The boundaries within our workplace continue to disappear and employees at all levels are impacted by the cultural and technological differences among generations. The gaps in values, beliefs, life experiences and attitudes are increasing. Leadership is essential in bridging these gaps to achieve top performance and operational excellence. There is no single strategy to provide support for developing leaders, each business must implement what works for them. Executive coaching, as an increasingly popular leader development strategy, seems to maximize employee engagement while fostering collaboration and teamwork. This exploratory research study explores how executive coaches are preparing leaders to succeed in managing the multigenerational workplace. Through a virtual interview process, the researcher explores the experiences, discussions and perceptions of 88 executive coaches about different generational cohorts, as it relates to leadership development and the workplace. Most of the coaches responding to the survey belong to the Baby Boomer generation (72%, n = 55), followed by Generation X (19%, n = 14) and Traditionalists (9%, n = 7). The respondents claim to have coached on average 105 individuals during the last five years. The vast majority of them hold an executive coaching credential (72%, n = 55). Through a rigorous textual analysis process five themes emerged from the data: (a) developmental assignments, (b) feedback processes, (c) formal programs, (d) self-development assignments, and (e) developmental relationship assignments. The information gathered provides a better understanding of these best practices as well as areas of opportunity in developing leaders in a multigenerational setting. These findings suggest that although executive coaches are aware of the need their clients have for being prepared to successfully lead a multigenerational workplace; executive coaches still need to develop ways to tailor their specific coaching approaches considering the growing impact of the multigenerational workplace phenomena. In addition, findings suggest the need for organizations to have a clear strategy for addressing the multigenerational workplace phenomena and that in doing so, they can start by implementing effective leader development programs.
Library of Congress Subject Headings
Dissertations (EdD) -- Organizational change; Diversity in the workplace -- Management; Intergenerational relations; Executive coaching -- Case studies
Date of Award
Graduate School of Education and Psychology
Davis, Kay D.;
Heredia, Rene, "Leadership development in a multigenerational workplace: an exploratory study" (2017). Theses and Dissertations. 882.