Leadership for Feminist Movement Building: An Intergenerational Conversation on Theory, Practice and Philanthropy Stanford University



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Articles about Intergenerational Leadership

Paul Arsenault, Validating Generational Differences: A Legitimate Diversity and Leadership Issue, 25 The Leadership & Organization Development Journal 124 (2004).


Available at:

http://www.emeraldinsight.com/journals.htm?articleid=1410717&show=abstract.



Today's workforce is more diverse that ever. One diversity issue that has not been generally recognized is generational differences. Defined as a shared tradition and culture by a group of people that is lifelong, differences in generations have been plagued by erroneous misconceptions. The principal reason has been a lack of research to validate the significance of these differences. This extensive study validates that generations create their own traditions and culture by a shared collective field of emotions, attitudes, preferences, and dispositions. In addition, the study illustrates significant differences in how these generations rank admired leadership characteristics, which correlates to their preferred leadership style and favorite leaders. The conclusion is that generational differences are a legitimate diversity issue that organizations need to recognize and understand and an issue that needs to be addressed in developing current and future leaders.

Peter Brinckerhoff, “Generations: the Challenge of a Lifetime for your Nonprofit” (Fieldstone Alliance 2007).


This guide addresses how the upcoming retirement of baby boomers will affect nonprofit organizations in terms of leadership and service populations. Gives steps to deal with generational differences in human resources, marketing, programming, technology, and management. Each chapter ends with a summary and discussion questions. With bibliographical references and index. 

Maria Cornelius, Patrick Corvington and Albert Ruesga, Ready to Lead? Next Generation Leaders Speak Out (2008).


Available at: http://www.aecf.org/~/media/Pubs/Other/R/ReadytoLeadNextGenerationLeadersSpeakOut/ready_to_lead.pdf

Recent studies suggest that the charitable sector will be increasingly drawn into an all-out “war for talent” with the government and business sectors. As the Baby Boomers retire from their leadership positions over the coming decades and the labor market grows ever tighter, how will the nonprofit sector attract the most committed and talented

leaders? What would draw Generation Xers and Generation Yers to positions that typically offer long hours for short pay? This paper examines the survey results of emerging nonprofit leaders.


Dorothy A. Johnson Center for Philanthropy and Nonprofit Leadership, Issues and Answers from the Next Generation (2007).


Available at: http://np2020.wikispaces.com/file/view/NP2020_Web.pdf

Identifies main issues of the leadership deficit in nonprofits and reports on answers discussed at an intergenerational non-profit conference.

Kris Downing, Next Generation: What Leaders Need to Know about the Millennials, 26 Leadership in Action 3 (Sept. 2006).


Available at:

http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/lia.1161/pdf



It's a unique time in the workplace as four generations of workers are intermingling. As the most recent generation enters the workforce, the challenge for leaders is not only to understand the differences between the generations but also to embrace their different perspectives and find ways to bring out the best in everyone.

Rodney Fong, Retaining Generation X’ers in a Baby Boomer Firm, 29 CAPITAL U. L. REV. 911 (2002).

Available at:

http://digitalcommons.law.ggu.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1004&context=pubs&sei-redir=1#search=%22Rodney+Fong+ggu%22


One major challenge in law firms is retaining associates. The focus of this paper is on the associates themselves, many of whom are Generation X’ers. This paper will introduce Generation X and explain who they are, what they do, how they view the world, and some of their characteristics. Further, it will explain how one can interact, work with, and retain Generation X’ers.

Frances Kunreuther, Patrick A. Corvington, Annie E. Casey Foundation, Next Shift: Beyond the Nonprofit Leadership Crisis (2007).


Available at:

http://buildingmovement.org/pdf/Next_Shift.pdf



During the past six years, there has been a rising sense of alarm in the nonprofit sector about the future of its leadership, and this author believes a broad view of the issue is appropriate and needed. As Baby-Boom-age leaders leave, the sector will approach an important turning point ripe with both challenges and opportunities. It is critical that as a whole, the sector musters its broadest, most creative, and most incisive thinking to understand and respond to this particular historical moment. Too many nonprofit agencies, and particularly the human services organizations that serve children and families, operate today under crushing political and resource stresses. Many larger agencies founded in flusher eras are struggling to adapt to an increasingly austere funding environment with demands for increasing accountability. Smaller grassroots groups fight to survive from grant to grant. At stake are the lives and life chances of tens of thousands of children, families, and individuals who receive support and services from these groups. This troubling prospect will hopefully motivate younger and older leaders to come together to chart common and effective strategies for the future.

Frances Kunreuther, Association for Research on Nonprofit Organizations and Voluntary Action, The Changing of the Guard: What Generational Differences Tell Us About Social-Change Organizations 32 Nonprofit and Voluntary Sector Quarterly 450 (Sept. 2003).


