Skip to main content

Generational leadership – How to manage five different generations in the workforce

  • Chapter
  • First Online:
From Grey to Silver

Abstract

The successful management of demographic change in German companies will mostly depend on their executives’ leadership capabilities. Based on the implicit leadership theory of effective leader-subordinate relationships, the perceived leadership behaviour must match individual subordinates’ leadership prototypes. As research in sociology and social psychology indicates, these leadership prototypes – consisting of employees' work values and preferences – are influenced by generational experiences as well as by individual employees’ age. Building on these arguments, this chapter tries to develop different leadership styles for the five generations currently present in the German workforce: The Post-War Generation, the Economic-Boom Generation, the Baby-Boom Generation, the Golf Generation, and the Internet Generation. Such adaptive and generation-specific leadership should help spur high levels of work motivation, organisational commitment, and hence lead to top performance by every generation and age group within the company.

This is a preview of subscription content, log in via an institution to check access.

Access this chapter

Subscribe and save

Springer+ Basic
EUR 32.99 /Month
  • Get 10 units per month
  • Download Article/Chapter or eBook
  • 1 Unit = 1 Article or 1 Chapter
  • Cancel anytime
Subscribe now

Buy Now

Chapter
USD 29.95
Price excludes VAT (USA)
  • Available as PDF
  • Read on any device
  • Instant download
  • Own it forever
eBook
USD 39.99
Price excludes VAT (USA)
  • Available as PDF
  • Read on any device
  • Instant download
  • Own it forever
Softcover Book
USD 54.99
Price excludes VAT (USA)
  • Compact, lightweight edition
  • Dispatched in 3 to 5 business days
  • Free shipping worldwide - see info
Hardcover Book
USD 54.99
Price excludes VAT (USA)
  • Durable hardcover edition
  • Dispatched in 3 to 5 business days
  • Free shipping worldwide - see info

Tax calculation will be finalised at checkout

Purchases are for personal use only

Institutional subscriptions

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Similar content being viewed by others

References

  • Arsenault, P. M. (2004). Validating generational differences. The Leadership and Organization Development Journal, 25, 124-141.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Bertram, H. (2005). Nachhaltige Familienpolitik im europäischen Vergleich. In: P. A. Berger, Kahlert, H. (Eds.), Chancen für die Neuordnung der Geschlechterverhältnisse (pp. 203-236). Frankfurt am Main: Campus Verlag.

    Google Scholar 

  • Bruch, H., Kunze, F., Boehm., S. (2010). Generationen erfolgreich Führen. Konzepte und Praxiserfahrungen zum Management des demographischen Wandels. Wiesbaden: Gabler.

    Google Scholar 

  • Dansereau, F., Alutto, J. A., Nachman, S., Al-Kelabi, S.A., Yammarino, F.J., Newman, J., Naughton, T., Lee, S., Dumas, M., Kim, K., Keller, T (1995). Individualized leadership: A new multiple-level approach. Leadership Quarterly, 6, 413-450.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Destatis (2006). Bevölkerung Deutschlands bis 2050 – 11. Koordinierte Bevölkerungsvorausberechnung. Wiesbaden.

    Google Scholar 

  • Dychtwald, K. (2003). The age wave is coming, Public Management, 85, 6-12.

    Google Scholar 

  • Engle, E. M., & Lord, R. G. (1997). Implicit Theories, Self-Schemas, and Leader-Member Exchange. 40, 988-1010. Academy of Management Journal.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Flato, E., & Reinbold-Scheible, S. (2008). Zukunftsweisendes Personalmanagement: Herausforderung demografischer Wandel: Fachkräfte gewinnen, Talente halten und Erfahrung nutzen. München: MI Verlag.

    Google Scholar 

  • Gursoya, D. A., Maier, T. A., Chi, C.G. (2008). Generational differences: An examination of work values and generational gaps in the hospitality workforce. International Journal of Hospitality Management, 27, 448-458.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Illies, F. (2000). Generation Golf. Eine Inspektion. Freiburg: Herder.

    Google Scholar 

  • Ilmarinen, J. E. (2001). Aging Workers. Occupational and Environmental Medicine, 58, 546-546.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Jurkiewicz C.E., & Brown R.G. (1998). GenXers vs. boomers vs. matures: Generational comparisons of public employee motivation. Review of Public Personnel Administration, 18, 18-37.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Kieser, A., & Walgenbach, P. (2007). Organisation. Stuttgart: Schaeffer-Poeschel.

    Google Scholar 

  • Klein, M. (2003). Gibt es die Generation Golf? Kölner Zeitschrift für Soziologie und Sozialpsychologie, 55, 1-28.

    Google Scholar 

  • Kupperschmidt, B. R. (2000). Multigeneration employees: Strategies for effective management. The Health Care Manager, 19, 65-76.

    Google Scholar 

  • Luescher, K & Liegle, L. (2003). Generationsbeziehungen in Familie und Gesellschaft. Konstanz: UVK Verlagsgesellschaft.

    Google Scholar 

  • Michaels, E., Handfield-Jones, H, & Axelrod, B. (2001). The war for talent. Boston: Harvard Business School Press.

    Google Scholar 

  • Oertel, J. (2007). Generationenmanagement im Unternehmen. Wiesbaden: Gabler.

    Google Scholar 

  • Preuss-Lausitz, U., Büchner, P, Fischer-Kowalski, M., Dieter Genien, M., Karsten, E., Kulke, C., Rabe-Kleberg, U., Rolff, H.G., Thunemeyer, B., Schütze, Y., Seidl, P., Zeiher, H., Zimmermann, P. (1994). Kriegskinder, Konsumkinder, Krisenkinder. Zur Sozialisationsgeschichte seit dem zweiten Weltkrieg. Weinheim: Beltz Verlag.

    Google Scholar 

  • Schreyoegg, G. (2003). Organisation. Grundlagen moderner Organisationsgestaltung. Wiesbaden: Gabler.

    Google Scholar 

  • Schuler, K. (2006). Hilflos in der Rush-Hour. Die Zeit (25.4.2006).

    Google Scholar 

  • Schuetze, Y., & Geulen, D. (1995). Die Nachkriegskinder und die Konsumkinder: Kindheitsverläufe zweier Generationen. In U. Preuss-Lausitz et al. (Eds.), Kriegskinder, Konsumkinder, Krisenkinder. Zur Sozialisationsgeschichte seit dem zweiten Weltkrieg (pp. 29-52). Weinheim: Beltz Verlag.

    Google Scholar 

  • Taylor, F. W. (1977). Die Grundsätze wissenschaftlicher Betriebsführung. Weinheim: Beltz Verlag (Original 1911).

    Google Scholar 

  • Wu, J. B., Tsui, A. S., Kinicki, A. J. (2010). Consequences of differentiated leadership in groups. Academy of Management Journal, 53, 90-106.

    Google Scholar 

Download references

Author information

Authors and Affiliations

Authors

Editor information

Editors and Affiliations

Rights and permissions

Reprints and permissions

Copyright information

© 2011 Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg

About this chapter

Cite this chapter

Kunze, F., Boehm, S.A., Bruch, H. (2011). Generational leadership – How to manage five different generations in the workforce. In: Boppel, M., Boehm, S., Kunisch, S. (eds) From Grey to Silver. Springer, Berlin, Heidelberg. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-642-15594-9_8

Download citation

Publish with us

Policies and ethics