Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)



First Advisor

Dr. Lynn Harland

Second Advisor

Dr. Hollis Glaser

Third Advisor

Dr. Robert Carlson


This thesis reports on consensus decision making of quality improvement teams in the organizational setting. Specifically the study sought to determine whether a previously developed consensus instrument was a reliable and utilitarian measure of consensus. Analysis showed that the instrument was reliable, alpha = .9729, but its usefulness remains in question. Additionally, other research questions addressed the relationship between external expert stakeholders' assessments of effectiveness and team members' assessments as measured by the instrument. Analyses showed only minimal relationship. As an unanticipated result in three tests, a negative relationship was found between one rater's rankings and a groups' consensus levels as compared to other groups' consensus levels. In tests of difference for sociodemographic variables, gender differences were found in the study, in that females consistently reported higher levels of consensus than their male peers. However, tests for the variables of age and title classification yielded no significant results.


A Thesis Presented to the Department of Communication and the Faculty of the Graduate College University of Nebraska In Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for the Degree Master of Arts University of Nebraska at Omaha. Copyright Ginger L. Riffel July, 1996