Building Social Capital in Multicultural Communities: The Dyadic Process and Related Social Outcomes of Executive Leaders

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)


Executive Leadership

First Supervisor

Jeannine Dingus-Eason

Second Supervisor

Ruth Harris


This study elaborates a theoretical rationale for interracial dyad networks as a structural form of social capital that can facilitate interracial social capital formation and produce positive-sum outcomes across races. A purposeful sample of extreme cases of social capital developed between matched interracial pairs comprised of influential business and community leaders was used to obtain rich information on the interracial social capital formation phenomenon. The dyad interrelations were analyzed using a qualitative, phenomenological, multiple-case study approach. The study findings revealed a social capital formation process surrounding both the cultivation of interracial dyadic friendships and bridging networks across races, and specific related outcomes produced . Dyadic networks, social currency, interracial friendships, and network expansion were found to link quantifiable measures of social capital and related outcomes that provide both individual and social value. This study contributes to the knowledge base of both intergroup contact and social capital theories and offers a basis for the application of Blau’s (1977) diversity opportunity network theory. The results can be used towards building social capital in multi-cultural communities, community and economic development, race relations, and professional training that incorporates diversity initiatives. Programs seeking to foster leadership through deliberate intercultural competencies, ethnic and cultural sensitivity, diverse collaboration, and collective creativity competencies can also benefit from the findings. Future research is recommended to compare unsuccessful and/or mediocre outcomes of interracial contact and social capital formation to the results of this current study.

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