Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Education (Ph.D)


Administrative and Instructional Leadership

First Advisor

Stephen Kotok

Second Advisor

Joan Birringer-Haig

Third Advisor

Yvonne Pratt-Johnson


The purpose of this quantitative study was to examine the mediating impact of trust on the relationship between leaders and followers in religious communities across two cultures, the United States and Vietnam. The study sample consisted of 800 followers and 40 leaders in 40 religious communities from the cities of Nha Trang, Ha Noi, Thanh Hoa and Saigon in Vietnam. In the United States, 800 followers and 40 leaders were selected from 40 religious communities in Chicago, New York City, Buffalo, and Iowa. The Behavior Trust Inventory (BTI), created by Nicole Gillespie (2005), was used to conduct the study. This instrument was also translated into the Vietnamese language. The survey was administered online via Qualtrics, and the link was distributed to the participants in both Vietnam and the US by email. Sixty-three participants in the US completed a print version of the survey. The study was significant for those who practice the role of leadership and for followers in trust-building, especially in knowledge, ability, and work-related skills.