Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

The Impact of Racial Centrality on Authenticity and the Race-Based Impression Management Strategies of Black Management Consultants
by Dennard, Brook, Ed.D., The George Washington University, 2017, 254; 10264678
Abstract (Summary)

The management consulting profession in the United States is one of the fastest growing and most profitable industries in the world. Despite the industry’s increasing popularity and growth, racial minorities remain disproportionately underrepresented in this industry.

This dissertation sought to shed light on the unique experiences of minorities in the management consulting industry by examining the experiences of Black management consultants and the relationships that exist between the centrality of race, authenticity at work, and the use of race-based impression management (RIM) strategies. This study also sought to contribute to theory by validating a conceptual model, which posits that the centrality of race moderates the relationship between RIM strategies and authenticity at work.

An online survey was developed using existing instruments designed to measure the centrality of race to one’s identity, authenticity at work, and the use of RIM strategies. Quantitative data were gathered from management consultants who identified as Black and were currently or previously employed at a large multinational management consulting firm with 100,000 or more employees. Usable data were collected from 201 participants, and structural equation modeling was used to analyze the data.

This study found that the RIM strategy social recategorization was significantly related to the ability to be authentic at work, and regardless of whether the centrality of race to one’s identity was high or low, the relationship between social recategorization and participants’ ability to be authentic at work was negatively related. No significant relationship was found between RIM strategy of positive distinctiveness and the ability to be authentic at work, regardless of the degree of racial centrality. The conceptual model developed for this study could not be validated due to low levels of variance around the construct of racial centrality.

Findings from this study provide empirical insights into the experiences of Black management consultants and contribute to theory, practice, and research regarding the challenges associated with navigating cross-cultural interactions in the workplace.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Casey, Andrea J.
Commitee: Jones, Rhonda, Roberts, Laura M.
School: The George Washington University
Department: Human and Organizational Learning
School Location: United States -- District of Columbia
Source: DAI-A 78/09(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Management, Organization Theory, Organizational behavior
Keywords: Authenticity at work, Black management consultants, Management consulting, Organizational and workplace diversity, Race-based impression management, Racial centrality
Publication Number: 10264678
ISBN: 978-1-369-69955-5
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