A valid and reliable scale for measuring middle managers' trustworthiness in continuous improvement
Sustaining continuous improvement activities is one of the biggest challenges that companies face. In order to foster operator participation in continuous improvement activities, this paper aims to present and validate a scale for measuring middle manager trustworthiness. Firstly, we combine the available literature with two concept mappings, one with operators and another with supervisors, and an expert panel (consisting of experienced academics, practitioners and consultants) to identify the specific middle manager behaviors that are essential to convey trustworthiness. Secondly, an empirical analysis with 211 operators from three different companies located in three different countries (i.e., Peru, Honduras and Spain) served to define, debug and test the reliability and the convergent, discriminant, and nomological validity of the scale. The validated scale presents middle manager trustworthiness as a reflective-reflective second-order construct formed by four critical dimensions: human qualities; training and development; technical and managerial competencies; team building. To the best of our knowledge, this paper is the first to present a valid and reliable scale for measuring middle manager trustworthiness in continuous improvement activities. The proposed scale can be used as a guideline for companies which aim to foster operators' trust and participation in continuous improvement activities and for those activities to be sustainable over time.