Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Management (DMgt)

First Advisor

John Pourdehnad, PhD

Second Advisor

Dominick Volini, PhD

Third Advisor

Rume Joy Azikiwe-Oyeyemi


Following the increased domestic focus on systemic racism throughout the United States due to various events in 2020, there has been a strong shift towards organizations focusing on how to advance diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) initiatives. The purpose of the current study was to address the how coaches may ameliorate the lack of focus on DEI initiatives within the corporate world. The overarching research question for this study was, How may executive coaches advance the development of diversity, equity, and inclusion in organizations? I utilized the theory of generative interactions to support the current research as well as a qualitative grounded theory methodology utilizing an online survey and semi-structured interviews as instruments to collect data. Sixteen participants completed surveys, and four participants completed semi-structured interviews. Two categories, strategies for effective DEI and the need to incorporate diverse tools and methods in trainings, emerged from the data, including seven total themes. The five themes under theme 1 were as follows: (a) increased interest in DEI must be coupled with implementation, (b) focus on building relationships and personalizing trainings, (c) integrate DEI with both established values and the business plan going forward, (d) provide support to People of Color, and (e) DEI training requires an outside perspective. The themes under theme 2 included the following: (a) examine unconscious bias and (b) a variety of tools and personalized trainings are most effective. The resultant theory was that executive coaches can advance the development of DEI in organizations by sharing strategies for effective DEI and incorporating diverse tools and trainings into DEI education through drawing on unique teachings and perspectives. I recommend that future researchers address the effectiveness of DEI initiatives over time, the concern of unconscious bias, and the interaction between corporate value structures and DEI.


A dissertation submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree Doctor of Management in Strategic Leadership