Date of Conferral



Doctor of Business Administration (D.B.A.)


Business Administration


Warren Lesser


The effect of trust on employees’ business processes and work outcomes is an important focus for managers because more businesses have combined centralized and remote work environments in mixed-design organizations (MDOs). A multiple case study was conducted to explore successful strategies that 9 business leaders and managers in 5 service sector MDOs in Alaska and the Pacific Northwest region of the United States used to improve organizational performance by successfully building organizational cultures of trust. Leader–member exchange served as the conceptual framework for this study. Data were collected using semistructured interviews and documents as secondary sources. Thematic analysis was used to examine participant content, evaluated in chronological and random order, as well as secondary data. Four themes emerged from data analysis: value of ongoing multidirectional communications, valuing mistakes as learning moments, observing trust responses regardless of leader/follower proximity, and relying on Internet communications technology to enable managers and leaders to create teams and build trust. Findings of this study may be used by leaders and managers in service sector MDOs to nurture and sustain trust among stakeholders regardless of location, including colocated and remote work environments. The implications of this study for positive social change include the potential of trust between leaders and stakeholders to strengthen employee engagement and productivity, improving quality of work life for personnel and sustainability for residents who might seek career opportunities and contributing to community viability.