Preferred leadership style and traits: Differences among the multigenerational workforce

by Sautner, Rhoda, Ph.D., CAPELLA UNIVERSITY, 2012, 96 pages; 3539164


This study examined the differences in the preferred managerial style and traits in today's multigenerational workforce. By examining the statistically significant differences among the dominant generational cohorts, Baby Boomers, Gen X, and Gen Y, researchers provide managers with information on effective and appropriate leadership styles. Previous research has produced mixed results in the analysis of generational differences and excluded Gen Y in the analysis. This study utilized a questionnaire comprised of a survey developed by H.-C. Yu and P. Miller in 2005 (Leadership Style: The X Generation and Baby Boomers Compared in Different Cultural Contexts) combined with a survey developed by K. L. Wieck (What Nurses Value in Their Managers ) from the University of Texas at Tyler in 2007. The population of the study was a state agency in the West North Central United States. The study used chi-square analysis to test for statistically significant differences in the preferred managerial style among Baby Boomers, Gen X, and Gen Y. The study also used frequency analysis, the Kruskal-Wallis test, and the Mann-Whitney U test to determine statistically significant differences for the most and least desirable leadership trait among the generations. The results of this study indicate that although generational differences exist in some areas, they do not exist in all areas. The results indicate no association between generational cohort and preferred leadership style. The results of the most and least desirable leadership trait were mixed. The lack of statistically significant differences in all areas suggest that this lack of consistency indicates that other factors, not solely generational cohort membership of the employee, impact employee preferences for managerial style and traits.

AdviserLisa Cree
Source TypeDissertation
SubjectsManagement; Occupational psychology; Organizational behavior
Publication Number3539164

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