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Millennials and the motivation to lead: is a transformational leader a catalyst or barrier?

Tracy Porter (Department of Management, Cleveland State University, Cleveland, Ohio, USA)
Michele Heath (Department of Management, Cleveland State University, Cleveland, Ohio, USA)
Nicholas Messina (Department of Management, Cleveland State University, Cleveland, Ohio, USA)
Scott C. Bible (Department of Management, Cleveland State University, Cleveland, Ohio, USA)

Management Research Review

ISSN: 2040-8269

Article publication date: 5 December 2022

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Abstract

Purpose

Leaders influence individuals to understand and agree upon goals and methods to accomplish shared objectives. However, how leaders motivate others to assume a leadership role is an open question. This paper aims to examine how employee perceptions of their supervisors’ transformational leadership behaviors might affect a millennial and their motivation toward leadership. This paper also investigated the relationship within a spiritually based organizational context since workplace spirituality has become increasingly popular within contemporary corporate cultures.

Design/methodology/approach

This conceptual paper offers propositions, which examine two areas: first, the impact of a spiritual work context on a millennial’s motivation to lead and, second, the proposed moderating impact of a transformational leader on these relationships.

Findings

These linkages are important for organizational leaders to examine, as millennials will be the largest portion of the workforce by 2025. In addition, the influence of a transformational leader may not be as powerful as previous research has demonstrated. This difference is based on aspects of millennials, which are different from previous generations. Organizations spend thousands of dollars on the development of transformational leaders and spiritual (meaningful) workplaces; however, this may not be useful in the future.

Originality/value

To the best of the authors’ knowledge, to date no research has examined the impact of a transformational leader on a millennial’s motivation toward leadership in a spiritual work context.

Keywords

Citation

Porter, T., Heath, M., Messina, N. and Bible, S.C. (2022), "Millennials and the motivation to lead: is a transformational leader a catalyst or barrier?", Management Research Review, Vol. ahead-of-print No. ahead-of-print. https://doi.org/10.1108/MRR-05-2022-0322

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2022, Emerald Publishing Limited.

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