Date of Award


Degree Name

EdD Doctor of Education

Dissertation Committee

Mary Woods Scherr, PhD, Director; Mary Jo Abascal-Hildebrand, EdD; Roger Frantz, PhD; Al Merino, EdD


Delphi study, consciousness, intuition, Leadership studies, organizational change, spiritual development


This study was framed by three key questions: How is intuition characterized, how is intuition in adults best developed, and what influence might the development of intuition have on individuals, organizations, and society. The data for the study was collected using the Delphi method. The panel included twenty females and twenty-three males from three Canadian provinces and eighteen American states. Eighty-three percent of the panel had post secondary degrees in over twenty different disciplines. Twenty-three percent of the panel held doctorate level degrees. Thirty-one different occupations were represented. All forty-three participants who started the study completed all three rounds. Data was collected over three rounds of the Delphi and included both open ended questions and a Likert scale questionnaire. Findings were derived from both qualitative and simple quantitative analysis. In this study, intuition is characterized by existential themes of time, space, body, being, Being, and relation. Throughout the study, panelists drew a strong connection between intuition and the creative-spiritual dimension of human beings. The panel determined that it is more appropriate to speak in terms of awakening intuition than in terms of developing it. Even though panelists reached consensus on the idea that the full potential of intuition is inherent in everyone, they also agreed that individuals could benefit from participation in practices designed to awaken and expand intuitive capacity. Findings suggest that training programs should be developed around three broad goals: 1. Exposing the beliefs, assumptions, values, and patterns of behaviour that prevent individuals from accessing the full inherent potential of their intuition. 2. Creating an environment in which it is safe to explore and to engage in activities that enhance intuition. 3). Providing a knowledge base. Specifics related to each of these goals are included in the study. While participants were careful to stress the fact that they did not see intuition and future trends in terms of a causal relationship, they did reach consensus on thirteen trends related to individuals, eleven related to changes in organizations and on fifteen societal items. Topics on which the panel reached consensus included creativity, peak experiences, physical and psychological well-being, relationships, problem-solving ability, shift in leadership, culture, structures, ethics, and productivity. They projected that initially there would be an increase in the appearance of chaos, but saw that trend as having a beneficent long term effect. Findings indicated that intuition is an essential factor in expanding consciousness, and panelists predicted that an evolutionary shift in consciousness could well be the outcome of the synergy released by the increasing numbers of adults attuning themselves to the creative-spiritual voice of their intuition. The study includes an extensive review of literature connected with intuition including western and non-western philosophy and psychology, brain and consciousness research, quantum physics, adult development, leadership, training programs, emerging spirituality, and alternative futures. The study concludes with an exploration of implications the training of intuition, for leadership, and with a broad agenda for future research related to intuition.

Document Type

Dissertation: Open Access