Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts



First Advisor

Dr. Kenneth A. Blick

Second Advisor

Dr. Scott Allison

Third Advisor

Dr. Joanne Preston


The present study tested the usefulness of a non -traditional method of gathering and structuring qualitative data regarding minority and majority group perceptions of a shared organizational environment. The goal of the method was to minimize the investigator's direct control over the information gathering process, thereby accurately capturing the subjective realities of the groups without relying on a single, externally imposed standard. An item-sorting methodology and subsequent hierarchical cluster analytic procedures identified two major issues differentiating participant groups: (1) the generation and categorization of ethnic-content items, and (2) levels of emotionality in the generation and rating of items. The present method is evaluated as an alternative to more traditional content-analytic methods, and its limitations and potential applications are discussed.