bruning, S. D. (Eds). Public relations as relationship management (pp. 23 53). Mahwah, New Jersey: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates. Grunig, J. E., & White, J. (1992). The effect of worldviews on public relations theory and practice. In J. E. Grunig (Ed.), Excellence in public relations and communication management (pp. 31 64). Hillside, NJ: Erlbaum. Grunig, L. A., Grunig, J. E., & Dozier, M. (2002). Inside the organization: culture, structure, systems of internal communication, gender, and diversity. In L. A. Grunig, J. E. Grunig, & D. M. Dozier (Eds.), Excellent public relations and effective organizations (pp. 480 535). Mawhah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates. Gu zley, R. M. (1992). Organizational climate and communication climate: Predictors of commitment to the organization. Management Communication Quarterly, 5(4), 379402. Hair, J. F., Anderson, R. E., Tatham, R. L., & Black, W. C. (1998). Multivariate data analysis. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall. Hair, J. F., Black, W. C., Babin, B. J., Anderson, R. E., & Tatham, R. L. (2006). Multivariate data analysis (6th ed.) Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson. Harshman, E. F., & Harshman, C. L. (1999). Communi cating with employees: Building on an ethical foundation. Journal of Business Ethics, 19(1), 3 19. Heath, R. L., Seshadri, S., & Lee, J. (1998). Risk c ommunication: A t wo c ommunity a nalysis of proximity, d read, t rust, i nvolvement, uncertainty, o penness/ a c cessibility, and knowledge on s upport/ opposition t oward c hemical c ompanies. Journal of Public Relations Research, 10(1), 35 56. Holbert, R. L., & Stephenson, M. T. (2002). Structural equation modeling in the communication sciences, 1995 2000. Human Communication Research, 28(4), 531 551. Holmbeck, G. N. (1997). Toward terminological, conceptual, and statistical clarity in the study of mediators and moderators: Examples from the childclinical and pediatric psychology literatures. Journal of Consulti ng and Clinical Psychology, 65(4), 599610. Holtz, S. (2005). The impact of new technologies on internal communication. Strategic Communication Management, 10(1), 2225. Hon, L. C. (1997). What have y ou done f or m e l ately? Exploring e ffectiveness in public r elations. Journal of Public Relations Research, 9(1), 1 30. Hon, L. C., & Grunig, J. E. (1999). Guidelines for measuring relationships in public relations Gainesville: Institution for Public Relations.

PAGE 166

166 Hoyle, R. H., & Robinson, J. C. (2004). Med iated and moderated effects in social psychological research: Measurement, design, and analysis issues. In C. Sansone, C. C. Morf, & A. T. Panter (Eds) The SAGE handbook of methods in social psychology (pp. 213233). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications Lt d. Hu, L., & Bentler, P. M. (1999). Cutoff criteria for fit indexes in covariance structure analysis: Conventional criteria versus new alternatives, Structural equation modeling, 6, 155. Huang, Y. H. (1998). Public relations strategies and organizationpublic relationships. Paper presented at the annual conference of the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication, Baltimore, MD. Hubbell, A. P., & Chory Assad, R. M. (2005). Motivating factors: Perceptions of justice and their relat ionship with managerial and organizational trust. Communication Studies, 56(1), 4770. Hung, C. J. F. (2002). The interplays of relationship types, relationship cultivation, and relationship outcomes: How multinational and Taiwanese companies practice public relations and organizationpublic relationship management in China. Unpublished doctoral dissertation, University of Maryland, College Park. Hutton, J. G., Goodman, M. B., Alexander, J. B., & Genest, C. M. (2001). Reputation management: the new face of corporate public relations? Public Relations Review, 27(3), 247261. Iacobucci, D. (2008). Mediation analysis. Thousand Oaks, CA: SAGE. James, L. R. (1982). Aggregation bias in estimates of perceptual agreement. Journal of Applied Psychology, 67(2), 2 19229. James, L. R., Choi, C. C., Ko, C.H. E., McNeil, P. K., Minton, M. K., Wright, M. A., et al. (2008). Organizational and psychological climate: A review of theory and research. European Journal of Work & Organizational Psychology, 17(1), 5 32. Jar venpaa, S., Tractinsky, N., & Vitale, M. (2000). Consumer trust in an Internet store. Information Technology and Management, 1(1), 45 71. Jo, S. (2006). Measurement of organization public r elationships: Validation of m easurement using a m anufacturer re ta iler r elationship. Journal of Public Relations Research, 18(3), 225 248. Jo, S., & Shim, S. W. (2005). Paradigm shift of employee communication: The effect of management communication on trusting relationships. Public Relations Review, 31(2), 277280.

