Strengthening The Bonds Between Brothers is an autoethnographic study. I sought to foster effective organizational communication within The Men of Harambee in order to achieve success as defined by participants. Furthermore, I wanted to turn my talents into strengths. To do so my study used Clifton’s StrengthsFinders personal assessment and interrelated methods of strengths workshops, ethnographic interviews, and participant observations. I made use of Kenneth Burke’s theory of identification in order to help participants identify with their “strengths” as well as those of their fraternity brothers during workshops and ethnographic interviews. As a member of the organization I observed interactions between my Bruhs and included myself within the study. I found interactions between members vital to analyzing the organization under the assumptions of the Organizational Culture Theory. I discovered four major themes of confidence/self-efficacy, Identification with strengths, leadership, and Organization Brotherhood Equipoise (OBE). At the completion of my study I concluded that I fostered effective organization communication but it was not maintained, I developed my talents into strengths, my participants did not successfully adopt the fifth phase of strengths development of “initial development”, and that my study was a beneficial method of analysis for a historically Black fraternal organization at a predominately White institution.


Atay, Ahmet

Second Advisor

Goldberg, Don

Third Advisor

Bostdorff, Denise


Communication Studies


African American Studies | Higher Education | Interpersonal and Small Group Communication | Organizational Communication


Clifton StrengthsFinders, Black male, success, identification, higher education, autoethnography

Publication Date


Degree Granted

Bachelor of Arts

Document Type

Senior Independent Study Thesis



© Copyright 2014 Peter B. Jeffy