Peer Mentoring and the Importance of Identity Work: A Case Study on Increasing Study Abroad Participation Among African American Students
Keywords:Diversity, equity and inclusion, African Americans, mentoring, disparities, business education
This article presents a longitudinal case study of efforts to increase participation of African American students who study abroad within an undergraduate business program. Based on an initial assessment, programmatic efforts were put into place and the impact measured across a five-year period. Results show that specific program changes that leverage peer mentoring and identity work substantially increased study abroad participation among African American business students. Key aspects of effective and inclusive program design along with the importance of peer-to-peer mentoring and identity work are discussed ln terms of their role in reducing racial disparities in study abroad participation.
Allen, T.D., Eby, L.T., Chao, G.T. & Bauer, T.N. (2017). Taking stock of two relationship aspects of organizational life: Tracing the history and shaping the future of socialization and mentoring research. Journal of Applied Psychology, 102(3), 324-337. https://psycnet.apa.org/doi/10.1037/apl0000086
Allen, T. D., Eby, L. T., & Lentz, E. (2006). Mentorship behaviors and mentorship quality associated with formal mentoring programs: closing the gap between research and practice. Journal of Applied Psychology, 91(3), 567-578. https://doi.org/10.1037/0021-9010.91.3.567
Allen, T.D., Eby, L.T., Poteet, M.L., Lentz, E., & Lima, L. (2004). Career benefits associated with mentoring for proteges: A meta-analysis. Journal of Applied Psychology, 89(1), 127-136. https://doi.org/10.1037/0021-9010.89.1.127
Allen, W. R., McLewis, C., Jones, C., & Harris, D. (2018). From Bakke to Fisher: African American students in US higher education over forty years. RSF: The Russell Sage Foundation Journal of the Social Sciences, 4(6), 41-72. https://doi.org/10.7758/rsf.2018.4.6.03
Ashforth, B. E., & Schinoff, B. S. (2016). Identity under construction: How individuals come to define themselves in organizations. Annual Review of Organizational Psychology and Organizational Behavior, 3(1), 111-137. https://doi.org/10.1146/annurev-orgpsych-041015-062322
Bain, S. F., & Yaklin, L. E. (2019). Study Abroad: Striving for Transformative Impact. Research in Higher Education Journal, 36.
Bommer, W. H., Miles, E. W., & Grover, S. L. 2003. Does one good turn deserve another? Coworker influences on employee citizenship. Journal of Organizational Behavior, 24(2), 181-196. https://psycnet.apa.org/doi/10.1002/job.187
Brunsma, D.L., Embrick, D.G. & Shin, J.H. (2017). Graduate students of color: Race, racism and mentoring in the white waters of academia. Sociology of Race and Ethnicity, 3(1), 1-13. https://doi.org/10.1177%2F2332649216681565
Burke, P. J., & Reitzes, D. C. (1981). The link between identity and role performance. Social Psychology Quarterly, 44(2), 83-92. https://doi.org/10.2307/3033704
Caza, B.B., Vough, H., & Puranik, H. (2018). Identity work in organizations and occupations: Definitions, theories, and pathways forward. Journal of Organizational Behavior, 39(7), 889- 910. https://doi.org/10.1002/job.2318
Chavous, T.M. (2000). The relationships among racial identity, perceived ethnic fit, and organizational involvement for African American students at a predominantly White university. Journal of Black Psychology, 26(1), 79-100. https://doi.org/10.1177%2F0095798400026001005
Contreras, E., López-McGee, L., Wick, D., & Willis, T. (2019). Introduction: A virtual issue on diversity and inclusion in education abroad. Frontiers: The Interdisciplinary Journal of Study Abroad, 31(Virtual), 1-6. https://doi.org/10.36366/frontiers.v31iVirtual.451
Curtin, N., Stewart, A. J., & Ostrove, J. M. (2013). Fostering academic self-concept: Advisor support and sense of belonging among international and domestic graduate students. American Educational Research Journal, 50(1), 108-137. https://psycnet.apa.org/doi/10.3102/0002831212446662
DeCastro, R., Sambuco, D., Ubel, P.A., Stewart, A. & Jagsi, R. (2013). Mentor networks in academic medicine: Moving beyond a dyadic conception of mentoring for junior faculty researchers. Academic Medicine, 88(4), 488-496. https://doi:0.1097/ACM.0b013e318285d302
DiMaggio, L. M. (2019). An analysis of the connections between involvement in study abroad, other high impact educational practices, and co-curricular activities. Frontiers: The Interdisciplinary Journal of Study Abroad, 31(1), 111-130. https://doi.org/10.36366/frontiers.v31i1.445
Ecker-Lyster, M., & Kardash, N. (2022). Study abroad: Perspectives from historically underrepresented student populations. Journal of College Access, 7(1), 8.
