Generation Y information technology employees in the workplace: A qualitative study on how leadership motivates creativity and retention

by Mitchell, Daisy A., Ph.D., CAPELLA UNIVERSITY, 2015, 130 pages; 3682646


Today's leaders are challenged by leading four different generations of employees in the workplace. Members of the three previous generation cohorts are either established in their working styles, retiring, or preparing to retire. This research study focused on the latest generation to enter the workforce, Generation Y individuals, who were between 20 and 33 years of age and represented more than 72 million prospective employees internationally. Earlier studies identified Generation Y personality traits, beliefs, and the tendency to change jobs frequently, which was projected to cost approximately $1 billion annually. However, no studies were identified addressing how leaders could cultivate a workplace that inspired creativity or retention amongst this generation. This exploratory qualitative study used snowball sampling to solicit 20 Generation Y information technology (IT) employees, 17 males and 3 females, in the midwestern and southern United States who were employed in large, medium- sized, and small organizations. Telephone interviews were conducted to explore the transformational leadership theory to ascertain whether that style of leadership could effectively promote creativity and retention among Generation Y employees in IT occupations. Themes emerged through deductive and inductive analysis, which supported previous studies of Generation Y personality, traits, and behaviors. This information will help form a firm foundation on which leaders can lead Generation Y employees in IT occupations. However, this study also found in some cases, a Generation Y employee's retention was solely dependent on the individual employee's personality, traits, and behaviors. Therefore, retention is not entirely a reflection on leadership style.

AdviserMargaret A. Eggleston
Source TypeDissertation
SubjectsManagement; Organization theory
Publication Number3682646

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