There are currently 4 different generations in the workplace, and the newest generation, Generation Y, has caused leaders within organizations to rethink their management and workplace cultural approach to leading this emerging generation. This qualitative phenomenological dissertation examines the work environment preferences of Generation Y contract managers who work in the Los Angeles area in the defense and aerospace industry by interviewing 11 participants from both the public and private sectors. The research indicates that this new generation, Generation Y or Millennials, prefer to have autonomy over their workload and schedule, but prefer to have their direct manager active in a mentoring and coaching role, rather than acting as a task-master. In addition, the participants in this study preferred a healthy amount of pressure, but not too much of a workload that would cause them to fail. Lastly, this dissertation found that Millennials have a high preference for innovation and using innovative technology in the workplace to increase efficiency.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Dissertations (EdD) -- Organizational leadership; Generation Y -- Employment; Generation Y -- California -- Los Angeles; Aerospace industries -- Employees; Defense industries -- Employees

Date of Award


School Affiliation

Graduate School of Education and Psychology



Degree Type


Degree Name


Faculty Advisor

Schmieder-Ramirez, June;