Date of Award

Summer 8-2020

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Educational Foundations & Leadership


Educational Leadership

Committee Director

Jay P. Scribner

Committee Member

Karen Sanzo

Committee Member

Cherng-Jyh Yen


Reform creation and implementation tends to focus on the mechanics needed to ensure intended outcomes are achieved. School relationships are affected by the tension caused by reform implementation. Research suggests trust among teachers and between teachers and their administrator affects the way teachers make sense of, implement, and use new reform efforts. Given the demands reforms place on schools, trust has the potential to impact and encourage the implementation of reform and the maintenance of relationships. A qualitative case study method was used to decipher the impact trust plays in the implementation of reform. The concept of trust is used to explore and examine the experiences of one administrator and eight teachers. Interviews were conducted and transcribed. Transcriptions were coded, and recurring concepts, ideas, and themes were collected using a database. An analysis of the data revealed successful implementation was underscored by positive relationships with high levels of trust among teachers. Data also illuminated the value of relationships between teachers and their administrator to buy-in and the completion of tasks associated with reforms. Familiarity, risk, and vulnerability were found to be deciding factors in the maintenance of trust, relationships, and reform implementation. Study findings add to the current knowledge and literature regarding the importance of trust throughout the implementation of reform.


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