Date of Conferral







Daphne Halkias


A literature gap exists in research using a layered account approach that positions and deconstructs Black men's narratives of developmental relationships with career mentors and sponsors who offer access to promotion opportunities. The purpose of this qualitative, narrative inquiry study was to gain a deeper understanding of how professional Black men view their daily experiences in building developmental relationships with career mentors and sponsors. The narrative inquiry method was used to address the problem and answer the research question using interview data from nine professional Black men holding a high-ranking position within their industry sector and being mentored during their career trajectory. This study was framed by three key concepts aligning with the purpose of the study: (a) Eby and Robertson's concept of developmental mentoring relationships, (b) Hewlett's concept of career sponsorship, and (c) Louis and Freeman's concept of mentoring Black professional men. The critical event approach was used to analyze the data and four conceptual categories emerged: (a) need for constructive mentoring relationships, (b) mentors providing professional and personal growth development to protégés, (c) significance of sponsorship for upward mobility, and (d) challenges faced by Black professional men in leadership roles today. This study is significant to drive positive social change by raising awareness of successful experiences of Black men in the workplace and thus altering perceptions on the value of Black men as aspiring organizational leaders, given that narratives of racial experiences help to inform employers' outlook on equity, inclusion, and social justice within an organizational context.