Analysis of Factors Affecting Distrust among Faculty Members of Knowledge and Information Science Departments in Governmental Universities of Iran

Document Type : مقالات پژوهشی


1 Assistant Professor, Knowledge and Information Science Department, Faculty of Psychology and Education, Semnan University, Semnan, Iran

2 Associate Professor, Business Management Department, Faculty of Economics, Management and Administrative Sciences, Semnan University, Semnan, Iran


Introduction: The performance of people and organizational units is largely affected by organizational variables. Some organizational variables, such as the level of trust between people, have an effect on performance, especially in the case of jobs whose operators perform part of their activities outside the work environment, the importance of this matter becomes more important; because trust between people is one of the components that affects the entire mental atmosphere of employees both in the work environment and outside of it. Organizational trust is a psychological environment that must be built with the help of all members of the organization, and it means that employees ensure that they are not harmed by managers, colleagues and other stakeholders. The results of the studies show that organizations that have a suitable level of trust have more coordinated structures, stronger strategic alliances, stronger work teams, more effective crisis management, facilitating empowerment, the ability to change, and reducing psychological pressure. Reducing uncertainty about the future, the desire to obey the decisions of the supervisor and the organization's regulations, and improving organizational effectiveness are more successful, better adaptability, more innovation, more cooperative behaviors, more desirable purposefulness, and higher loyalty. In recent years, trust has been in the spotlight as a vital element in the success of organizations. In organizations such as universities, where most of their activities are educational and research, trust is much more important. In this type of organizations, participation and cooperation, exchange of views, knowledge and information, and doing group work that is necessary to carry out effective educational and research activities will not be formed in an atmosphere based on trust. However, few researches have been done in the field of trust among faculty members in universities. This has left universities without clear guidance on how to strengthen the vital relationships between faculty members and their administrators. In order to strengthen the trust among the faculty members, before doing anything, one must know the factors that cause distrust in order to increase trust by removing them. The purpose of this research is to investigate the factors affecting mistrust among the faculty members of knowledge and information science departments of Iranian state universities.
Methodology: The current research is an applied type, which was carried out using the ground theory method. The statistical population of the present study was the faculty members of the knowledge and information science departments of Iran's state universities, and the sample members were selected by purposive sampling. The basis for selecting the sample members was that they have at least 3 years of work experience as faculty members, and an effort was made to include as many as possible from all educational groups in the country, although some people did not cooperate with the researchers. A semi-structured interview was used to collect data, which included 4 main questions, and of course, other questions were also asked depending on the interview process. The process of conducting interviews continued until reaching theoretical saturation after interviewing 38 faculty members. In terms of academic rank, 8 of the sample members were professors, 11 were associate professors, and 19 were assistant professors. In the Grounded Theory method, three types of coding are used for data analysis, which include open, axial, and selective coding. Based on this, thematic analysis method was used to interpret and review the interviews and data coding, which is one of the common and efficient methods in qualitative content analysis. In general, in the current research, the interviews were recorded using the audio recording program during the interview phase with the faculty members. Then the conducted interviews were typed in Word software and after editing and reviewing the initial codes were formed. In the following, the primary codes were placed under the main and subcategories. To determine the validity and reliability of the research data, the four criteria of reliability, validity, transferability and verifiability were used.
Findings: By analyzing the qualitative data, 123 initial codes were identified as factors affecting distrust among the faculty members of knowledge and information departments of Iran's public universities, and these codes were categorized into 16 subcategories and 4 main categories. The main categories are cultural and social factors (including two sub-categories of micro and macro factors); inadequacy in interpersonal relationships (including five sub-categories of weakness in communication skills, failure to separate different issues, not respecting the differences and opinions of others, prejudice and judgment, lack of atmosphere of friendship and benevolence); Individual factors (including five sub-categories of non-compliance with ethical issues, personality traits, intellectual and ideological differences, lack of reliance on scientific and professional ethics, previous unpleasant experiences) and organizational factors (including the sub-category of organization management, weaknesses in the organization of some groups and fields, non-compliance with fairness and justice, and job characteristics of faculty members).
Discussion and Conclusion: The results of the research showed that although several factors have an effect on distrust among faculty members of knowledge and information science groups,  their strengthening and improvement can provide the basis for increasing the trust between them and it is expected that the administrators and officials of the higher education system and also the university administrators, looking at the findings of the current research, will provide the basis for increasing the trust between the faculty members. Educational groups of information science should also provide the necessary conditions for communication, interaction and cooperation with each other. Defining joint projects, participating in holding classes and training courses, cooperating in holding seminars and conferences, using the capacity and capability of all educational groups in making macro-discipline decisions and the friendship which can become the basis for increasing trust among faculty members.


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