PAGE 167

167 John, O. P., & Benet Martinez, V. (2000). Measurement: Reliability, construct, validation, and scale construction. In H. T. Reis, & C. M. Judd (Eds.), Handbook of Research Methods in Social and Personality Psychology (pp. 339 369). New York, NY: Cambridge University Press. Jose, A., & Thibodeaux, M. S. (1999). Institutionalization of ethics: The perspective of managers. Journal of Business Ethics, 22(2), 133143. Kazoleas, D., & Wright, A. (2001). Improving corporate and organizational communication: A new look at developing and implementing the communication audit. In Robert L. Heath (Ed.), Handbook of Public Relations (pp. 471478). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage. Kennan, W. R., & Hazleton, V. (2006). Internal public relations, social capital, and the role of effective organizational communication. In C. H. Botan & V. Hazleton (Eds.) Public relations theory II (pp. 311338). Mahwah, NJ: LEA. Ki, E. J. (2006). Linkages among relationship maintenance strategies, relationship quality outcomes, and attitude, and behavioral intentions Unpublished doctoral dissertation, University of Florida. Ki, E. J., & Hon, L. C. (2007). Reliability and validity of organizationpublic relationship measurement and linkages among relationship indicators in a membership orga nization. Journalism & Mass Communication Quarterly, 84(3), 419438. Ki, E. J., & Hon, L. C. (2009). A measure of relationship cultivation strategies. Journal of Public Relations Research, 21(1), 1 24. Kim, H. S. (2007). A multilevel study of antecedents and a mediator of employee organization relationships. Journal of Public Relations Research, 19(2), 167197. Kim, S. Y., & Reber, B. H. (2009). How public relations professionalism influences corporate social responsibility: A survey of practitioners. J ournalism & Mass Communication Quarterly 86(1), 157174. Kirat, M. (2005). Public relations practice in the Arab world: A critical assessment. Public Relations Review, 31, 323332. Kline, R. B. (2011). Principles and practice of structural equation m odeling. (3rd edition). New York, NY: The Guilford Press. Knack, S., & Keefer, P. (1997). Does social capital have an economic payoff? A cross country investigation. Quarterly Journal of Economics, 112, 12511288. Kotter, J. P., & Heskett, J. L. (1992 ). Corporate culture and performance NY: Free Press.

PAGE 168

168 Kovacs, R. (2001). Relationship building as integral to British activism: its impact on accountability in broadcasting. Public Relations Review 27(4), 421 436. Kuenzi, M., & Schminke, M. (2009). Ass embling fragments into a lens: A review, critique, and proposed research agenda for the organizational work climate literature. Journal of Management, 35(3), 634717. Lamb, L. F., & McKee, K. B. (2005). Applied public relations: Cases in stakeholder management Mahwah, New Jersey: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates Inc. Langdridge, D. (2004). Introduction to research methods and data analysis in psycholog y. Harlow, England: Pearson Prentice Hall Ledingham, J. A. (2003). Explicating relationship management as a general theory of public relations. Journal of Public Relations Research, 15 (2), 181198. Ledingham, J. A., & Bruning, S. D. (1998). Relationship management in public relations: Dimensions of organizationpublic relationship, Public Relations Review, 24( 1), 5565. Ledingham, J. A., & Bruning, S. D. (2000). A longitudinal study of organizationpublic relationship dimensions: Defining the role of communication in the practice of relationship management. In J. A. Ledingham & Bruning, S. D. (Eds). Public re lations as relationship management (pp. 5569). Mahwah, New Jersey: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates. Lerner, J. S., & Tetlock, P. E. (1999). Accounting for the effects of accountability. Psychological Bulletin 125, 255275. Lemmergaard, J., & Lauridsen, J. (2008). The ethical climate of Danish firms: A discussion and enhancement of the ethical climate model. Journal of Business Ethics, 80, 653675. Lockwood, C. (2007). Building the green way. Harvard Business Review on Green Building Strategy (pp. 120). B oston, MA: Harvard Business School Publishing. MacKinnon, D. P., Fairchild, A. J., & Fritz, M. S. (2007). Mediation Analysis. Annual Review of Psychology, 58(1), 593614. Madlock, P. E. (2008). The link between leadership style, communicator competence, and employee satisfaction. Journal of Business Communication, 45(1), 6178. Malloy, D. C., & Agarwal, J. (2003). Factors influencing ethical climate in a nonprofit organisation: An empirical investigation. International Journal of Nonprofit and Voluntary Sector Marketing, 8, 224250. Martin, K. D., & Cullen, J. B. (2006). Continuities and extensions of ethical climate theory: A meta analytic review. Journal of Business Ethics, 69(2), 175194.

