Molly Cox, Ph.D. is a 2019 graduate of the PHD Program in Leadership and Change at Antioch University.

Dr. Cox at her Dissertation Defense.

T-B: Dr. Laura Morgan Roberts, Committee Chair, Dr. Bruce Avolio, Committee Member, Dr. Carol Baron, Committee Member.

Dissertation Committee

  • Laura Morgan Roberts, Ph.D., Committee Chair
  • Carol Baron, Ph.D., Committee Member
  • Bruce Avolio, Ph.D., Committee Member


Trust, Developmental Readiness, Motivation to Trust, Ability to Trust, Propensity to Trust, Change, Trust Beliefs, Trust Intentions

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This research explores an individual's self-perception of their own ability, motivation, and propensity to trust others for the purpose of validating a new construct: developmental readiness to trust others in the workplace. This construct expands research on developmental readiness to change and to lead by building a scale to measure an individual's motivation and ability to trust others in the workplace. A previously validated scale developed by Frazier, Johnson, and Fainshmidt 2013 measuring propensity to trust was included the scale building process. All items measuring motivation to trust were newly developed for this study, items measuring trust ability were adapted and based on previous trust research by Mayer and Davis 1999. This was a mixed-methods study (qual) QUAN with 6 individual interviews and 417 surveys collected via an online survey using an item response scale of 1 to 7. Respondents were solicited through professional networks and Mechanical Turk. Construct validation resulted in a two-factor model measuring ability and motivation to trust, with propensity to trust as a subcategory under the motivation factor. Exploratory and confirmatory factor analyses were conducted and evidence supported the construct's convergent and discriminant validity and reliability. This research contributes to the existing research on trust by examining an individual's capability to trust others and their motivation. Motivation included both propensity and outcome orientation to trust others prior to entering a relationship. This dissertation is available in open access at AURA: Antioch University Repository and Archive, and OhioLINK ETD Center, and is accompanied by an Excel file of survey data.


Molly Cox, Ph.D.

ORCID Scholar ID #: #0000-0002-7594-9136

Molly’s work sheds light on why leadership and teamwork is important for creating trust in today’s challenging work environments. Her passion for positive change is reflected in over 20 years of change management work experience with Fortune 500 companies. This includes leadership positions in IT, Operations, Customer Service, Product Management, and Marketing. She joined the CLST team in 2013 as a leadership development coach and is currently a CLST faculty and leadership associate working in master programs and in strategic organizational transformation consulting engagements.

Molly has a broad range of experience in transformational change projects including designing and deploying new technology, designing organizational change and leadership development, and strategic planning. In addition she was chosen in 2008 as the recipient of Women in Technology International’s Leadership Award for leadership in support of women in IT.

Molly has a BA from the University of Washington and a MA from Antioch’s Center for Creative Change.