Organization Development


Winter 2-12-2023

Degree Name

Doctor of Education in Organization Development (Ed.D.)

Type of Paper/Work



Rama Hart

Second Advisor

David Jamieson

Third Advisor

Jean Davidson


The world is becoming increasingly more diverse, particularly in the workplace. Existing literature on diversity tends to focus on the visible types of diversity such as gender, race, and color from the for-profit business perspective. There is little research on the impact of the invisible type of diversity such as culture and national origin. Cultural diversity has rarely been studied in the context of non-profit international humanitarian organizations. These organizations face unique management challenges due to their volatile and chaotic environment with limited power and resources. Applying a control-oriented and normative management approach proved to be ineffective. Thus, there is a need for further research tailored to international humanitarian non-governmental organizations (IHNGOs). This study aimed to highlight the role of IHNGOs’ leaders in cultural diversity management. The study found cultural diversity management is a very challenging process. It identified five components for successful cultural diversity management. When diversity is managed properly the study found it pays off. Developing a critical mind and broadening perspective are some of the impacts of longtime exposure to different cultures. Another finding of the study is that dominant culture has a negative impact on leaders from a minority background. This qualitative research of narrative inquiry used interviews as an exclusive data collection method to capture the unique experiences of seven CEOs of IHNGOs. The implication for the practice of this study shows the challenging nature of the cultural diversity management process, thus it prepares leaders mentally. In addition, it provides a formula for success and a list of needed skills and competencies to succeed in managing culturally diverse teams.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.