Date of Award

8-2019

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)

Department

Executive Leadership

First Supervisor

Guillermo Montes

Second Supervisor

Robert Rue

Abstract

The purpose of this research is to address a significant gap in leadership studies that fail to explore the meaning of leadership in the American workplace from the voice of Black executive leaders of the Christian faith. This study involved senior-level executives from the medical, law, higher education, primary education, business, and governmental professions in New York State. This research fills a void by being the first empirical study of leadership and spirituality in the workplace to examine executive-level leaders who live from the Black experience, and who emerge from the Christian faith. Hermeneutic phenomenology was used as the research method to investigate, interpret and make meaning of the lived experiences. Two questions guided this research: (RQ1) What does it mean to be a Black Christian executive leader in the American workplace? (RQ2) How do Black Christian executive leaders define leadership? The results of this study reflect four major themes: (a) half the benefits and double the misery: the sources of norm of being Black in the American workplace, (b) God can be experienced: Christian faith in the workplace, (c) exemplary leadership in the workplace, and (d) the intersectionality of leadership, Christianity, and being Black in the workplace. The findings also revealed that being a “Black” “Christian” “executive leader” is like a synergy and are so intimately connected that an attempt to separate the three is to try and divide an experience that cannot be untied. A shifting dynamic for leadership at work was found in the interconnectedness of the synergy; in public discourse, leaders are more likely to succeed through challenges by thinking in context of all that they are.

Available for download on Thursday, February 11, 2021

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