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Generational differences and implicit leadership schemas in the Philippine workforce

Helen C. Salvosa (Psychology Department, Ateneo de Manila University, Quezon City, Philippines)
Maria Regina M. Hechanova (Psychology Department, Ateneo de Manila University, Quezon City, Philippines)

Leadership & Organization Development Journal

ISSN: 0143-7739

Article publication date: 19 October 2020

Issue publication date: 22 January 2021




This study examined generational differences in traits and desired schemas of leaders among Filipino workers using the lens of the generational cohort theory.


This study utilized a sequential exploratory mixed-method approach. Phase One of the study utilized a qualitative approach in eliciting perceived characteristics and leadership schemas. Phase Two utilized a quantitative approach utilizing a survey to test generational differences.


Cluster analysis of survey responses of 341 Filipino workers showed two generation cohorts – the political and technological generation. Respondents from the political generation characterized themselves as being work-centered, family-oriented, traditional, seasoned, decisive and multi-tasking. The political generation also believes that an ideal leader is someone who cares about people's welfare, delegates, and is able to control others. On the other hand, the technology generation described themselves as being tech-savvy, carefree, laid-back, proud, individualistic, self-centered, arrogant, energetic and adventurous. The technological generation views an ideal leader as someone who is responsible, provides clear instructions, listens, and recognizes people.

Research limitations/implications

The study focuses on Filipino workers and more studies in other countries are needed to establish generational differences in schemas.

Practical implications

The results have implications on the way that leaders are selected and developed especially in an increasingly diverse workforce.

Social implications

The results highlight the role of political, sociocultural events and technological trends that shape the traits and schemas of workers.


The study contributes to both generational studies as well as implicit leadership literature. The study highlights the value of examining the intersection of both culture and generation in the context of leadership.



The authors wish to acknowledge the funding support of the Ateneo de Manila University Center for Organization Research and Development (Ateneo CORD).


Salvosa, H.C. and Hechanova, M.R.M. (2021), "Generational differences and implicit leadership schemas in the Philippine workforce", Leadership & Organization Development Journal, Vol. 42 No. 1, pp. 47-60.



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