Graduation Year


Document Type




Degree Granting Department

Mass Communications

Major Professor

Kelly P. Werder, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Ken Killebrew, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Scott Liu, Ph.D.


Satisfaction, Trust, Commitment, Control mutuality, Exchange relationship, Communal relationship, Goal compatibility


This study focuses on relationships. Specifically, it measures the relationship between the administration of a large public university in the southeastern United States, USF, and its primary internal public the faculty. The purpose of this study is to measure the quality and type of relationship between an organization and it public, as perceived by the public. This study seeks to replicate and extend previous relational research by examining how the variables of trust, commitment, control mutuality, and satisfaction are related to the quality of relationships in organizations. In addition, the type of relationshipcommunal or exchangethat the faculty has with the university, is examined. This thesis also posits an additional indicator of relationship quality goal compatibility. Therefore the following hypotheses are proposed:

H1: Trust, commitment, satisfaction and control mutuality are indicators of relationship quality between and organization and its publics.

H2: Goal compatibility is an indicator of relationship quality between an organization and its publics.

Explicitly, this study seeks to explore the following:

RQ1: How do faculty employees at a large, Research I university perceive their relationship with the administration in terms of trust, commitment, satisfaction, control mutuality, and goal compatibility, with regards to the issue of salary, and what type of relationship—communal or exchange—does the organization and its public have?

The significance of this study lies in its ability to contribute to public relations theory and practice. This research will enrich our understanding of the importance of building strong relationships between organizations and their publics. This study will also build on previous public relations studies of relationship measurement in order to further public relations theory development. From an applied perspective, this research may serve to inform the organization about the quality of its relationship with one of its most important strategic publics.

According to the data analyses, in terms of trust, commitment, satisfaction, control mutuality, and goal compatibility, the faculty perceives their relationship to be low quality. In addition, the faculty perceives to have an exchange relationship with the administration.