Date of Award

Spring 2024

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)



Committee Director

Jeff Olenick

Committee Director

Mallory McCord

Committee Member

Ian Katz

Committee Member

Miguel Padilla


Previous research has indicated demographic differences between employees may influence relational development. To address this concern the current study examined the interpersonal influence that racial allyship has on trustworthiness. The first hypothesis was formed using social exchange theory to predict that allyship behaviors would increase perceptions of trustworthiness. Additionally, relational signaling theory was integrated to inform the second hypothesis, which predicted that self-interest motivations would attenuate the relationship between allyship and trustworthiness. To account for differences in perspective the third hypothesis predicted that race would moderate the conditional effect of self-interest motivation. Employees were recruited online to complete a questionnaire containing measures of the associated constructs. A final sample of 289 was analyzed in R via regression analysis. The findings support the positive impact allyship can have on trustworthiness. Specifically, allyship behaviors appear to positively influence the perceived trustworthiness of workplace allies. Although self-interest motivations are theoretically important to interpreting allyship behaviors, no support was found. Additionally, race was not found to have a conditional influence on self-interest motivation’s moderating effect. Allyship behaviors likely provide valuable support to Black employees although aspects of the current research design limited the ability to make more meaningful inferences.


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