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New Work on Black Male Leadership

At IBIS, our team members work hard to stay current on emerging concepts in Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI)  —- and define NEW best practices in order to establish thought leadership that can guide your organization well into the future.  

IBIS Senior Consultant Dr. Enin Rudel is breaking new ground on the topic of Black male leadership with his article on “Emotional Intelligence, Organizational Social Architecture and Black Male Leadership,” for which he is lead author.

The article can be found in the current special issue of Advances in Developing Human Resources (ADHR), an online, peer-reviewed academic journal.

This is the first (and only) study to explore the connection between emotional intelligence, organizational social architecture, and Black male leadership.

While the terms organizational architecture & social architecture existed previously, the study contributes to existing literature by establishing the term “organizational social architecture.”

As a concept, organizational social architecture allows for deeper exploration of workplace culture. Beyond examining the challenges often experienced by diverse leadership, this research explores organizational readiness in terms of its ability to support leaders of color. Beyond diversifying the workforce, this research encourages organizations to consider the role of employee retention, employee engagement, and job satisfaction in its effort to establish a healthy, psychologically safe, work place environment for all employees. Themes such as the importance of mentorship, intercultural literacy, and organizational support serve as the foundation for this research.

The article, based on Dr. Rudel’s dissertation at William James College, was first published in August 2021 as a standalone article. It was re-released (in hard copy format) in November 2021, as part of ADHR’s first issue to feature all Black, lead-authors. That issue was recently voted “ADHR’s Best Issue Award” for 2021.

An introduction to the article follows:

Leadership is a social phenomenon that generally assumes a homogenous model of a leader who is typically white and male.

This perception challenges the leadership of the Black male whose identity as a leader is shaped by a socio-historical and sociocultural identity.

Black male leadership in predominantly white workplaces is complicated by simultaneously having to overcome stereotypical images of blackness while struggling to gain equal status with white counterparts. As a consequence, Black males must navigate their leadership role with Emotional Intelligence (EI) and social competence.

In the process of navigating social identity in predominantly white organizations, Black males experience two-ness, that is the effect of experiencing distinctly different social identities and explains how Black male leaders are influenced in complex and varied ways in their social environment.

The ubiquitous nature of two-ness essentially encourages the formation of two separate dialects. Thus, Black male leaders must learn to oscillate between the two dialectic approaches, an experience that can be emotional and socially stressful.

Therefore, emotional intelligence will be explored as an under-studied phenomenon for the effective leadership experiences of Black males.

Dr. Rudel’s article goes on to explore mentorship, psychological safety, code switching and other concepts that need to be better understood in order to build greater support for Black male leaders. To work with Dr. Enin Rudel and IBIS on these or any other topics, contact us to start the conversation on workshops, consulting, assessments, interactive theater, and more ways to build DEI awareness.