Staying in the Game: UCLA'S African American Leadership Institute Works to Better Prepare Black Executives for Corporate Culture

By Brotherton, Phaedra | Black Issues in Higher Education, December 5, 2002 | Go to article overview

Staying in the Game: UCLA'S African American Leadership Institute Works to Better Prepare Black Executives for Corporate Culture


Brotherton, Phaedra, Black Issues in Higher Education


How race and corporate culture plays out in the lives of Black executives and consequently their opportunities for advancement within their companies is a concern that many Black executives hesitate to discuss.

In 1998, researchers at Korn/Ferry International, the nation's leading executive search firm, and Columbia Business School, found that 40 percent of minority executives felt they had been denied promotions due to race or cultural background. In addition, the study of 280 of the country's top minority executives, found that minority executives felt they had to keep this to themselves--37 percent of executives surveyed said that they suppressed thoughts about their corporate culture for fear of losing their jobs or future career opportunities. More than half were planning to leave their current positions.

Ten years before Korn/Ferry conducted their research, Dr. William Ouchi, a business professor at the Anderson Graduate School of Management at the University of California-Los Angeles (UCLA), found similar results in his research--companies were losing mid- to high-level minority managers bemuse the higher they moved up the ladder, the more isolated they felt. This isolation often led to them leaving the company.

Ouchi, the former vice dean of the office of executive education at Anderson, had experience with an effective leadership program for Asian Americans that addressed career and leadership issues. He conferred with Dr. David M. Porter Jr., an assistant professor at Anderson whose research focuses on race and gender issues in the workplace. They then collaborated with two outside experts in the area of race and career issues, and in 1997, the African American Leadership Institute (AALI) was launched at UCLA.

Porter, co-founder of AALI, described as a leadership development program for high-potential minority executives, says the timing for the program was right.

"There was enough research and knowledge showing that the career experiences of African Americans are different from their White counterparts," says Porter, who also serves as faculty director of the institute. "We felt we could develop a program around that knowledge."

`HIGH POTENTIALS'

The participants, who attend the program for $4,950, are mid- to high-level managers considered "high potentials" by their sponsoring companies.

Markell Steele, a career counselor and program director for AALI, says they market the program through their relationships with companies and through trade shows for managers, human resource and diversity professionals. Business also comes through referrals from past participants. A growing area for the institute is customizing programs for specific companies or organizations.

For example, the National Association of Minorities in Cable--a professional organization--has contracted with AALI to develop a specialized program for its members.

"In some cases, companies will identify people to attend the program; other times managers approach the company for funds" to attend, Steele says.

The executives represent a wide range of companies from Fortune 500 companies, such as IBM and Raytheon, to government agencies and higher education institutions, such as the U.S. Postal Service and Harvard University.

Besides being the only program of its kind at a university, AALI is unique in that it provides the opportunity and environment for Black managers to interact with other Black professionals.

"For the first time ever in their career, they are in a room with 30 other Black managers," says Steele. They are able to get that "reality check" about challenges they are facing, what they might or might not be reading into situations. They can find out how others handled situations and are able to discuss the challenges they face as Black managers in a "safe" place, she says.

The five-day executive development program is held once a year, offering courses such as "Your Role in Affirmative Action and Effective Problem Resolution" and "Conversations About Power: Acquisition, Maintenance and Usage" (see sidebar). …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Staying in the Game: UCLA'S African American Leadership Institute Works to Better Prepare Black Executives for Corporate Culture
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.