Building and Maintaining Trust in Small, Rural Northern Alberta Schools

  • Author(s) / Creator(s)
  • Building trust is essential for rural schools to succeed. Relationships based on trust increase communication and decision-making which positively affect school functioning. Trust in relationships is not static, therefore, it takes effort to build and sustain that trust, which is a slow and deliberate process. Trust is fragile and can, if not sustained, break down over time. It can be broken not only by intentional acts, but by unintentional ones as well. Both sides must feel there is a benefit to rebuilding the relationship in order to make the effort to do so. The overall purpose of this study was to gain an
    understanding of how principals in small, rural Northern Alberta schools build and maintain trust with their staffs. A qualitative interview model, drawing on aspects of a grounded theory research paradigm combined with a critical praxis research approach, was used to gain an in-depth description of respondents’ views. The analysis of three case studies of principals of small, rural Northern Alberta schools, found principals must act with benevolence, vulnerability, reliability, and competence to build trust. Small, rural school principals must be aware the culture of trust they create with their staff can be affected by the larger community, therefore, they must gain a thorough understanding of the context of their community if they wish to be successful leaders. When trust is perceived as having been broken, it takes time and commitment to restore it.

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  • Type of Item
    Research Material
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  • License
    Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International