Agricultural Leadership, Education & Communication Department


Date of this Version

Spring 4-17-2014


Fagan, H.A.S. (2014). PsyCap and the Impact on the Development of Intercultural Sensitivity of Healthcare Educators: A Mixed Methods Study. PhD Dissertation. University of Nebraska-Lincoln.


A DISSERTATION Presented to the Faculty of The Graduate College at the University of Nebraska In Partial Fulfillment of Requirements For the Degree of Doctor of Philosophy, Major: Human Sciences (Leadership Education), Under the Supervision of Professor Gina Matkin. Lincoln, Nebraska: April, 2014

Copyright (c) 2014 Helen Abdali Soosan Fagan


This purpose of this explanatory sequential mixed methods study was to examine the intercultural sensitivity development process of faculty and staff at a health sciences college in the Midwest. In the quantitative phase, this study investigated changes in intercultural sensitivity over a three year period, along with the relationship between developmental level of intercultural sensitivity (as measured by Intercultural Development Inventory [IDI] [Hammer, Bennett, & Wiseman, 2003]) of participants and Psychological Capital (PsyCap, a multidimensional construct consisting of hope, efficacy, resiliency, and optimism [Luthans, Youssef, & Avolio, 2007]). In the qualitative phase (Case Study) data collection and analysis further explored the link between changes in intercultural sensitivity and helped to further explain the quantitative results. Quantitative results indicated that the faculty and staff of the college experienced significant growth in Developmental Orientation (DO) and that there was not a significant quantitative relationship between PsyCap and the changes in DO. However, the findings from the qualitative phase of this study enhanced the understanding of the quantitative results in that high PsyCap supported growth in developmental level in several ways:

  1. Key leaders with high PsyCap and relatively high developmental level created environments and initiatives that encouraged the development and growth of others in the organization.
  2. Leaders with high PsyCap and relatively high developmental levels who directly supervised individuals with high PsyCap, were described as having a positive impact on direct reports’ developmental levels.
  3. Individuals with low PsyCap experienced developmental gains if they were in close working relationship with others with high PsyCap.

These results along with implication for future research and application to the field are discussed.

Advisor: Gina S. Matkin