Crafting employee trust: from authenticity, transparency to engagement

Hua Jiang (S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications, Syracuse University, Syracuse, New York, USA)
Yi Luo (Communication Studies, Montclair State University, Montclair, New Jersey, USA)

Journal of Communication Management

ISSN: 1363-254X

Publication date: 8 May 2018



The purpose of this paper is to propose and test a model examining how three influential organizational factors – authentic leadership, transparent organizational communication, and employee engagement – are linked to employee trust.


This study conducted an online survey on a random sample of 391 employees across different industry sectors in the USA.


Authentic leadership, transparent organizational communication, and employee engagement directly and significantly influenced the level of trust that employees have toward their organizations. Authentic leadership indirectly impacted employee engagement through transparent organizational communication. Authentic leadership also indirectly affected employee trust via the presence of transparent organizational communication and employee engagement.

Practical implications

The study informs communication managers and organizational leaders with the importance of integrating authentic leadership and transparent communication skills, strategies, and tactics in various training and mentoring workshops. Creating a motivating, nurturing, and transparent organizational environment contributes to employee engagement and trust.


This study examines the drivers of employee trust by testing the effects of employee engagement, authentic leadership, and transparent organizational communication.



Jiang, H. and Luo, Y. (2018), "Crafting employee trust: from authenticity, transparency to engagement", Journal of Communication Management, Vol. 22 No. 2, pp. 138-160.

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