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Organizational Trust and Its Impact on the Ability of Selected Federal Gencies to Modernize Large-scale Information Technology Systems Open Access

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This study hypothesized a correlation between organizational trust and successful implementation of IT modernization programs. Based on literature on the psychological and organizational underpinnings of trust, a theoretical organizational trust model was developed using previous research on trust in governmental organizations and using U.S. Office of Personnel Management Federal Human Capital Surveys for the years 2002, 2004, and 2006. A 10-variable model which was tested with regression analysis, deriving organizational trust levels in 12 selected Federal agencies. Organizational trust levels were also analyzed to determine if trust levels can be differentiated based on gender, supervisory status, and minority status. The IT success criteria selected for comparison with organizational trust was the Office of Management and Budget's (OMB) eGov ratings, a balanced scorecard approach, based on the Federal Enterprise Architecture framework for evaluation of Federal department and agency IT program performance. A Spearman rank correlation coefficient test determined that no correlation was established between the organizational trust levels in the 12 selected Federal departments and agencies and the OMB eGov ratings for those same agencies and departments. Analysis suggests that the disparity between the eGov metric and the organizational trust levels may be too great to establish a correlation. The rigor of the eGov evaluation process may be questioned, due to possible changes in evaluation criteria over the period and due to the same personnel performing the evaluations over the period; intra-agency and inter-agency political dynamics may have influenced the PMA evaluations. Additional findings highlighted a decline in organizational trust levels in 10 of 12 agencies over the 2002-2004-2006 period, a decline in the perception of Civil Service protection for Federal employees, and a decline the perception of fairness of rewards and punishments. These findings also support Light's conclusions that the quality of work life in the Federal Civil Service has declined.Opportunities for further research included deeper investigation into the differences in agencies' organizations trust levels, further investigation into Murphree's differentiation between comfort and trust, and further investigation into the potential real-world utility of three of the technology acceptance models, UTAUT, pre-prototype user acceptance testing, and training-related interventions.

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