Date of Award

Summer 9-1-2023

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)


Education: Curriculum and Teaching

First Advisor

Marshall George

Second Advisor

Nell Scharff Panero

Third Advisor

Michael Middleton

Academic Program Adviser

Marshall George


What opportunities and challenges arise when an equity-focused educational organization aims to support employee’s individual equity practices while simultaneously developing the organization’s equity practice? In this study, employees of a non-profit educational organization were asked what rationales and expectations played a role in their decision to volunteer in an equity working group. Their responses were used to understand whether Perry’s (2000) process theory of Public Service Motivation helped describe their decision. In a second round of interviews, employees were asked what outcomes they perceived came from their participation. These responses were used to understand whether the outcomes aligned with those posited as necessary by Vandenabeele (2007). Findings from both sets of interviews demonstrated that Perry’s and Vandenabeele’s theories helpfully describe how motivation to work in the public service is sustained and that organizations doing this work should consider implications for practice grounded in these theories for supporting the needs of those working in the public service.



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