Date of Award

Winter 12-23-2021

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)


Organizational Leadership

First Advisor

Jonathan Greenberg

Second Advisor

Patrick Ainsworth

Third Advisor

Carol Anderson-Woo


Purpose: The purpose of this sequential, explanatory mixed methods study was to identify and describe the leadership strategies that exemplary chief human resources officers (CHROs) of K-12 school districts use to create an organizational culture of inclusiveness using Kennedy’s (2008) 5 leadership qualities of cultural differences.

Methodology: This research study utilized quantitative surveys and qualitative interviews of 13 exemplary CHROs in Riverside, San Bernardino, and Orange counties in Southern California to identify and describe the strategies used to create an organizational culture of inclusiveness according to Kennedy’s (2008) 5 qualities of cultural differences.

Findings: The findings of the study reveal that exemplary CHROs understand that creating a culture of inclusiveness is important to achieving the goals of the school district and leads to a respectful and accepting environment, ensures that the needs of students, staff, and the community are met, and enriches the school district. The study produced 7 findings and 4 unexpected findings based on the quantitative survey results and qualitative themes as defined by Kennedy’s (2008) 5 leadership qualities of cultural differences.

Conclusions: The study produced 8 conclusions, drawn from the data analysis of exemplary CHROs. Creating a culture of inclusiveness is not a static process and consists of engaging in diverse hiring practices, getting to know people and their differences, taking personal responsibility for actions and behaviors to model inclusive practices, using influence to encourage others to embrace inclusive practices, fostering inclusive environments, encouraging feedback and collaboration, and providing professional development and training to support the development to support a culture of inclusiveness.

Recommendations: Further research is needed to assess and evaluate the effectiveness of the strategies identified in this study. Several research recommendations include the replication of the study of charter and private school CHROs to compare strategies; a Delphi or meta-analysis professional development trainings related to supporting culturally inclusive environments; a correlational study of the effect of identified inclusive strategies on K-12 employees; a Delphi or phenomenological study of CHROs of color in K-12 and their strategies. Moreover, a correlational study of strategies across and between the thematic team members is recommended.