The impact of generational diversity on project leadership: The Dutch infrastructure sector as a case study

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This study aims to expand project leadership theory by creating insight of the impact of generational diversity on project leadership. Project managers and team members belonging to Generation Baby Boom, Generation-X or Generation-Y in infrastructure projects in the Netherlands are the subject of this study which used a multi-method data collection design through a cross-sectional survey, questionnaires and interviews. This approach was inspired by and adapted from methodologies used by project GLOBE, and leadership and generational theories from previous studies. The study confirmed that Dutch cultural values and dynamics of the project-based environment in the infrastructure sector in the Netherlands influence project leadership perceptions. A gap was found in the perceptions and requirements for leadership between team members from a Generation-Y and younger workforce, and leadership behaviour from more from the more experienced project managers. It was concluded that a Generation-Y and younger generation requires development of new leadership style (and respective theories) and revision of situational leadership styles due to their stronger affinity with authentic leadership behaviour, and concepts such as emotional intelligence. A limitation in the scale of this study has been identified with a recommendation to re-examine the findings through a longitudinal design in other industries and countries.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationEURAM 18
Subtitle of host publicationResearch in Action
EditorsEythor Ivar Jonsson
Place of PublicationReykjavik Iceland
PublisherEuropean Academy of Management (EURAM)
Number of pages44
ISBN (Print)9782960219500
Publication statusPublished - 17 Jun 2018
EventAnnual Conference of the European Academy of Management 2018: Research in Action – Accelerating knowledge creation in management - University of Iceland, Reykjavik, Iceland
Duration: 19 Jun 201822 Jun 2018


ConferenceAnnual Conference of the European Academy of Management 2018
Abbreviated titleEURAM 2018
Internet address


  • Culture
  • Generation x (genxers)
  • Generation Y
  • Project Leadership
  • infrastructure management
  • Project Management
  • Netherlands

Cite this

Moehler, R. C., Jaeger, A., & Algeo, C. (2018). The impact of generational diversity on project leadership: The Dutch infrastructure sector as a case study. In E. I. Jonsson (Ed.), EURAM 18: Research in Action [2938] European Academy of Management (EURAM).