Date of Award


Degree Name

EdD Doctor of Education

Dissertation Committee

Susan M. Zgliczynski, PhD, Director; Johanna S. Hunsaker, PhD; B. Robert Carlson, PhD


Delphi method, California State University System, chairpersons, Kinesiology, Leadership studies, organization in transition, physical education department


A number of driving and restraining forces seem to foretell of a paradigm shift in today's post-secondary physical education departments. While the majority might agree that some change is inevitable, of utmost importance and concern is the manner in which change occurs. Left to the vagaries of chance, change can be chaotic and destructive; conversely, when effectively managed by leadership, controlled change can result in immense benefits. This study details leadership perspectives and views on driving and restraining forces that may impact California State University (CSU) physical education departments into the 21st century. It is believed that an analysis of the perspectives can be used to more effectively manage the change process. A panel of 20 CSU physical education/kinesiology department chairpersons from 17 of the 19 CSU physical education/kinesiology degree-granting institutions provided insight on the forces and strategies that will help to shape 21st century CSU physical education/kinesiology. Use of the Delphi Method helped CSU chairperson participants identify future changes for 21st century CSU physical education/kinesiology departments and forces either driving the CSU departments towards those changes or acting as obstacles against the change. The findings identified the following future changes: 1. More departments will change their names. 2. Technology-mediated instruction will affect teaching styles and learning processes. 3. Faculty will be expected to become more involved with community outreach. 4. Departments will be expected to be more collaborative both within and outside of the university. 5. Degree focus will encompass the total life span, target health promotion, experience further diversity, emphasize science-based study, adhere to more prescription by accreditation agencies, and create more certificate programs. CSU chairpersons identified seven forces driving future changes: accountability, student as consumer, population demographics, health care reform, limited resources, technology explosion, and faculty retirement/replacements. They also identified four forces acting as obstacles to the change: culture of faculty, limited resources, traditional thinking, and faculty retirement/replacements. Five of the driving forces were defined as external forces that push for change from outside of physical education/kinesiology departments; three of the restraining forces were defined as internal forces that hinder change from within the departments. It was concluded that CSU physical education/kinesiology departments are experiencing similar symptoms of an organization in transition. Additionally, CSU department chairpersons identified leadership strategies that they believed may help to affect the shaping process. A summary of the top four leadership strategies identified faculty as the main target for strategy focus. Study participants also provided 11 suggestions for professional development agendas that might be beneficial to nurture the change process. Most suggestions focused on educating faculty about university issues, updating faculty on instructional methods and technologies, and conflict management. While chairpersons appeared to understand the importance of faculty inclusion in their leadership strategies, frustration was expressed with the difficulties of managing faculty culture. Finally, CSU chairpersons offered evidence to support the use of the Delphi Method as an educational process; it helped participants to clarify opinions, understand particular topics, and develop skills in future thinking. However, most respondents also revealed that they had no individual goals as a result of their participation in this process.

Document Type

Dissertation: Open Access