Available at: http://nvs.sagepub.com/content/32/3/450.full.pdf+html

Accounts by executive directors and staff working in progressive social change organizations allude to generation-gap problems in the nonprofit sector that threaten the future work of these groups as they attempt to change ―the system‖. To see how generational issues might be affecting social-change nonprofits, the authors conducted a series of in-depth interviews with executive directors (falling into two age groups) and with young staff (under 40 years old). The findings of the study refute the notion of large generational differences. Both older and younger people involved in these organizations have many of the same qualities: commitment, concern, energy, interest, and a strong belief in justice. However, differences are evident between those born in the Baby Boom generation and those who identify with Generation X in respect to their motivations to enter social change work, their concerns about the work/personal life divide, and their views of the future. Understanding these differences can help build strong leadership for the future.

Helen S. Kim, Frances Kunreuther, Annie E. Casey Foundation, What’s Next? Baby Boom-Age Leaders in Social Change Nonprofits (2007).


Available at: http://www.aecf.org/upload/PublicationFiles/LD3622H1409.pdf

This paper reports on how twenty-seven social change nonprofit leaders in the baby boom generation view their work and the contributions they have made during the past 30 years. The leaders come from diverse backgrounds and are involved in a wide range of issues. All have helped to build strong nonprofit organizations that have made major contributions to social change. The goal of the paper was first to hear what these leaders thought of the future of their work, their organizations, and their own lives. The authors also listened to the leader’s perspectives about the future of nonprofit sector leadership and identified areas that could assist the leadership transition from older to younger generation leaders.

Robert I. Kabacoff and Ronald W. Stoffey, Age Differences in Organizational Leadership (2001).


Available at:

http://www.mrg.com/documents/Age_and_Leadership.pdf



In order to investigate possible age differences in organizational leadership behavior, a diverse sample of younger (25-35 years) and older (45-55 years) mid-level North American department and unit managers matched for industry, job function, and gender were compared on 22 leadership behaviors and 3 effectiveness measures.

Frances Kunreuther, Helen Kim, and Robby Rodriguez, Working Across Generations: Defining the Future of Nonprofit Leadership (John Wiley & Sons, Inc. 2008).


Working Across Generations presents ideas and gives practical advice on how to approach generational changes in leadership so that the contributions of long-time leaders are valued, new and younger leaders’ talent is recognized, and groups are better prepared to work across generational divides.

Caroline McAndrews, “Millennials in the Workplace,” Social Citizens Blog (June 8, 2006).


Available at: http://www.socialcitizens.org/blog/millennials-workplace

Keeping these traits in mind, when we look at what Millennials are asking for in the workplace, they are characteristics that respondents in our national survey (from all generations) named as important to doing good work and building a positive workplace.

Caroline McAndrews, Building Movement Project, What Works: Developing Successful Multigenerational Leadership (2010).

Available at: http://buildingmovement.org/pdf/what_works.pdf



Since the beginning of the new millennium, there has been growing concern about the breadth and depth of new leadership in the nonprofit sector. This study looks at the key factors that build leadership and commitment across generations. While it is true that generations differ in how they approach their work, there are remarkable similarities in what people want out of their work and workplaces. Rather than focus on well-documented differences, this study examines what helps potential leaders do their best work, what constitutes a good workplace, and how to improve the ability to retain, support, and promote staff across generations. This report also offers a roadmap for how nonprofits can create dedicated staff, build their capacity to lead, and deepen their commitment to the nonprofit sector at little to no cost.

Jeanne Meister and Karie Willyerd, “Mentoring Millennials,” Harvard Business Review (May 2010).


Available at:

http://epowerment.eqmentor.com/docs/Mentoring%20Millenials.pdf



Delivering the feedback Gen Y craves is easier than you think.

Carol Mithers, Workplace Wars, Ladies Home Journal, May 2009.


Available at: https://www.marycrane.com/press/65-Ladies'%20Home%20Journal%20-%20Workplace%20Wars.pdf

In offices around the country, Millennials, Gen Xers, and Baby Boomers are trying to figure out how to get along. Sure, they all feel lucky to have a job in a bad economy, but that doesn't make the culture clash any easier.

Sonia Ospina and Erica Foldy, Toward a Framework of Social Change Leadership (Sept. 2005).


Available at:

http://ssrn.com/abstract=1532332



This paper presents and describes an emergent framework of social change leadership, based on a multi-year, multi-modal, qualitative study of social change organizations. The framework poses that the consistent use of a set of leadership drivers, anchored in a set of assumptions and core values of social justice, helps members of these organizations engage in practices and activities that build collective power, which is then leveraged to produce long-term outcomes for social change. The authors suggest the study of social change leadership has implications for broader work on leadership, in two ways. First, it helps illuminate social constructionist understandings of leadership that see it as shared or collective rather than inherent in one or more visible individuals. Secondly, it highlights the importance of both beliefs and behaviors -- worldview and action – and the interaction between them as fundamental to leadership.

