Upward mobility among African American male executives in corporate America: A phenomenological study

by Newson, Charles D., Ph.D., CAPELLA UNIVERSITY, 2013, 120 pages; 3598843


Due to the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and other affirmative action policies, African Americans hold or have held significant executive positions in corporate America. Six African Americans are chief executive officers of Fortune 1000 companies. This is relatively minuscule compared to White male executives in corporate America. The goal of this study was to determine how those few African American male executives have successfully achieved and sustained positions of power in corporate America, specifically actions taken associated with the enabling factors and actions avoided regarding the inhibiting factors. This researcher explored the lived experience of African American male executives who have different levels of education, socioeconomic status, and family backgrounds. The study's 15 participants have reached the status of director or above in their chosen professions. The researcher utilized Goodly's (2007) upward advancement model as a guide for the study. The research questions guiding the study were (a) How have African American male executives successfully achieved upward mobility and sustained positions of power in corporate America? and (b) While advancing as an executive in corporate America, each executive will have completed actions: What actions were taken that could be associated with the enabling factors? and What actions were avoided that could be associated with the inhibiting factors? The findings of the study indicated that African American men are able to achieve and sustain positions of power in corporate America. The participants shared a common evolution that allowed them to advance to executive status; that common evolution included setting career goals, having role models, planning and strategizing, moving upwardly, and succeeding. Education, mentoring, and networking were also critical in the participants' upward mobility and sustaining power in corporate America.

AdviserRubye Braye
Source TypeDissertation
SubjectsAfrican American studies; Black studies; Management
Publication Number3598843

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