Date of Award


Degree Name

EdD Doctor of Education

Dissertation Committee

Dr. Susan M. Zgliczynski, PhD, Director; Dr. Jerome Ammer, PhD; Dr. Judith Liu, PhD


community, Leadership studies, organizational interventions, prejudice, Retroductive Triangulation, team-building


Contemporary theory and practice defines leadership as a collaborative effort, based in community, and purposefully guided by a mutual vision of freedom, justice and equality. Prejudice, as a preset of negative beliefs and behaviors toward a person or a group is a primary barrier to the transformational process of team-building and formation of community. The purpose of this study was to contribute to the effectiveness of training and educational interventions through further understanding of the origins and aspects of prejudice which act as barriers to community. The Retroductive Triangulation process served as a guiding methodology for the development of a conceptual framework for prejudice and for an instrument which allowed that framework to be tested in a sample population. The seven stepped process involved a deductive phase (I) consisting of a review of the related theoretical and empirical literature, and an identification and analysis of themes. During the inductive phase (II), interviews were conducted with experts and practitioners in the content area. An analysis of the data yielded themes related to the concept. A conceptual framework (III) was created from an analysis and synthesis of measured and unmeasured dimensions which emerged. An assessment protocol (IV) focused on the unmeasured dimensions as the basis for the instrument development (V). The instrument was tested for psychometric properties (VI) in a diverse sample population from five local educational institutions. The four hundred and fifteen subjects were upper level undergraduates, graduate students, and participants in executive training programs. The results of the study supported an association of important aspects of contemporary prejudice with Western world views and values. These included competition, and a quest for power to bolster identity, evaluation of others by external and material standards, and a belief in the inevitability of hierarchical systems. The study highlighted also the American ambivalence between values of individualism and community. The implications of the study for interventions suggest that an emphasis be placed on the identification and examination of basic assumptions which guide individual behavior and the formation of organizational systems. The preliminary 30 item instrument may be further developed as a self assessment tool (VII) to be used in organizational interventions.

Document Type

Dissertation: Open Access