Next generation leadership: Millennials as leaders

by Fore, Carolyn White, Ph.D., CAPELLA UNIVERSITY, 2013, 197 pages; 3553334


This qualitative study explored the leadership style of Millennial leaders. As Veterans and Baby Boomers approach retirement and exit the workforce, Millennials, born between 1980 and 2000, are rapidly entering the workforce. Existing research documents specific leadership styles for each of the three older generational cohorts currently in the workforce, Veterans, Baby Boomers, and Generation X. Yet no previous research identified a specific leadership style of Millennials. In-depth interviews with Millennial leaders explored how these Millennial leaders describe their generational cohort's leadership style. A critical review of the generational cohort and leadership style literature informed the question of Millennial leadership style and this study's design. The purposefully selected 15 participants chosen for this study were drawn from a population of Millennial leaders having prior leadership experience, and raised in the United States to have shared the generational cohort experiences of other Millennials during formative years of their lives. The study was limited to a metropolitan area in a South Atlantic state. The research revealed that Millennial leaders have a different style of leadership from other generational cohorts currently in the workforce. The findings of the research indicate that Millennial leaders describe themselves as hands-off, delegating, autonomous, motivating, and goal oriented. Millennial leaders are collaborative and use their technology skills to network. These leaders are passionate about their work and their commitment to social consciousness. They value family and friends over work and have a perspective of work-life balance that is different from other cohorts. Millennial leaders expect to have many mentors available and value the experience these mentors bring to guide them through their development as leaders. Millennial leaders learned their leadership skills through trial and error, often modeled their views of how things should be in reaction to a negative leadership experience. Organizations will be challenged to keep the best of the Millennial leaders because they are passionate about meeting their personal goals and expect to have careers that fulfill their desire to make a difference. Recommendations for future research include additional research on Millennial as leaders, their leadership development, and comparison of leadership styles across different generational cohorts.

AdviserLaura Markos
Source TypeDissertation
SubjectsManagement; Organization theory; Organizational behavior
Publication Number3553334

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