Barriers, motivation, and success strategies of African American women executives in nonprofit organizations: A qualitative phenomenological study

by Starling Sparks, Cynthia, Ph.D., CAPELLA UNIVERSITY, 2010, 117 pages; 3426065


African American women are successfully reaching executive or Chief Executive Officer (CEO) status in nonprofits in leadership roles, yet modest literature has been published on their success. Even less has been published on their unique sufferings, exploitation, stories, and efforts to succeed and have a voice at executive stature. This phenomenological study explored, through lived experiences, what success strategies are used by African American women, and what motivation factors were taken by those who achieved executive status in nonprofit organizations to continue to dispel the myth that women are a monolithic group and have the same experiences in the workplace. Qualitative data was gathered and analyzed from in-depth interviews conducted with 22 African American women’s historical leadership contributions, life experiences and the strategies of those who have successfully achieved executive status in nonprofit organizations. The strategies and paths to achieve executive status was diverse, yet the participants viewed education as a catalyst for success and ultimately their desire to make a difference in people’s lives or provide a service to make a difference in people’s lives as leaders of nonprofit organizations.

AdviserRhonda Waters
Source TypeDissertation
SubjectsAfrican American studies; Black studies; Women's studies; Management
Publication Number3426065

About ProQuest Dissertations & Theses
With nearly 4 million records, the ProQuest Dissertations & Theses (PQDT) Global database is the most comprehensive collection of dissertations and theses in the world. It is the database of record for graduate research.

PQDT Global combines content from a range of the world's premier universities - from the Ivy League to the Russell Group. Of the nearly 4 million graduate works included in the database, ProQuest offers more than 2.5 million in full text formats. Of those, over 1.7 million are available in PDF format. More than 90,000 dissertations and theses are added to the database each year.

If you have questions, please feel free to visit the ProQuest Web site - - or contact ProQuest Support.