Date of Award

8-2014

Degree Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)

Department

Executive Leadership

First Supervisor

Marie Cianca

Second Supervisor

Bruce Blaine

Abstract

Research indicates the value of language diversity for nations, organizations, and individuals. However, it is unclear whether language diversity is an untapped leadership resource. The purpose of this study was to examine language diversity and leadership effectiveness in the U.S. labor market. The conceptual framework of language-asresource framed the topic of this study (Ruiz, 1984). This study employed mixed methods procedures. First, data from the 2010 General Social Survey was used to describe the relationship between languages other than English (LOTE) and occupational achievement by utilizing proxy variables. Descriptive statistics and hierarchical regressions results were reported. Second, data were gathered from a purposefully selected focus group to gain deeper insight about speaking a LOTE within the leadership function. Participants were alumni with a major or minor in a specific LOTE from a Research Institution in upstate New York. The data were examined for a relationship between language diversity and leadership effectiveness. Analysis of quantitative data found no evidence that speaking a LOTE predicts either occupational prestige or income. However, qualitative data furthered understanding of the nuances of language diversity and leadership effectiveness. These understandings were captured in the themes of (a) cultural acumen, (b) relational insight, (c) communication savvy, (d) impetus for development, and (d) social civility. Combined results provide a broader perspective of language diversity and leadership effectiveness to encourage LOTE skills among leaders, and to encourage organizations to hire leaders with LOTE skills and promote LOTE study.

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