Alumni

Identity of minority leaders in organizations

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Description: Leadership is a contested concept in organizational communication literature that has traditionally been studied from the white male viewpoint. While researchers in the field have studied concepts of minorities, leadership and identity separately, this study responds to the lack of research on how minority leaders negotiate their identities. The study uses Weick's concept of sensemaking as an approach to understanding leadership from the perspective of minority leaders and to learning more about how they negotiate their identities within an organizational setting. Eleven minority leaders were interviewed from various organizations to gain a better sense of how this process of meaning construction works. The major leadership themes that emerged through the interview process were: Leadership as trusted advisor and encourager, leadership as caretaker, and leadership as not above working in the trenches. The main issues these minorities encountered in their own performance of leadership were: necessity of overdemonstration (being better in some ways than their non-minority counterparts), overcoming a stigma, lack of appreciation of diversity, and intersectionality.
Language: English
Format: Degree Work