Generational Differences Impact On Leadership Style And Organizational Success

Mecca M. Salahuddin


Many factors can affect organizational success. One factor that is important to organizational success is effective leadership.  Research has shown there are differences in leadership style among generations.  A cohort- group whose length approximates the span of life and boundaries and fixed by peer personality defines a generation.  The purpose of this paper is to review the current leadership styles and generational differences literature.  The paper examines whether there is a relationship between leadership style and generational cohort and its potential impact on organizational success.  Structured interviews were conducted with individuals representing each generation.  Five open-ended questions were asked to participants to determine the generation they identified. In addition, participants used a 1-10 ranking scale to identify preferred characteristics in admired leaders.  The interviews demonstrated there are difference and similarities among the generations.  Veterans and Generation Xers view honesty as important core values.  Both express the need for communication in bridging the communication gap.  Differences related to Baby Boomer belief in self-commitment and Veterans recognizing the importance with surrounding yourself with others.  The author recommends researchers continue to examine, using an empirical method, generational differences and leadership styles to understand its affect on organizational success.

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