Ensher, E.A., Thomas, C., & Murphy, S.E. (2001). Comparison of traditional, step-ahead, and peer mentoring on protégés support, satisfaction and perceptions of career success: A social exchange perspective. Journal of Business & Psychology, 15(3), 419-438. http://dx.doi.org/10.1023/A:1007870600459
Ghosh, R., Haynes, R. K., & Kram, K. E. (2013). Developmental networks at work: Holding environments for leader development. Career Development International, 18(3), 232-256). https://doi:10.1108/CDI-09-2012-0084
Gonzalez, J.C. (2006). Academic socialization experiences of Latina doctoral students: A qualitative understanding of support systems that aid and challenges that hinder the process. Journal of Hispanic Higher Education, 5(4), 347-365. https://doi.org/10.1177%2F1538192706291141
Harris-Weedman, M. (2022). It Takes a Village: Holistic Emancipatory Framework for Students of Color in Study Abroad. In Reimagining Internationalization and International Initiatives at Historically Black Colleges and Universities (pp. 173-188). Palgrave Macmillan.
Higgins, M. & Kram, K. (2001). Reconceptualizing mentoring at work: A developmental network perspective. Academy of Management Review, 26(2), 264-298. https://doi.org/10.5465/amr.2001.4378023
Higgins, M. & Thomas, D.A. (2001). Constellations and careers: Toward understanding the effects of multiple developmental relationships. Journal of Organizational Behavior, 22(3), 223-247. https://www.jstor.org/stable/3649595
Hudson, T. D., & Morgan, R. T. (2019). Examining relationships between education abroad program design and college students' global learning. Frontiers: The Interdisciplinary Journal of Study Abroad, 31(2), 1-31. https://doi.org/10.36366/frontiers.v31i2.452
Hughes, M. S., & Popoola, V. O. (2022). Perceptions of experiential learning and racial bias following international study abroad in East Africa: A qualitative study. Journal of Studies in International Education. https://doi.org/10.1177%2F10283153221105325
Ibarra, H. & Barbulescu, R. (2010). Identity as narrative: Prevalence, effectiveness, and consequences of narrative identity work in macro work role transitions. Academy of Management Review, 35(1), 135-154. https://doi.org/10.5465/amr.35.1.zok135
Illeris, K. (2014). Transformative learning and identity. Routledge.
Kram, K. E. 1985. Mentoring at work. Scott, Foresman & Co.
Kram, K. E. (2021). Seeking support from multiple Developers: Assessing optimal structure,
content, antecedents, and outcomes of developmental networks. HRD Perspectives on Developmental Relationships: Connecting and Relating at Work, 467.
Jarvis-Selinger, S., Pratt, D.D. & Regehr, G. (2012). Competency is not enough: Integrating identity formation into the medical education discourse. Academic Medicine, 87(9): 1185-1190. DOI: 10.1097/ACM.0b013e3182604968
Kahn, W. A. (2001). Holding environments at work. The Journal of Applied Behavioral Science, 37(3), 260-279. https://doi.org/10.1177%2F0021886301373001
Kram, K. E. (1985). Mentoring at work. Scott, Foresman & Co.
Kram, K. E., & Isabella, L. A. (1985). Mentoring alternatives: The role of peer relationships in career development. Academy of Management Journal, 28(1), 110-132. https://psycnet.apa.org/doi/10.2307/256064
Kreiner, G. E., Hollensbe, E. C., & Sheep, M. L. (2006). Where is the “Me” among the “We”? Identity work and the search for optimal balance. Academy of Management Journal, 49(5), 1031-1057. https://doi.org/10.5465/amj.2006.22798186
Lane, K., & Murphrey, T. P. (2020). Benefits of and best practices for international experiences for college students: A synthesis of the literature. Journal of International Agricultural and Extension Education, 27(4), 39-61. https://doi.org/10.5191//jiaee.2020.27439
Lewis, C., Ginsberg, R., Davies, T., & Smith, K. (2004). The experiences of African American Ph.D. students at a predominately white Carnegie I-Research institution. College Student Journal, 38(2), 231-245.
