African American Male Business Leaders: Perceived Factors of Motivation Leading to Success

Date of Degree


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)




Richard Henderson


Dorothy Ettling


Absael Antelo


Jessica Kimmel


The purpose of this research study was to investigate the perceived factors of motivation that contributed to the success of eight African American male business leaders who participated in this study. A qualitative interpretative approach was used, and several key areas were explored to include: (a) the impact of family on success, (b) how social factors impact success, (c) the role of culture on success, (d) how motivation affects success, and (e) the role of education on success. Participants were chosen through purposeful sampling, and face to face interviews were conducted. Open ended questions were developed in order to solicit active participation and to gather detailed information about the lived experiences of each participant. The theoretical framework used for this study was Lent, Hackett, and Brown's Social Cognitive Career Theory (SCCT), which is based on Bandura's Social Cognitive Theory. Results of the study revealed several common themes that the participants felt contributed to their success which included: (a) the impact of family, (b) belief in self, (c) helping others, (d) faith, and (e) personal challenges. Although these factors became apparent, the single most important factor of motivation for the participants in this study was family encouragement. All participants named a family member or both parents when asked, who they most admired and what had been some of the driving forces in their lives. The goal of this study was to add to the body of knowledge related to African American male business leaders, to gain a deeper understanding of some of the sacrifices as well as success factors that may be beneficial to others, and to suggest areas for further research in order to ensure a renewed focus on the success of these as well as other African American males.

This document is currently not available here.