Date of Award

2018

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Department

College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences – Department of Conflict Resolution Studies

First Advisor

Elena Bastidas

Second Advisor

Robin Cooper

Third Advisor

Neil Katz

Abstract

As the United States prepares for a generational shift in leaders, there is a lack of literature adequately examining how Generation X and Millennial entrepreneurs manage organizational conflict about leadership and change management. The scope of this problem should concern individuals who are stakeholders in any organization. In preparation for the coming shift in generational leaders, the subject study explored the management of organizational conflict regarding leadership and change management for Generation X and Millennial entrepreneurs. Supported by a theoretical foundation built on theory of generations and realistic group conflict theory, this qualitative study analyzed the interviews and narratives of six Generation X entrepreneurs and six Millennial entrepreneurs. The analysis outlined specific themes of the management of organizational conflict by participants from both generations. This study revealed that Generation X cohort members tackle contemporaneous or emerging conflict via formal dialogue and compromised reconciliations, in the service and advancement of the organization, while Millennial entrepreneurs manage organizational conflict as it relates to leadership and change management by employing conversations rooted in fundamental company values, orchestrating team meetings, and establishing a goal-aligned yet collaborative work culture. The subject study also disclosed that Generation X and Millennial entrepreneurs both incorporate conversations to manage organizational conflict as it relates to leadership and change management, but they contrast on prioritizing creating a collaborative work culture versus focusing on company growth. At an organizational level, the instant study impacts stakeholders by enabling positive social changes informed by evidence-based insights about how Generation X and Millennial entrepreneurs manage organizational conflict.

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