African American women perceptions of mentoring in first-time management positions: A qualitative study

by Webb, Pamela Y., Ph.D., CAPELLA UNIVERSITY, 2014, 129 pages; 3619555


Researchers have indicated that career advancement of African American women still lags behind that of other groups by a considerable margin. This qualitative study design, with a purposefully selected sample of 10 members from a southeastern African American business organization, describes African American women perceptions of mentoring in their first-time management positions. The rationale for this study emanated from the writer's assumption that global trends in demographics in business competition have made the development of African American women in senior management roles a business imperative. The primary method of data collection was semi-structured interviews. The data were collected, coded, and organized according to the research questions. An interpretation of data was organized by way of six themes: (a) networking and connections enabled adaptation to the culture, (b) conduct and professionalism reflected an awareness of cultural norms, (c) ability to fit in facilitated company negotiations, (d) success led to increased confidence, (e) career advancement aligned with prior job success, and (f) psychosocial support helped cope with workplace interactions. These themes are consistent with the social exchange theory. The data revealed that mentors helped their protégées move up the corporate ladder, which built self-confidence. In turn, the mentor-protégée relationship provided the mentor with a sense of trust and connection to those she led. Included among the recommendations offered for future research is that organizations take more aggressive measures to align African American female managers with experienced male and female managers of all races. Given that multiple factors affect career advancements and acknowledging that these vary across cultures and industries, the recommendations put forth should be considered for their appropriateness on an individual basis.

AdviserJames Krolik
Source TypeDissertation
SubjectsAfrican American studies; Business administration; Educational leadership; Management
Publication Number3619555

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.