Biculturalism - Outsiders Within: The Career Development Experiences of Black Human Resource Developers

Ian C. Barrett*, Ronald M. Cervero, Juanita Johnson-Bailey

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Consistent with the career development issues that black* people encounter, it is likely that black human resource developers face unique career development issues versus human resource developers in general. However, an exhaustive search did not find research that has focused specifically on the career development process of black human resource development professionals. Therefore, the purpose of this study was to describe the career experiences of black human resource developers. A qualitative study was conducted of 10 black human resource developers. Interviewing was the primary data collection method and the data were analyzed using the constant comparative method. The results of this study indicate that the respondents experienced similar career challenges to other black workers. Based on the results, we posit that because of racial prejudice and discrimination, black human resource developers serve as outsiders within traditional work organizations and become skilled at using bicultural strategies for managing various aspects of their lives.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)109-128
Number of pages20
JournalJournal of Career Development
Issue number2
StatePublished - Dec 2003
Externally publishedYes


  • Biculturalism
  • Human resource developers
  • Outsiders within
  • Race


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