Date of Award


Degree Name

EdD Doctor of Education

Dissertation Committee

William P. Foster, EdD, Chair; Johanna S. Hunsaker, PhD; Winnie Willis, ScD


diversity, health care organization, intended changes, Leadership studies, line staff, middle management, minority & ethnic groups, perception, supervisors, upper management


The growing diversity of the work force is having and will continue to have a significant impact on organizations. The diversity of cultures, lifestyles, and household compositions compels managers and organizational leaders to make a variety of organizational changes. Additionally, the globalization of business, the integration of the world economy, and the rapid changes in corporate life require a reexamination of how organizations are thought of, and how employees are managed (Copeland, 1988; Betters-Reed & Moore, 1988-89; Goldstein, 1988). Since in the past organizations have been based on white male European traditions, a revolutionary response is needed from organizational leaders and managers. Diversity in the work force is often defined as not only differences in cultural and ethnic backgrounds, but differences in gender, lifestyles, age, and career and developmental perspectives. However, for the purposes of this research, the definition of diversity is defined as the diversity of perspectives which arise from differences in cultural and ethnic backgrounds. Those managers and organizational leaders sensitive to the issues surfacing from a culturally diverse work force will have the competitive edge to succeed in a fast changing environment. Therefore those managers and leaders who are able to accurately identify and implement the strategies most successful in valuing a diverse work force will realize more successful organizational outcomes. The intent of this research was to identify, through the use of a survey instrument and review of the literature, appropriate methods for valuing a culturally diverse work force. One important issue which came from respondents had to do with their discomfort with recognizing cultural differences, preferring instead to refer to individual differences. Overall responses from upper management, middle management, supervisors, and line staff were fairly similar, although, as expected, management as group was better able to list the valuing cultural diversity strategies in the organization than line staff. Additionally, upper management, middle management, supervisors and line staff evaluated the success of the strategies somewhat differently. Finally, when it came to the organization's values on cultural diversity and identification with those values, management as a group expressed greater agreement with the organization's values than line staff.

Document Type

Dissertation: Open Access