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Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Understanding Generational Perceptions of Leadership in the Customer Service Industry: A Phenomenological Approach
by Hamilton Wilson, Valrita, D.M., University of Phoenix, 2009, 220; 3468128
Abstract (Summary)

The expected generational shift within the U.S. workforce will create unique challenges including; massive turnover rates; critical loss of knowledge management and a change of culture. Organizational leaders are responsible for motivating and managing four distinctly different generations who work alongside each other in the workplace. Little empirical research has been conducted to understand the generational cohorts’ differences regarding leadership expectations. This study sought to fill the gap in the literature by contributing to the body of knowledge relating to generational theory as applied to leadership of employees within the customer service industry in the United States of America. The purpose of this phenomenological study was to explore the lived experiences of three generations most represented in the workforce: Baby Boomers, Generation X, and Generation Y in the customer service industry, and identify the skill sets, coping mechanisms, perceptions, and strategies used to influence and develop their leadership abilities. The use of NVivo7 software assisted data analysis. Five themes emerged from the 21 in-depth face- to-face interviews of the three generational cohorts. The findings of this study suggest that generational cohorts share some similarities; however, they also value significant differences in the attributes of their leaders in the areas of fair treatment, on the job training (OJT), and training for leadership development. Although these differences are not dramatic, they are distinct enough for human resource leaders to develop communication strategies and training programs focusing on generational cohort variances in the customer service industry. The similar attributes they value include: effective communication and conflict resolution.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Simon, Marilyn K.
School: University of Phoenix
School Location: United States -- Arizona
Source: DAI-A 72/10, Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Management, Organization Theory, Organizational behavior
Keywords: Customer service, Generational perceptions, Multigenerational workforces
Publication Number: 3468128
ISBN: 978-1-124-81054-6
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