PAGE 169

169 Mayer, R. C., Davis, J. H., & Schoorman, F. D. (1995). An integ rative model of organizational trust. The Academy of Management Review, 20(3), 709734. Mayfield, J., & Mayfield, M. (2002). Leader communication strategies critical paths to improving employee commitment. American Business Review, 20 (2), 89 94. McCauley D. P., & Kuhnert, K. W. (1992). A theoretical review and empirical investigation of employee trust in management. Public Administration Quarterly, 16(2), 265285. McDevitt, R., Giapponi, C., & Tromley, C. (2007). A model of ethical decision making: The integration of process and content. Journal of Business Ethics, 73(2), 219229. Mertler, C. A., & Vannatta, R. A. (2005). Advanced and multivariate statistical methods (3rd ed). CA: Pyrczak Publishing. Mike, B., & Slocum Jr, J. W. (2003). Slice of reali ty: Changing culture at Pizza Hut and Yum! Brands, Inc. Organizational Dynamics, 32(4), 319 330. Miller, K. (2009). Organizational communication: Approaches and processes (5th ed.) Belmont, CA: Wadsworth Publishing. Miller, K. I., Joseph, L., & Apker, J. (2000). Strategic ambiguity in the role development process, Journal of Applied Communication Research, 28, 193214. Mishara, A. K. (1996). Organizational responses in crisis: The centrality of trust. In R. M. Kramer & T. R. Tyler (Eds), Trust in organizations: Frontiers of theory and research (pp. 261287). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage. Moorcroft, D. (2006). Realizing RBC's new vision for employee communication. Strategic Communication Management, 10(6), 3033. Morris, S. A. (1997). Internal effects of s takeholder management devices. Journal of Business Ethics, 16(4), 413424. Muchinsky, P. M. (1977). Organizational communication: Relationships to organizational climate and job satisfaction. The Academy of Management Journal, 20(4), 592607. Murphy, P. R., Smith, J. E., & Daley, J. M. (1992). Executive attitudes, organizational size and ethical issues: Perspectives on a service industry. Journal of Business Ethics, 11(1), 1119. Muthn, L.K. & Muthn, B.O. (2010), M plus statistical analysis with latent variables: Users guide Los Angeles: Muthn & Muthn Ni, L. (2007). Refined understanding of perspectives on employee organization relationships : Themes and variations. Journal of Communication Management, 11(1), 53 70.

PAGE 170

170 Ni, L. (2009). Strategic role of relationship building: Perceived links between employee organization relationships and globalization strategies. Journal of Public Relations Research, 21(1), 100120. Nwachukwu, S. L. S., & Vitell Jr, S. J. (1997). The influence of corporate culture on m anagerial ethical judgments. Journal of Business Ethics, 16(8), 757776. ONeil, J. (2008). Measuring the impact of employee communication on employee comprehension and action: A case study of a major international firm. Public Relations Journal, 2(2), 1 17. Parboteeah, K. P., & Cullen, J. B. (2003). Ethical climates and spirituality: An exploratory examination of theoretical links. In R. A. Giacalone & C. L. Jurkiewicz (Eds.) Handbook of workplace spirituality and organizational performance (pp. 137 151) M. E. Sharpe, Inc.: New York. Peterson, D. K. ( 2002a ). Deviant w orkplace behavior and the organizations e thical c limate Journal of Business and Psychology 17, 4761. Peterson, D. K. (2002b). The relationship between unethical behavior and the dime nsions of the ethical climate questionnaire. Journal of Business Ethics, 41(4), 313326. Phillips, P., & Abey, B. (2007). Using the Web to increase transparency and accountability. Government Finance Review 23(3), 3238. Putnam, L. L., & Cheney, G. (1985). Organizational communication: Historical deve lopment and future directions, I n Benson, T. W. (Ed.), Speech communication in the 20th century (pp. 130156). Carbondale, IL : Southern Illinois University Press Rawlins, B. (2009). Give the emperor a mir ror: Toward developing a stakeholder measurement of organizational transparency. Journal of Public Relations Research, 21(1), 71 99. Reichers, A. E., & Schneider, B. (1990). Climate and culture: An evolution of constructs, In B. Scheider (Ed.), Organizati onal climate and culture (pp.539). San Francisco, CA: Jossey Bass. Reina, D. S., & Reina, M. L. (1999). Trust and betrayal in the workplace. San Francisco, CA: Berrett Koehler Publishers, Inc. Reilly, C., & Wrensen, L. B. (2007). Employee engagement & satisfaction surveys: Implications of high response rates & tips for increasing participation. S&A Knowledge Network, http://www.sperduto.com/SURVEY/EMPLOYEE_SURVEY/Increasing_Your_Respons e_Rate.pdf accessed on July 25, 2010.

