Date of Graduation

2012

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)

Department/Program

Leadership Studies

First Advisor

Patricia Mitchell

Second Advisor

Brian Gerrard

Third Advisor

Betty Taylor

Abstract

Corporate America struggles with inclusion of certain groups such as Black women. Although Black women have met or surpassed their Caucasian, Hispanic, Asian, and Native American female counterparts and their Black male counterparts in education, and sit on boards of Fortune 500 companies, too many Black women are stymied in attempts for advancement as a result of nepotism and cronyism. Oftentimes, Black women are left with feelings of incompetence and believing they are undervalued in the workplace.

This study examined Black women's perceptions of nepotism and cronyism in the workplace. Further, the study was conducted to establish to what extent a relationship existed among nepotism, cronyism, job satisfaction, and job-focused self-efficacy (JFSE) in the workplace. Black women shared personal experiences with nepotism and cronyism, perceptions of others in the workplace, and experiences of others with respect to nepotism and cronyism. Social-cognitive theory of self-efficacy served as the theoretical rationale for this study; concepts of diversity and minorities offered additional support to the study.

The study used a quantitative methodology: an online survey consisted of 40 items and demographic information. Using previously tested inventories, data were collected through Survey Monkey and transferred to SPSS and Minitab for further analysis and testing. Results supported the concern that Black women and other disenfranchised groups or protected classes experience nepotism and cronyism in the workplace. However, no significant relationships existed among nepotism, cronyism, job satisfaction, and JFSE. Overall, Black women participants reported being overwhelming satisfied with their current jobs and were extremely confident in their abilities to do their jobs and overcome any challenges they faced.

Although there was no positive correlation among nepotism, cronyism, job satisfaction, and JFSE or perception thereof among these Black women, the debate over whether nepotism and cronyism help or hinder employers and employees in the work place continues. Researchers agree on the dearth of empirical data on these practices and what impact nepotism and cronyism have on employees in the workplace. Equally important, Black women have made contributions and created ways of informing employers that they are competent and deserve the opportunity for career development and advancement in the workplace.

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