Date of Award

12-1-2017

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy

Department

Workforce Education and Development

First Advisor

Pense, Seburn

Abstract

This study sought to develop and validate content for the Organizational Support for Critical Thinking Inventory (OSCTI). Six focus group subject matter experts participated in a workshop guided by the techniques and procedures outlined in stage one of the Smith, Milberg, and Burke (1996) instrument development and validation process to develop draft items for the OSCTI. Benson and Clarke (1982) techniques were also utilized to establish content validity and focus group participants assumed the role of expert judges by participating in an electronic survey to rank the relative importance of all draft items produced by the individual members of the focus group. To test reliability, the OSCTI was administered on a sample of forty-three (n=43) participants from the Minnesota Office of Higher Education via an electronic survey. The Chronbach Alpha method was used to estimate the proportion of variance and a reliability coefficient of 0.97 resulted. A new fundamental and powerful concept of Organizational Support for Critical Thinking was newly defined in this study. This concept is embedded in the OSCTI, along with constructs of perceived organizational support (receptivity and valuing contributions) and critical thinking dimensions based on Dr. Richard Paul’s 35 Dimensions of Critical Thought. The OSCTI can be used by organizations to determine the extent to which it supports employees’ use of critical thinking in the workplace. Further construct validity and confirmatory factor analysis should be completed on different populations to further define organizational support for critical thinking and establish the predictive qualities and generalizability of the OSCTI.

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