The Organizational Leadership of the Post Baby Boom Generation: An Upper Echelon Theory Approach

Academy of Entrepreneurship JournalVol. 13 Nbr. 2, July 2007

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Summary


Organizations entering into the new global economy of the 21st century face challenges and threats never before experienced. Researchers have predicted that the key to success in this new era of globalization lies in the organizational leaders' ability to provide strategic leadership. The upper echelon theory suggests that leaders of organizations are subconsciously bounded by psychological factors within the leaders' personal criteria which they have been socialized to in their lifetimes. This paper will use an upper echelon theory approach to explain how the ethical and entrepreneur perspective differences of the newer generation of leaders will affect the strategic leadership of the 21st century.

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The Organizational Leadership of the Post Baby Boom Generation: An Upper Echelon Theory Approach

INTRODUCTION

"The generation gap phenomenon has been extensively described and discussed... today contemporary students are seen as being lower in authoritarianism, desirous of personal freedom of expression and oriented toward shorter term achievement horizons... " (Ondrack, 1973)

While this statement could easily be a part of an article in any of today's business publications, it was published in a 1973 issue of The Academy of Management Journal by D. A. Ondrack (1973). This article stressed a concern with generational diversity, which has been an ongoing part of organizational behavior research for several decades. Ondrack (1973) posited that the strategic leaders of the Baby Boom generation (born 1943 through 1964) would change the face of the business environment by seeking more entrepreneurial activities and gravitating away from bureaucratic organizations with their strict rules, policies and cultural sta...

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