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The organizational trust of elementary schools and dimensions of student bullying

Purpose – This research aims to analyse student bullying and faculty trust in elementary schools in the state of Texas. Design/methodology/approach – Two dimensions of school bullying (teacher protection and student bullying) and three aspects of faculty trust (in clients, colleagues and the principal) were examined. Findings – In general, the better the organizational trust of a school, the less student bullying. In addition, the greater degree of faculty trust in a school, the more teacher protection was evident. However, as predicted, different dimensions of faculty trust were more or less important in affecting the aspects of student bullying. In addition, two simple and parsimonious research instruments designed to measure salient organizational characteristics are identified. Research limitations/implications – This study represents an addition to the extant literature on bullying in schools; particularly the relationship between organizational trust and school bullying. It, however, represents a beginning and not an end to the examination of school bullying and trust. Hence, questions remain. For example, what are the institutional mechanisms that foster school trust? To what extent does each of the aspects of trust examined in this study relate to school bullying as perceived by students? To what extent is the collective efficacy of the faculty related to school bullying? Does faculty gender influence teacher perceptions of organizational trust and school bullying? Practical implications – One of the more important findings of this study was that teacher trust in the principal did not play an important role in encouraging staff to protect students from their peers. The current research reaffirms the need for principals to assume an active role in ensuring that teachers do not disassociate themselves from attempts to monitor, regulate and confirm incidents of student aggression. Originality/value – This study provides further groundwork to assist school administrators in identifying other areas sensitive to school‐based aggression and trust issues such as after school events, extracurricular activities and parent‐teacher interactions. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png International Journal of Educational Management Emerald Publishing
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