PAGE 171

171 Rhee, Y., & Moon, B. (2009). Organizational culture and strategic communication practice: Testing the competing values model (CVM) and employee communication strategies (ECS) model in Korea. International Journal of Strategic Communication, 3, 5367. Rice, R E., & Richards, W. ( 1985) An overview of communica tion network analysis methods. In Dervin B. and Voigt M. ( E ds.), Progress in Communication Sciences (pp. 105165) Norwood, NJ: Ablex. Roberts, K. H., & OReilly III, C. A. (1974). Measuring organizational communication, Journal of Applied Psychology 59(3), 321326. Robertson, D. C. (1993). Empiricism in business ethics: Suggested research directions. Journal of Business Et hics, 12(8), 585599. Rotter, J. B. ( 1967) A new scale for the measurement of interpersonal trust. Journal of P ersonality, 35, 651665. Ruppel, C. P., & Harrington, S. J. (2000). The relationship of communication, ethical work climate, and trust to commitment and innovation. Journal of Business Ethics, 25(4), 313328. Sallot, Lyon, Acosta Alzuru, & Jones. (2003). From Aardvark to Zebra: A new millennium analysis of theory development in public relations academic journals. Journal of Public Relations R esearch, 15(1), 27 90. Sathe, V. (1983, Autumn). Implications of corporate culture: A managers guide to action. Organizational Dynamics 523. Sanchez, P. M. (2006). Organizational culture. In T. L. Gillis (Ed.), The IABC handbook of organizational c ommunication: A guide to internal communication, public relations, marketing, and leadership (pp. 3143). San Francisco, CA: John Wiley & Sons, Inc. Schwartz, M. S. (2002). A code of ethics for corporate code of ethics. Journal of Business Ethics, 41, 2743. Schein, E. H. (1992). Organizational culture and leadership (2nd ed.) San Francisco, CA; Jossey Bass. Schneider, B. (1975). Organizational climate: An essay. Personal Psychology, 28, 447479. Schneider, B. (1983). Work climates: An interactionis t perspective. In N. W. Feimer and E. S. Geller (eds.) Environmental psychology: Directions and perspectives (pp.106128). New York: Praeger. Schneider, B., & Snyder, R. A. (1975). Some relationships between job satisfaction and organization climate. Jour nal of Applied Psychology, 60(3), 318328.

