Career framework: A study of Black men in corporate executive positions in "Fortune" 1000 companies

by Melton, Sonya D., Ph.D., CAPELLA UNIVERSITY, 2008, 197 pages; 3337360


This qualitative study was intended to research, explore, describe, and analyze the demographics and key leadership characteristics of Black men in corporate executive positions in Fortune 1000 companies, as well as the unique challenges facing them in these positions. This study identified the similarities and differences between the findings of this research and those shared in the literature review to draw conclusions and make recommendations. This study revealed that the majority of the participants were raised in two-parent homes and their socioeconomic status was lower-middle-class. They had strong relationships with both parents, but a larger percentage of them had stronger relationships with their mothers. The highest educational level attained by the majority of the participants was a BA or BS degree. The top challenges faced by the participants in their attempts to earn executive positions were (a) lack of self-confidence in one's abilities, (b) others' lack of confidence in the participants, (c) determination to succeed despite the odds, (d) establishing credibility, and (e) assimilation. To overcome these challenges, this study suggests the following: (a) a Black man should conduct a self-assessment by making sure he has a positive attitude, is well-groomed, and prepared; (b) he should be determined to succeed by understanding the business inside and out, working hard, and producing solid results; (c) a Black man should be willing to assimilate by conforming to the White male-dominated corporate environment, while remaining true to himself; (d) a Black man needs to know that the glass ceiling may exist, but it does not have to impact his path to the executive level; and (e) a Black man should be able to set a vision and inspire others to meet or exceed the necessary goals to achieve the vision. The findings of this study suggest the top three leadership characteristics a Black man should have are (a) credibility and respect, (b) ethnic awareness, and (c) business acumen.

AdviserRubye Howard Braye
Source TypeDissertation
SubjectsBlack studies; Black history; Management
Publication Number3337360

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