Date of Award

Fall 2022

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Public Administration (DPA)


Public Policy and Administration

Committee Chairperson

Dr. Kristen B. Crossney, Ph.D

Committee Member

Dr. Michelle Wade, Ph.D., MPA

Committee Member

Dr. Mark W. Davis, Ph.D., MPA



Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis: Exploring the Lived Experiences of African-American City/County Managers and the Impact of Mentoring on the Profession

Literature regarding African-American City/County manager's experiences in local governments is limited, and any available resources primarily focus on the profession. An interpretative phenomenological analysis was used to explore the experiences of African-American city/county managers from their viewpoints. Grounded in Critical Race Theory, this investigative research attempted to shed light on the lived experiences of Black City/County managers pursuing their professional goals to lead a municipal organization. The study also aimed to understand the impact mentoring has on the profession.

Data were gathered via survey questions and audio-recorded interviews with each participant to comprehend this phenomenon better and address the research questions. Four themes developed from the researched data:

Self-awareness and knowing the organization, Being the First Black City Manager, Advancement in the Profession, The Importance of Relationship building and mentoring, Lacking African-American Leadership