EXAMINING CAREER SUCCESS AND MENTORSHIP AMONG AFRICAN-AMERICAN PRACTITIONERS IN PUBLIC RELATION
This study examined the role of mentorship in assisting African Americans in public relations with promotion, salary growth, retention, job satisfaction and overcoming racial barriers. In-depth interviews were used to explore the relationship between career success and mentorship in careers of eleven African American public relations practitioners. The social exchange theory, leader-member exchange theory and perceived organizational support were used to guide this study. Mentoring was shown to contribute to career success, which includes a direct link to job satisfaction and retention, and an indirect link to promotion and salary growth. Additionally, mentorship was perceived as assistance for overcoming racial barriers because of psychological support. The results suggest that because of social divisions, African Americans have taken extra measures to achieve success in the workplace. These findings contribute to literatures regarding mentorship, career success and African American in public relations.