Date of Award

Spring 5-16-2018

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)


Organizational Leadership

First Advisor

Phillip Pendley

Second Advisor

Marylou Wilson

Third Advisor

Scott Conrad

Fourth Advisor

Patricia Clark-White


Purpose: The purpose of this phenomenological study was to identify and describe the factors that motivated northern California community college faculty of the Baby Boomer, Gen X, and Millennial generations to become engaged in shared governance and campus-wide committees, and to determine what differences existed between the generations.

Methodology: This research used a qualitative methodology and applied a phenomenological approach. The data for this study was gathered by conducting in-depth, semi-structured interviews with 16 fulltime faculty members from the Solano, Marin, and Sonoma County community college districts.

Findings: The findings from this study identified factors that motivated faculty to engage in shared governance. Findings were grouped into three categories: knowledge-driven motivators, service-driven motivators, and collegiality-driven motivators. Within these three categories of motivational factors, this study identified similarities and differences between the three generational cohorts, Baby Boomers, Gen Xer’s, and Millennials.

Conclusions: Based on the findings from this study and the literature review, it was concluded that faculty were motivated to participate in shared governance when the system embraced characteristics including: collaboration, mutual respect, effective communication, and a shared sense of purpose. It was further concluded that facultywere motivated to engage in shared governance committee work when they felt valued and appreciated, had the ability to develop and grow, and where the environment was built upon trust and transparency.

Recommendations: Institutions of higher education need to nurture a climate that expressly supports strong faculty engagement in the governance of the institution by developing and maintaining an effective shared governance system that gives voice to all constituencies, encourages a diversity of opinions, and balances maximum participation in the decision-making process where all participants act as true partners toward the common goals of the institution.