Date of Graduation

5-2012

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Education in Human Resource and Workforce Development (EdD)

Degree Level

Graduate

Department

Rehabilitation, Human Resources and Communication Disorders

Advisor

Claretha Hughes

Committee Member

Bobbie T. Biggs

Second Committee Member

Michael T. Miller

Keywords

Social sciences; Education; Black women; Career development; Fortune 500; Leadership; Organizational development; Self-efficacy; Social cognition; Women leaders

Abstract

Black women are underrepresented in leadership positions within organizations. The extent to which self-efficacy influences the advancement potential of Black females is unknown. The purpose of this study was to examine the self-efficacy beliefs of black women in leadership positions and to determine how Black women leaders' careers are influenced by their self-efficacy beliefs. Participants for the study were determined using convenient random sampling. The objectives of this study were to determine the profile and level of self-efficacy, and leadership practices of participants based on tenure (length of time in a leadership position), age comparison and work experience (total number of years in a leadership position). The results of the study indicated that Black women in leadership positions at Fortune 500 companies are highly efficacious. They are able to overcome challenges and obstacles encountered in their work environments despite barriers that persist to keep them from advancing into higher levels of leadership. Black women are still plagued by cultural norms that warrant organizational change because they perpetuate stereotypes and ill-formed perceptions. Implications were determined to be new human resource development insights regarding how self-efficacy beliefs relate to the career and leadership advancement and success of black women as it has for other individuals.