Carol Sanford, Now What? Young Leaders Are Changing the World by Working for Themselves, Stanford Social Innovation Review Blog, June 14, 2011.


Available at: http://www.ssireview.org/opinion/entry/now_what_young_leaders_are_changing_the_world_by_working_for_themselves/

An analysis of Gen Next leaders creating their own jobs.

L. Jeff Seaton and Michael Boyd, The Organizational Leadership of The Post Baby Boom Generation: An Upper Echelon Theory Approach, 13 Acad. of Entrepreneurship J. 69 (2007).


Available at http://www.alliedacademies.org/Publications/Papers/AEJ%20Vol%2013%20No%202%202007.pdf#page=79.

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.

Rosetta Thurman, “Fighting the War for Talent: Retaining Generation Y in the Nonprofit Sector” (Nov. 19, 2007).


Available at: http://www.rosettathurman.com/2007/11/fighting-the-war-for-talent-retaining-generation-y-in-the-nonprofit-sector/

We already have a great pool, but we really need to fix the marketing problem we have in the sector if we want to win the war for talent and convince young people to enter and remain in the nonprofit field.

Rosetta Thurman, Does Generation Y Discriminate against Baby Boomers or is it the Other Way Around?, Stanford Social Innovation Review Blog, Nov. 19, 2009.


Available at:

http://www.ssireview.org/opinion/entry/does_generation_y_discriminate_against_baby_boomers_or_is_it_the_other_way_/



Many issues compound the complexity of intergenerational relationships and make it difficult to share leadership.

Rosetta Thurman, Preparing the Next Generation of Nonprofit Leaders, Stanford Social Innovation Review Blog, Dec. 19, 2007.


Available at: http://www.ssireview.org/opinion/entry/preparing_the_next_generation_of_nonprofit_leaders/

Nonprofits need to be proactive in preparing their younger workforce for future leadership positions.

Rosetta Thurman, Coming to Terms with the Future of Nonprofit Leadership, Stanford Social Innovation Review Blog, Jan. 30, 2008.


Available at: http://www.ssireview.org/opinion/entry/coming_to_terms_with_the_future_of_nonprofit_leadership/

There are four concepts we need to consider in thinking about how the next generation will come to the work differently in shaping social change.

Rosetta Thurman, Does Generation Y Really Want Change?, Stanford Social Innovation Review Blog, July 20, 2009.


Available at: http://www.ssireview.org/opinion/entry/does_generation_y_really_want_change/

Does Generation Y really want change? If the answer is yes, then we’re going to have to prove it.

Thomas Tierney, The Leadership Deficit, Stanford Social Innovation Review 26 (Summer 2006).


Available at: http://www.ssireview.org/pdf/2006SU_feature_Tierney.pdf

One of the biggest challenges facing nonprofits today is their dearth of strong leaders – a problem that’s only going to get worse as the sector expands and baby boom executives retire. Over the next decade nonprofits will need to find some 640,000 new executives, nearly two and a half times the number currently employed. To meet the growing demand for talent, the author offers creative ways of finding and recruiting new leaders from a wide range of groups, including business, the military, and the growing pool of retirees.

Jean E. Wallace, Work Commitment in the Legal Profession: A Study of Baby Boomers and Generation Xers, 13 International Journal of the Legal Profession 137 (2006).


Available at: http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/09695950600961293.

This paper empirically addresses two questions: (1) are Generation X lawyers less committed to their work than Baby Boomer lawyers?; and (2) do the factors related to work commitment differ for Generation X lawyers and Baby Boomer lawyers? The regression results show there is no significant generational difference in work commitment. The generations do differ in the factors that are related to their work commitment however. Work effort and extrinsic rewards are generally more highly related to Baby Boomers' commitment and intrinsic rewards to Generation Xers' work commitment.

Mary Ann Wisniewski, Leadership and the Millennials: Transforming Today’s Technological Teens into Tomorrow’s Leaders, 9 J. of Leadership Educ. 53 (2010).


Available at: http://www.fhsu.edu/jole/issues/JOLE_9_1.pdf#page=66

Although older and younger generations unfailingly tend to disagree on values and are inclined to perceive one another with a degree of skepticism and disapproval, it is an unmistakable reality that because of technology today’s youth are approaching life differently than previous generations. It is also clear that today’s Millennials are tomorrow’s leaders. How then do we help facilitate the leadership capacity of today’s youth? This article documents a year-long research study of university students’ perceptions of the factors that characterize effective teaching and learning, in general, and more specifically, leadership education. The data suggests that traditional approaches to teaching will likely be met with resistance. A leadership education model for the Millennials detailing the purposes and content, along with strategies for teaching and learning is presented.
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