This study examines the relationship between the mentoring of African American professionals and the perceived impact it has on their career success. African American professional mentoring relationships are quantified in terms of number of mentors, duration of relationships, and demographics. Mentor traits and functions perceived to be associated with career success are identified and ranked according to their perceived level of importance. Using a survey and interviews with participants, data were collected from African American members of the Peoria Black Chamber of Commerce (BCC) based in Peoria County, Illinois. The study was structured as a single descriptive case study approach. The Pearson correlation coefficient was used to test the research hypotheses and results indicated a significant positive relationship at the .05 level (p < 0.05) between the mentoring of African American professionals and their perceptions of career success among members of the Peoria BCC. Mentor traits found to contribute most to African American professional career success were competence, wisdom, integrity, approachability, and authenticity. Mentor functions found to contribute most to African American professional career success were coaching, providing exposure and visibility, counseling, role-modeling, and acceptance and confirmation. Seven common themes emerged from in-depth interviews with survey participants. The study also discovered a deep-seated commitment by protégés to give back to others as a result of the help and support they had received from their mentors. Findings from this research provide expanded clarity in the connection between the mentoring of African Americans and their career success and a deeper understanding of the African American mentoring phenomenon.
|Subjects||Black studies; Management; Organizational behavior|
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