Stratification, Communication Tactics, and Black Women: Navigating the Social Domain of Nonprofit Organizations

By Adesaogun, Risikat; Flottemesch, Kim et al. | Journal of Organizational Culture, Communications and Conflict, January 2015 | Go to article overview

Stratification, Communication Tactics, and Black Women: Navigating the Social Domain of Nonprofit Organizations


Adesaogun, Risikat, Flottemesch, Kim, Ibrahim-DeVries, Basma, Journal of Organizational Culture, Communications and Conflict


LITERATURE REVIEW

Introduction

Nonprofit organizations devoted to serving communities in need are led overwhelmingly by white non-hispanic individuals, despite generally having an overall diverse staff of professionals (Adetimirin, 2008; De Vita & Roeger, 2009; Ostrower, 2007). The race stratification that occurs in the nonprofit industry can be understood as the grouping of one racial group at the leadership and decision-making level within a nonprofit and the grouping of another at the front-line and entry-level positions within an organization. Despite nonprofit organizations being devoted to doing good work, financial backers are now much more interested in seeing racially and ethnically diverse individuals at the decision-making table (Cohen, 2011). Some scholars have suggested that securing minority representation in leadership roles produces generally positive results for nonprofit organizations (De Vita, 2009). However, despite knowing that obstacles exist for people of color in their pursuit of nonprofit leadership, there remains the question of what kinds of actions people of color have taken to maximize their career success and how they strategically communicate to achieve upward career mobility within the nonprofit field.

Stratification & Diversity in Nonprofits

Defining diversity is integral to understanding the racial and ethnic stratification of leadership in the nonprofit industry. Some researchers investigated the main question of whether minority employees were represented in top-tier decision making roles in nonprofit organizations (Adetimirin, 2008; Ostrower, 2007). When examining the concept of diversity in organizations, it is important to pay special attention to how one defines diversity.

In one study, a group of researchers tasked with determining whether a more diverse decision-making group increased overall transparency defined diversity simply as "[the] level of ethnic and gender heterogeneity within the community's leadership structure" (Armstrong, 2008, p. 809). A report in the Nonprofit Quarterly discussed diversity in more quantifiable terms, stating that to be diverse, an organization's board of directors needed to have at least 50% minority involvement, along with a clearly expressed mission statement with goals that would directly serve minority communities (Cohen, 2008). A report on the racial-ethnic diversity in California's nonprofits discussed three separate definitions of diversity, with one model reflecting the 50% minority board member rule, and a second model which required the target population to be predominantly minorities in addition to the requirements of the first model. The report's third definition of diversity focused on minority-led organizations that were comprised of a minority leader, majority-minority board and staff members, and a mission statement devoted to serving and empowering minority communities (De Vita & Roeger, 2009).

Nonprofit organizations have defined diversity in a variety of ways; however, even though organizations often tout their diverse staff, funders have an overall preference for what they call "real diversity, not token demographics" (Cohen, 2011, p.2). Despite the desires of funders to have an authentic representation of diversity in nonprofit organizations, some organizations appear uninterested in change. An article on a proposed law intended to reduce ethnic and racial discrimination at the foundation level put into more succinct words the attitude towards diversity in nonprofit organizations: "It is [a] policy conundrum [for proponents of AB 624]...whose diversity approaches reflect a framework of "valuing" diversity but do not alter the power relationships within institutional philanthropy" (Cohen, 2008, p.6).

A national study conducted by researchers from the Commongood Careers and Level Playing Institute (2011) examined diversity in nonprofit organizations with the goal of learning about what actions nonprofit organizations should take in order to build and sustain high functioning and diverse organizations. …

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

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
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

(Einhorn 25)

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

Note: primary sources have slightly different requirements for citation. Please see these guidelines for more information.

Cited article

Stratification, Communication Tactics, and Black Women: Navigating the Social Domain of Nonprofit Organizations
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?

Help
Full screen
Items saved from this article
  • Highlights & Notes
  • Citations
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.”

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, 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." (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

    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.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Search by... Author
    Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.