Date of Award
Doctor of Education (EdD)
Dr. Patricia Clark White
Dr. Len Hightower
Dr. Lisbeth Johnson
Purpose: The purpose of this phenomenological research study was to explore how major superiors of Catholic women religious institutes build trust with professed members, using the 5 domains of competence, consistency, candor, concern, and connection.
Methodology: The study used a qualitative phenomenological research design to explore the lived experiences and behaviors of leaders with reputations of trusting relationships with their members. The study sample included 10 major superiors of Catholic women religious institutes in Southern California who exhibit trusting relationships with their members. Data were collected using interviews, observations, and artifacts and analyzed with the assistance of NVivo software, revealing themes and assigning codes to the emerging themes and patterns.
Findings: A comprehensive analysis of the data yielded 26 themes with 921 frequencies aligned with the 5 C’s of trust model—competence, consistency, candor, concern, and connection. Further analysis yielded 12 key findings on how the major superiors of Catholic women religious institutes build trust with the professed members.
Conclusions: Based on the findings of this study and supported by the literature, it was concluded that the major superiors of Catholic women religious institutes can foster an atmosphere of trust by practicing the following behaviors: (a) demonstrate genuine care, love, and respect to the members of their religious institutes; (b) devise various means to establish and maintain deep-level relationships with the professed members of their religious institutes; (c) regularly communicate honestly and transparently with the members of their religious institutes; (d) build leadership competency by providing personal and professional development opportunities for themselves and others; and (e) have a regular and consistent system of reporting and soliciting input and demonstrate reliability and dependability by following through on promises.
Recommendations: Further research on the trust-building strategies of the major superiors with other stakeholders and Catholic women religious in leadership in other organizations within the Catholic Church and outside of the Catholic Church should be conducted. Also, a comparative study focusing on both the major superiors and the professed members needs to be conducted to provide a holistic picture of the trust-building strategies used by the population.
Nwagbo, Mary Amanda, "Leadership Trust: A Phenomenological Study of How Major Superiors of Catholic Women Religious Institutes Build Trust With Professed Members" (2019). Dissertations. 230.