PAGE 172

172 Schoorman, F. D., Mayer, R. C., & Davis, J. H. (2007). An integrative model of organizational trust: Past, present, and future. Academy of Management Review, 32(2), 344354. Scott, C. R., Connaughton, S. L., Diaz Saenz, H. R., Maguire, K., Ramirez, R., Richardson, B., et al. (1999). The impacts of communication and multiple identifications on intent to leave: A multimethodological exploration. Management Communication Quarterly, 12(3), 400435. Sharpe, M. L., & P ritchard, B. J. (2004). The historical empowerment of public opinion and its relationship to the emergence of public relations as a profession. In D. J. Tilson & E. C. Alozie (Eds.), Toward the common good: Perspectives in international public relations (pp. 1436). Boston, MA: Allyn and Bacon. Shen, X., & Chen, H. (2008). An empirical study of what drives consumers to use mobile advertising in China. Paper presented at the Proceedings of the 2008 The 3rd International Conference on Grid and Pervasive Computing Workshops. Shockley Zalabak, P., & Ellis, K. (2006). The communication of trust. In T. L. Gillis (Ed.), The IABC handbook of organizational communication: A guide to internal communication, public relations, marketing, and leadership (pp. 4455). San Francisco, CA: John Wiley & Sons, Inc. Shockley Zalabak, P., Ellis, K., & Winograd, G. (2000). Organizational trust: What it means, why it matters. Organization Development Journal, 18(4), 3548. Sims, R. R. (1991). The institutionalization of organizational ethics. Journal of Business Ethics, 10(7), 493506. Sinickas, A. D. (2005). The role of intranets and other e channels in employee communication preferences. Journal of Website Promotion, 1(1), 31 51. Smidts, A., Pruyn, A. T. H., & Van R iel, C. B. M. (2001). The impact of employee communication and perceived external prestige on organizational identification. Academy of Management Journal, 49(5), 10511062. Smith, L. (2008). Effective internal communication (2nd Ed.). PA: Kogan Page. S nyder, R. A., & Morris, J. H. (1984). Organizational communication and performance. Journal of Applied Psychology, 69(3), 461465. Soh, H., Reid, L. N., & King, K. W. (2009). Measuring trust in advertising. Journal of Advertising, 38(2), 83103. Spell, C S., & Arnold, T. J. (2007). A multi level analysis of organizational justice climate, structure, and employee mental health. Journal of Management, 33(5), 724 751.

PAGE 173

173 Spiker, B. K., & Daniels, T. D. (1981). Information adequacy and communication relationships: An empirical examination of 18 organizations. Western Journal of Speech Communication: WJSC, 45(4), 342354. Spurlock, B., & ONeil, J. (2009). Designing an employee centered intranet and measuring its impact on employee voice and satisfaction. Publi c Relations Journal, 3(2), 1 20. Sriramesh, K., Grunig, J. E., & Dozier, D. M. (1996). Observation and measurement of two dimensions of organizational culture and their relationship to public relations. Journal of Public Relations Research, 8(4), 229261. Sriramesh, K., & Ver i D. (2003). A theoretical framework for global public relations research and practice. In Sriramesh, K. & Ver i D. (Eds.), The global public relations handbook: Theory, research, and practice (pp. 1 19). New Jersey: LEA. Stein A. (2006). Employee communications and community: An exploratory study. Journal of Public Relations Research, 18(3), 249264. Stevens, J. (1992). Applied multivariate statistics for the social sciences (2nd ed.). Hillsdale, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associat es. Stull, J. B. (1986). Demonstrating empathy for foreignborn employees through openness and acceptance: A quasi experimental field study. Journal of Business Communication, 23(2), 3140. Tetlock, P. E. (1983). Accountability and complexity of thought Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 45(1), 7483. Thomas, G. F., Zolin, R., & Hartman, J. L. (2009). The central role of communication in developing trust and its effect on employee involvement. Journal of Business Communication, 46(3), 287310. Tompkins, P. K. (1984). Functions of communication in organizations. In C. Arnold & J. W. Bowers (Eds.), Handbook of rhetorical and communication theory (pp. 659 719). New York: Allyn & Bacon. Toth, E. L. & Trujillo, N. (1987). Reinventing corporat e communications. Public Relations Review, 13, 4253. Trice, H. M., & Beyer, J. M. (1993). The cultures of work organizations Englewood Cliffs, NY: Prentice Hall. Trombetta, J. J., & Rogers, D. P. (1988). Communication climate, job satisfaction, and or ganizational commitment: The effects of information adequacy, communication openness, and decision participation. Management Communication Quarterly, 1(4), 494514.

