Date of Award

Fall 12-9-2021

Degree Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

School

Communication

Committee Chair

Dr. Kathryn Anthony

Committee Chair School

Communication

Committee Member 2

Dr. Lindsey Maxwell

Committee Member 2 School

Communication

Committee Member 3

Dr. Steven Venette

Committee Member 3 School

Communication

Committee Member 4

Dr. Fei Xue

Committee Member 4 School

Communication

Committee Member 5

Dr. Cindy Blackwell

Abstract

The purpose of this study was to investigate faculty member perceptions of job satisfaction, response efficacy, organizational communication efforts, along with organizational trust and goodwill in relation to the COVID-19 crisis. A cross-sectional survey was conducted, using faculty members employed at their institution of higher education during the 2019-2020 and 2020-2021 academic years. A total of 285 responses were analyzed.

Results of this study suggest faculty member perceptions of job satisfaction and response efficacy were significant in predicting perceptions of trust and goodwill. The most significant predictor of organizational trust and goodwill was perceptions of organizational communication efforts. Also, this study found a statistically significant difference in perceptions of job satisfaction pre-pandemic compared to perceptions of job satisfaction in May 2021, with job satisfaction perceptions in May 2021 being higher.

Through this study, the importance of cultivating stakeholder relationships based on trust and goodwill is shown, as those relationships are easier to maintain during a crisis. Also, it is suggested that best practices in risk and crisis communication should be followed throughout a pandemic. Not only does this study inform institutions of higher education on how to communicate with faculty during a crisis, but it assists them in determining a strategy to use within the communication message.

Available for download on Friday, December 31, 2021

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