Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

A phenomenological exploration of Air Force Millennial officer leadership development perspectives
by Strus, Katherine A., D.M., University of Phoenix, 2015, 253; 3708718
Abstract (Summary)

The United States Air Force (USAF) organization has a hierarchical leadership structure and multi-generation work force. The problem addressed in this study is the absence of USAF Millennial generation (born between 1982 and 2005) officer voices to inform USAF senior leaders about Millennials’ formal and informal leadership development perspectives. The purpose of this phenomenological study was to explore how USAF Millennial officers describe their lived leadership development experiences. During indepth interviews six male and five female USAF Millennial officer respondents discussed their experiences of being led and learning to lead. Thematic analysis of interview responses and USAF doctrine revealed Millennial respondents supported sustaining the USAF Core Values, cultural heritage, and hierarchical leadership structure. This perspective aligns with the Millennial civic generation type that values community and loyalty in relationships. Recommendations emerged for USAF senior leaders to meet Millennial officer leadership development needs, increasing retention, and enhancing recruitment strategies. Findings indicated minimizing hierarchical position power when developing USAF leaders will meet Millennial officer needs and increasing the importance of valuing generation diversity and Millennial generation cohort contributions will influence USAF Millennial officers to continue their USAF employment. Modifying USAF mentoring using a systems thinking approach will increase USAF Millennial officer interest to help USAF senior leaders plan for change. Leveraging USAF Millennial generation cohort characteristics that align with those of the G.I. Generation cohort (born between 1901 and 1924) provides USAF senior leaders with options to accommodate current and future USAF generation employees.

Indexing (document details)
School: University of Phoenix
School Location: United States -- Arizona
Source: DAI-A 76/10(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Social psychology, Management, Military studies
Keywords: Communication barriers, Generations, Millennials, Organizational culture, System thinking
Publication Number: 3708718
ISBN: 978-1-321-84130-5
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