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Cohort theory applies in discussing weighty issues on generation preferences on the role of leadership. A cohort according to Broadbridge, Maxwell, and Ogden (2007), can be defined as the aggregate of people (within a population) who have same experiences particularly events and these happen within the same period. In numerous researches touching on cohorts, leading researchers define events with the birth. Broadbridge, Maxwell, and Ogden (2007) define a cohort as a term in use mainly referring to diversities in experiences of members in diverse cohorts/generations. Terjesen, Vinnicombe, and Freeman (2007) were clear that upcoming cohorts experience exposure to particular ideas and on the same note replace older ideas in the makeup of the society. However, it is worth noting that generations are eloquent to particular circumstances that they meet in their lives particularly on matters dealing with work relations.
Cohort Theory and Generation X Issue
Cordeniz (2007) argued that they are in and revealing uniqueness in history. Therefore, it is outright that if particular periods have diverse effects on different cohorts then the respective cohorts will react differently to some issues (Wong, Gardiner, Lang, & Coulon, 2008). This is the same case when such experiences are applied to the issue of leadership styles and preferences on the same. Additionally, another prominent scholar building a base on this topic is (Wong, Gardiner, Lang, & Coulon, 2008). Their argument is that generations have diverse take and the concept are that people move through time, and generations possess distinctive style concerning the feeling of self worth.
Terjesen, Vinnicombe, and Freeman (2007) gave explanations of a generation as a group that has its duration similar to the life span of a human being. Each generation holds its beliefs, values, experiences, and emotions or attitudes and these are carried along to the workplace (Asthana, 2008). Therefore, the argument falls in that these values define how the respective individual cohort handles the leadership styles and his or her take on the same. It is the diverse values from distinct cohorts that bring about conflict in the organizational environment (Cordeniz, 2002). Many of the identified ramifications have an impact on the take that people have on diverse leadership styles within the workplace, and this is subject to each generation. Broadbridge, Maxwell, and Ogden (2007) conducted a research, and from their findings, it was revealed that fewer workers are joining the Information technology field. This is with a substantial contention being “war for talent”: Generation X that is the generation that is made up of young workers, perceives Information technology jobs as unappealing particularly considering the level of labor intense required for the same (Macky, Gardner, & Forsyth, 2008). As a result, they blame poor leadership styles as reducing their motivation, therefore, are said to be causing job dissatisfaction and high rates of turnover in the work environment (Wong, Gardiner, Lang, & Coulon, 2008).
In general terms, it becomes quite oblivious for any leaders within an organization to assume Generation X as this would be the biggest mistake in any undertaking bearing in mind that it results to dissatisfaction of the business professionals (Broadbridge, Maxwell,, & Ogden, 2007). The dissatisfaction could be worse and results to high turnover rates of employee. Leiter and Terjesen, Vinnicombe, and Freeman (2007) described Generation Xers are as a generation that has been sidelined in many organizations by the type of leadership styles adopted. The argument in this case is that the generation is inadequately equipped with leadership skills or even the relevant knowledge required in any situation to assume responsibilities (Wong, Gardiner, Lang, & Coulon, 2008). This increases the level of dissatisfaction in the specific cohort as they feel like being under represented. This brings down their morale of work and the employees feel like quitting.
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