Framing Difference and Leadership: An Analysis of the Framing Processes of Emerging and Practicing Leaders
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Individuals who identify with a social minority group, particularly African American, tend to face problematic social conditions wherein difference becomes a salient factor by which they must make sense of, negotiate, and manage as they fulfill the role of “leader.” Researchers and practitioners have investigated and addressed this issue for a number of decades. Much of this research continues to classify the findings in overly simplistic terms (e.g., good/bad, positive/negative, evil/angelic). This dissertation engages such research by focusing on the how minority leaders at varying stages of their careers engage difference and leadership. Overall, this dissertation seeks to address the specific framing devices emerging and practicing leaders deploy to make sense of issues at the intersection of difference and leadership. To this aim, more than 40 interviews were conducted to better understand the day-to-day, ongoing negotiations of African Americans who are actively seeking (emerging) or filling (practicing) leadership roles. The analysis highlights eight framing devices enacted by practicing leaders and seven framing devices enacted by emerging leaders as they make sense of and strategically maneuver issues of difference and leadership. Several significant findings emerge that highlight the following points: the participants in this study enact (some) similar devices for similar purposes. Both emerging and practicing leaders enact frames to negotiate the stages within which they are experiencing organizational socialization. Continued research is necessary to unpack the complexities of difference and leadership.
Collins, Brittany L (2015). Framing Difference and Leadership: An Analysis of the Framing Processes of Emerging and Practicing Leaders. Doctoral dissertation, Texas A & M University. Available electronically from