Fischler College of Education: Theses and Dissertations

Date of Award

2016

Document Type

Dissertation - NSU Access Only

Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)

Department

Abraham S. Fischler College of Education

Advisor

Michael Simonson

Committee Member

Susanne Flannelly

Abstract

The scale created in this applied dissertation was designed to allow administrators in higher education to identify opinion leaders and potential opinion leaders within their departments for the purpose of diffusing educational technology and innovative practices. Unlike other opinion-leader scales, the scale created in this dissertation identifies opinion leaders not by prior opinion-leadership behavior but by attitudes toward behaviors associated with opinion leadership. The advantage of this approach is that the new scale will identify not only opinion leaders, but also potential opinion leaders. A potential opinion leader is someone whose attitudes toward behaviors associated with opinion leadership predispose them to becoming opinion leaders, but their peers have not yet recognized their opinions as worthy of respect and attention. The scale created in this applied dissertation measures attitudes toward behaviors associated with opinion leadership in four areas: openness, rational decision-making, self-monitoring, and sociability. Each of these constructs works synergistically to create a profile of those who will be (a) open to learning about new products and new ideas in education, (b) rational in deciding which products and practices in education best support and enhance the mission of their department, (c) able and willing to modify their self-presentation based upon the verbal and nonverbal behavior of others, and (d) sociable enough to form both the in-group and out-of-group relationships necessary for opinion leadership.

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