Date of Award


Degree Name

PhD Leadership Studies

Dissertation Committee

Lea Hubbard, Ph.D., Chair Antonio Jimenez-Luque, Ph.D., Member Fred Galloway, E.D., Member


multicultural, work, workplace, identity, cultural frame switching, identity integration, sociological constructivism, diversity, equity, inclusion


As the workforce becomes increasingly diverse and organizations elevate their efforts to address issues of diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI), it is critical to engage in a deeper investigation of the experiences of multicultural individuals at work. In this qualitative study, nine multicultural individuals were interviewed using a sociological lens to gain their perspective on the relationship between their identity and their work experiences. The primary research questions that guided this study were: (a) how do multicultural individuals influence the workplace? In turn, (b) how do their workplace experiences affect their identity and sense of self? Data was coded and thoroughly analyzed for emergent themes. This study provides important insight into how multicultural individuals define their multicultural identity, the personal and professional qualities they feel they bring to the workplace, and the challenges they confront due to their identity. This study also discusses the availability of resources related to diversity, equity, and inclusion and what they feel they need to have a more equitable and supportive work experience. This study clarifies the social construction of inequality that occurs as multicultural individuals interact with their colleagues and employers and the potential impact these interactions have on their well-being and the productivity of the organization for which they work. The participants’ stories suggest the need for greater cultural competence among all employees, as well as greater representation of diversity, additional DEI programs, and more effective communication.

Document Type

Dissertation: Open Access


Leadership Studies