PAGE 174

174 Ullman, J. B., & Bentler, P. M. (2004). Structural equation modeling. M. Hardy & A. Bryman (Eds). Handbook of data analysis (pp. 431458). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage. Utting, P. (2008). The Struggle for Corporate Accountability. Development & Change 39(6), 959975. Vardi, Y. (2001). The effects of organizational and ethical climates on misconduct at work. Journal of Business Ethics, 29, 325337. Varona, F. (1996). Relationship between communication satisfaction and organizational commitment in three Guatemalan organizations. Journal of Business Communication, 33(2), 111140. Vercic, D., & Grunig, J. E. (1995, July). The origins of public relations theory in economics and strategic management Paper presented to the Second International Public Relations Research Symposium, Bled, Slovenia. Victor, B., & Cullen, J. B. (1987). A theory and measur e of ethical climate in organizations. In W. C. Frederick (Ed.), Research in corporate social performance and policy (pp. 5171). Greenwich, CT: JAI Press. Victor, B., & Cullen, J. B. (1988). The organizational bases of ethical work climates. Administrative Science Quarterly, 33 (1), 101125. Victor, B. & Cullen, J. B. (1990). A theory and measure of ethical climate in organizations, In W. C. Frederick and L. E. Preston (eds.), Business Ethics: Research Issues and Empirical Studies (pp. 7797), Greenwich, CT: JAI Press Inc. Visser, P. S., Krosnick, J. A., & Lavrakas, P. J. (2000). Survey research. In H. T. Reis & C. M. Judd Eds., Handbook of research methods in social and personality psychology Cambridge, United Kingdom: Cambridge University Press. Wa lton, R. (1969). Interpersonal peacemaking. Reading, MA: AddisonWesley. Weaver, G. R., Trevi o, L. K., & Cochran, P. L. (1999). Corporate ethics practices in the mid1990's: An empirical study of the Fortune 1000. Journal of Business Ethics, 18(3), 283294. Webb, E. J. (1996). Trust and crisis. In R. M. Kramer & T. R. Tyler (Eds), Trust in organizations: Frontiers of theory and research (pp. 288301). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage. Webber, S. (2007). Ethical climate typology and questionnaire: A discussion of instrument modifications. The Journal of Academic Librarianship, 33(5), 567580. Weber, J. (1990). Managers' m oral r easoning: Assessing t heir r esponses to t hree m oral dilemmas. Human Relations, 43(7), 687702.

PAGE 175

175 Weick, K E. ( 1979). The s ocial psychology of organizing, ( 2nd ed .) Reading, MA: AddisonWesley. Weisberg, H. F., Krosnick, J. A., & Bowen, B. D. (1996). An introduction to survey research, polling, and data analysis (3rd ed.). Thousand Oaks, CA: SAGE. White, C., Vanc, A., & Stafford, G. (2010). Internal communication, information satisfaction, and sense of community: The effect of personal influence. Journal of Public Relations Research, 22(1), 65 84. Wimbush, J. C., & Shepard, J. M. (1994). Toward an understanding of ethical climate: Its rel ationship to ethical behavior and supervisory influence. Journal of Business Ethics, 13(8), 637647. Wimbush, J. C., Shepard, J. M., & Markham, S. E. (1997). An empirical examination of the relationship between ethical climate and ethical behavior from mu ltiple levels of analysis. Journal of Business Ethics, 16(16), 17051716. Wimmer R. D., & Dominick, J. R. (2006). Mass media research Be lmont, CA: Wadsworth Thomson Learning. Wilson, L. J. (2000). Building employee and community relationships through volunteerism: A case study. In J. A. Ledingham & Bruning, S. D. (Eds). Public relations as relationship management (pp. 137 144). Mahwah, New Jersey: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates. Wood, J. T. (1995). Relational communication. Belmont, CA: Wadsworth. Wri ght, D. K., & Hinson, M. (2006). Weblogs and employee communication: Ethical questions for corporate public relations Paper presented to International Public Relations Research Conference, Miami, FL. Yang, S. U. (2007). An integrated model for organizati onpublic relational outcomes, organizational reputation, and their antecedents. Journal of Public Relations Research, 19(2), 91121. Yang, S. U. & Grunig, J. E. (2005). Decomposing organisational reputation: The effects of organisationpublic relationshi p outcomes on cognitive representations of organisations and evaluations of organisational performance. Journal of Communication Management, 9(4), 305325. Yang, S. U., & Lim, J. S. (2009). The effects of Blog Mediated Public Relations (BMPR) on relationa l trust. Journal of Public Relations Research, 21(3), 341359. Zhu, Y., May, S. K., & Rosenfeld, L. B. (2004). Information adequacy and job satisfaction during merger and acquisition. Management Communication Quarterly, 18(2), 241270.

PAGE 176

176 BIOGRAPHICAL SKET CH SooYeon Kim majored in mass communication and graduated from Ewha Womans University She has worked for a public relations agency and government research institute in Seoul, Korea. She pursued her masters degree at the University of Georgia and has c ompleted her doctoral program in the College of Journalism and Communications at the University of Florida. Her research work has appeared in Journalism & Mass Communication Quarterly Journal of Business Ethics and Public Relations Review She will join the School of Communication at the Cleveland State University in the f all of 2011.