Liang, D.W., Moreland, R.L., & Argote, L. 1995. Group versus individual training and group performance: The mediating role of transactive memory. Personality & Social Psychology Bulletin, 21, 383-393. https://doi.org/10.1177/0146167295214009
McDougall, M. & Beattie, R.S. (1997). Peer mentoring at work: The nature and outcomes of non-hierarchical developmental relationships. Management Learning, 28(4), 423-437. https://psycnet.apa.org/doi/10.1177/1350507697284003
McManus, S. E., & Russell, J. E. (2007). Peer mentoring relationships. The handbook of mentoring at work: Theory, research, and practice (pp. 273-297). Sage Publishing.
Murrell, A.J. and Blake-Beard, S. (2017). Mentoring Diverse Leaders: Creating Change for People, Processes and Paradigms. Routledge Publishers.
Murrell, A. J., Blake-Beard, S., & Porter, D. M. (2021). The importance of peer mentoring, identity work and holding environments: A study of African American leadership development. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 18(9), 4920. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18094920
Murrell, A. J., Blake-Beard, S., Porter, D. M., & Perkins-Williamson, A. (2008). Inter-organizational formal mentoring: Breaking the concrete ceiling sometimes requires support from the outside. Human Resource Management, 47(2), 275-294. https://doi.org/10.1002/hrm.20212
Murrell, A. J., Crosby, F. J., & Ely, R. J. (Eds.). (1999). Mentoring dilemmas: Developmental relationships within multicultural organizations. Psychology Press.
Murrell, A.J. and Onosu, G. (2021). Mentoring, leadership development and the necessity of identity work. In, Connecting and Relating: HRD Perspectives on Developmental Relationships. Palgrave MacMillan Publishers.
Murrell, A.J., Petrie-Wyman, J.L. and Soudi, A. (2019). Diversity Across Disciplines: Research on People, Policy, Process and Paradigm. Charlotte, NC: Information Age Publishing.
Murrell, A.J., Trammel-Forte, S. and Bing, D. (2008). Intelligent Mentoring: How IBM adds value through people, knowledge and relationships. Pearson Publishers.
Mustaffa, J.B. (2017). Mapping violence, naming life: A history of anti-Black oppression in the higher education system. International Journal of Qualitative Studies in Education, 30(8), 711-727. https://doi.org/10.1080/09518398.2017.1350299
Nair, N., Good, D. and Murrell, A.J. (2019). Microaggression experiences of different marginalized identities. Equality, Diversity and Inclusion, 38(8), 870-883. https://doi.org/10.1108/EDI-12-2018-0221
Ong, M., Wright, C., Espinosa, L., & Orfield, G. (2011). Inside the double bind: A synthesis of empirical research on undergraduate and graduate women of color in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. Harvard Educational Review, 81(2), 172-209. https://doi.org/10.17763/haer.81.2.t022245n7x4752v2
Pedersen, E. R., Fitzke, R. E., Bouskill, K. E., & Sedano, A. (2021). A Qualitative Look at the Impact of the COVID-19 Pandemic on American College Students Studying Abroad. Frontiers: The Interdisciplinary Journal of Study Abroad, 33(3). https://doi.org/10.36366/frontiers.v33i3.602
Petrie-Wyman, J. L., Murrell, A., & Schultz, B. (2020). Recognizing the impact of study abroad on women business students: Results from a mixed methods global competency survey. Frontiers: The Interdisciplinary Journal of Study Abroad, 32(3), 22-50. https://doi.org/10.36366/frontiers.v32i3.578
Pitt Business. (n.d.). Pitt Business Outside the Classroom Curriculum. https://cba.pitt.edu/student-life/pitt-business-outside-the-classroom/
Pratt, M. G. (2012). Rethinking identity construction process in organizations three question to consider. In Constructing Identity in and around Organizations (pp. 21-49). Oxford University Press.
Pullins, E.B. & Fine, L.M. (2002). How the performance of mentoring activities affects the mentor’s job outcomes. Journal of Personal Selling & Sales Management, 22, 259-272.
