Validating generational differences

Paul M. Arsenault (West Chester University, West Chester, Pennsylvania, USA)

Leadership & Organization Development Journal

ISSN: 0143-7739

Publication date: 1 March 2004


Today's workforce is more diverse that ever. One diversity issue that has not been generally recognized is generational differences. Defined as a shared tradition and culture by a group of people that is lifelong, differences in generations have been plagued by erroneous misconceptions. The principal reason has been a lack of research to validate the significance of these differences. This extensive study validates that generations create their own traditions and culture by a shared collective field of emotions, attitudes, preferences, and dispositions. In addition, the study illustrates significant differences in how these generations rank admired leadership characteristics, which correlates to their preferred leadership style and favorite leaders. The conclusion is that generational differences are a legitimate diversity issue that organizations need to recognize and understand and an issue that needs to be addressed in developing current and future leaders.



Arsenault, P. (2004), "Validating generational differences", Leadership & Organization Development Journal, Vol. 25 No. 2, pp. 124-141.

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Copyright © 2004, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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