Award Date


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Hotel Administration

First Committee Member

Anthony F. Lucas

Number of Pages



The recognition that diversity is a visible facet of our global society is generating discourse among leaders in business, government, and civil society alike. In view of demographic changes affecting the labor and product supply markets, plus the value being placed on an emergent customer base, diversity rhetoric is shifting from "the right thing to do" to "the smart thing to do." With emphasis on the business case, organizations are adopting a culture of "inclusion". Executives tout diversity initiatives as business imperatives that are integral to the company's mission, but express a need for a more efficacious approach to diversity management. Understanding this contemporary phenomenon in the hospitality supply chain is addressed in this dissertation; Grounded theory using case studies is the methodological strategy used to gain insight into "how" and "why" buyers procure goods and services. It presents a systematic approach for interpreting the underlying assumptions, expectations, and knowledge buyers have regarding supplier diversity initiatives. Organizational buying behavior and social-cognitive theories provide structure to the investigation of buyers' frames of reference regarding their task-processes and task-practices as they relate to minority-owned, woman-owned, and disadvantaged business enterprises (MWDBE) spend. The primary data gathering method for interpreting buyers' "diversity frames" is in-depth interviews. The data are coded and triangulated with data collected from observations, informal conversations, company documents, and archival materials. During the iterative analysis process of constant comparison---a grounded theory technique---four diversity frames emerged. Each is derived from the decision-making process of conscious (C) and/or unconscious (U) thoughts (T) and actions (A), buyers form in making sense of selecting underrepresented vendors. These dimensions are designated: Enablers (CT/UA), Espousers (CT/CA), Conformers (UT/CA), and Conservators (UT/UA). Cross-case analysis on task performance reveals congruence in task-process and incongruence in task-practices. These findings provide grounds for building theory on organizational buyers' thought/action processes. Based on these results, hypotheses are generated for future testing. Having knowledge of buyers' diversity frames and understanding their similarities and differences may be the necessary link for developing strategic sourcing strategies to manage the successful implementation and adoption of supplier diversity initiatives.


Diversity; Diversity Management; Frames; Management; Organizational Buying; Range; Social Cognitions; Supplier; Supplier Diversity Initiative; Theory

Controlled Subject

Management; Marketing

File Format


File Size

5580.8 KB

Degree Grantor

University of Nevada, Las Vegas




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