Ragins, B.R. (1997). Diversified mentoring relationships in organizations: A power perspective. Academy of Management Review, 22, 482-521. https://doi.org/10.5465/amr.1997.9707154067
Ragins, B. R., & Cotton, J. L. (1999). Mentor functions and outcomes: A comparison of men and women in formal and informal mentoring relationships. Journal of Applied Psychology, 84(4), 529. https://psycnet.apa.org/doi/10.1037/0021-9010.84.4.529
Ragins, B. R., & Kram, K. E. (2007). The Handbook of Mentoring at Work: Theory, research, and Practice. Sage Publications.
Schenker, T. (2019). Fostering Global Competence through Short-Term Study Abroad. Frontiers: The Interdisciplinary Journal of Study Abroad, 31(2), 139-157. https://doi.org/10.36366/frontiers.v31i2.459
Sellers, R.M., Chavous, T.M. & Cooke, D.Y. (1998). Racial ideology and racial centrality as predictors of African American college students’ academic performance. Journal of Black Psychology, 24, 8-27. https://doi.org/10.1177%2F00957984980241002
Spalter-Roth, R., Shin, J. H., Mayorova, O. V., & White, P. E. (2013). The impact of cross-race mentoring for “ideal” PhD careers in sociology. Sociological Spectrum, 33(6), 484-509.
Stets, J. E., & Burke, P. J. (2000). Identity theory and social identity theory. Social Psychology Quarterly, 63(3), 224. https://doi.org/10.2307/2695870
Sveningsson, S., & Alvesson, M. (2003). Managing managerial identities: Organizational fragmentation, discourse, and identity struggle. Human Relations, 56(10), 1163-1193. https://doi.org/10.1177/00187267035610001
Swap, W.D., Leonard, D., Shields, M. & Abrams, L. (2001). Using mentoring and storytelling to transfer knowledge in the workplace. Journal of Management Information Systems, 18, 95-114. https://doi.org/10.1080/07421222.2001.11045668
The Forum on Education Abroad. (2008). Standards of Good Practice for Education Abroad. https://forumea.org/resources/standards-6th-edition/standards-4-4/
Trent, F., Dwiwardani, C., & Page, C. (2021). Factors impacting the retention of students of color in graduate programs: A qualitative study. Training and Education in Professional Psychology, 15(3), 219.
Vignoles, V. L., Regalia, C., Manzi, C., Golledge, J., & Scabini, E. (2006). Beyond self-esteem: Influence of multiple motives on identity construction. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 90(2), 308-333. https://doi.org/10.1037/0022-3522.214.171.1248
Vough, H. C., Caza, B. B., & Puranik, H. (2020). Identity work in organizations. Management. https://doi.org/10.1093/obo/9780199846740-0196
Whatley, M. (2018). Toward an understanding of peer influence on undergraduate study abroad participation. Frontiers: The Interdisciplinary Journal of Study Abroad, 30(3), 51-71. https://doi.org/10.36366/frontiers.v30i3.421
Whatley, M., & Stich, A. E. (2021). From exclusive to inclusive: A mixed-methods investigation of study abroad participation and practices. The Journal of Higher Education, 92(1), 140-167. https://doi.org/10.1080/00221546.2020.1768778
Young, A.M. & Perrewe, P.L. (2000). The exchange relationships between mentors and protégés: The development of a framework. Human Resource Management Review, 10, 117-209. https://doi.org/10.1016/S1053-4822(99)00045-5
Young, A.M. & Perrewe, P.L. (2004). The role of expectations in the mentoring exchange: An analysis of mentor and protégé expectations in relation to perceived support. Journal of Managerial Issues, 16, 103-126. https://www.jstor.org/stable/40601186
Zagenczyk, T., Gibney, R., Kiewitz, C. & Restubog, S. (2009). Mentors, supervisors, and role models: do they reduce the effects of psychological contract breach? Human Resource Management Journal, 19(3), 237-259. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1748-8583.2009.00097.x
Zagenczyk, T.J., Gibney, R., Murrell, A.J., & Boss, S. (2008). Friends don’t make friends good citizens, but advisors do. Group & Organization Management, 33, 760-780. https://doi.org/10.1177%2F1059601108326806
How to Cite
Copyright (c) 2022 Audrey Murrell
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.