Doctoral Dissertations

Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy



Major Professor

Pamela Angelle

Committee Members

Jennifer Morrow, Gary Skolits, James McIntyre


Despite social justice leadership receiving an increasing amount of attention by researchers, a methodological imbalance with qualitative inquiries dominating the existing empirical literature base persists. Compounding this issue is the lack of a discipline-specific, quantitative instrument made for the exact purpose of exploring the nature of social justice leadership. This study aimed to answer the calls of a number of scholars (Jean-Marie, Normore, & Brooks, 2009; Nilsson, Marszalek, Linnemeyer, Bahner, & Misialek, 2011; Otunga, 2009) by developing and validating a scale. The Social Justice Behavior Scale (SJBS) was developed through the creation of items based on a literature review, informed directly by a meta-analysis, and refined through the Delphi Technique. Surveys were digitally distributed to principals in the United States. The final dataset consisted of 227 principals from 27 states. Following a principal components analysis with oblimin rotation, the SJBS was found to have three components made up of 23 items that accounted for 62.16% of the total variance. Cronbach’s alpha for the entire instrument was .933. The SJBS shows promise as a quantitative research instrument moving forward. Future recommendations include collecting additional data to run a confirmatory factor analysis, distributing the instrument in additional contexts, and bolstering future investigations into social justice leadership through the use of the SJBS as a research tool.

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