Date of Award

12-2011

Degree Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)

Department

Executive Leadership

First Supervisor

Jeannine Dingus-Eason

Second Supervisor

Arlette Miller Smith

Abstract

This study explores the experiences of non-profit human service staff members engaged in “organizational development targeting diversity” (ODTD) for two years or more. This term was adapted by combining concepts in workforce diversity management (Cox, 1993; Ely & Thomas, 1996) and intra-organizational oppression (Fine, 1996; Hyde, 1998). Drawing upon Crenshaw’s (1989) theory of intersecting oppressions stemming from race, class, and gender stratification, the experiences of staff members in a nonprofit human services organization provided a window into an organization attempting to address its use of power and how to model empowerment for a disempowered clientele. This study was conducted using interviews, documents, and field notes in a phenomenological design. It was found that perceptions of power sharing within the organizational setting are shaped by participant identities. It is recommended that organizational diversity efforts openly address issues of power and strive to understand member perspectives for organizational practices and policy formation.

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