Date of Award

Spring 3-16-2017

Degree Type


Degree Name

PhD Health Sciences


Health and Medical Sciences


Deborah A. DeLuca, JD

Committee Member

Terrence F. Cahill, Ed.D

Committee Member

Fortunato Battaglia, Ph.D


Positive Deviance, Managing Diversity, Cultural Competence


Background and Purpose of the Study: Over the last few decades, the United States has experienced an overwhelming amount of change in the diversity of its populations (Kilian, Hukai, & McCarty, 2005). Although it was expected that this diversity would also become evident in senior leadership positions across organizations, this has not yet happened (Kilian et al., 2005). “For years men have dominated Corporate America as women have traditionally chosen to become stay at home mothers’ and ‘housewives. In an effort to rise to the level of their male counterparts, many women have been moving out of the home and into the boardrooms, through educating themselves” (Dean, Mills-Strachan, Roberts, Carraher, & Cash, 2009, p. 2 ). This statement begins to lay the groundwork needed to address the issues found by Kilian et al.

Methods: This study utilized a non-experimental quantitative methodology with a survey driven, exploratory, descriptive, correlative and cross-sectional research design to understand the effect of positive deviance on minority leadership in healthcare organizations under the framework of positive deviance implementing two sub-constructs of managing diversity and cultural competence.

Results: Reliability on the PoDeMLA with both independent variables of Managing Diversity and Cultural Competence was very good (Cronbach’s alpha α = .83). Individually, for each construct of the PoDeMLA, the reliability ranged from acceptable to good: Managing Diversity (α = .80), Cultural Competence (α = .74).

Similarities noted for senior leaders and middle managers were found in the family influence and advancements sub-constructs of managing diversity. Similarities noted for senior leaders and middle managers were found in the acculturation and cultural sensitivity sub-constructs of cultural competence. Differences noted between senior leaders and middle managers were noted in the socioeconomics, educational considerations and mentor relationships sub-constructs of managing diversity. Differences noted between senior leaders and middle managers were noted in the cultural imposition, discrimination and stereotyping sub-constructs of cultural competence. Results of the Multivariate Analysis of Variance (MANOVA) across both constructs resulted in cultural competence demonstrating significance (p= .032) and managing diversity demonstrating non-significance (p= .543) both at an alpha level of .05.

Conclusion: Implementation of Bandura’s social cognitive theory across the managing diversity construct of positive deviance could re-balance the non-significance of the construct on it’s own. Cultural competence demonstrated significance across both leadership types and continuation of study should be considered.



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