Date of Conferral





Public Policy and Administration


Ian Cole


The changing demographics of the federal workforce require managers to understand generational differences in experiences, values, and leadership preferences that can negatively impact an agency's ability to fulfill its mission. There is a gap in the literature regarding generational cohort perceptions of employee satisfaction with leadership and turnover intention in the Small Business Administration (SBA). The purpose of this quantitative, cross-sectional study was to examine the generational perceptions of SBA employees regarding leadership satisfaction and intent to leave the organization within the next year. Strauss and Howe's generational theory served as the theoretical framework. This non-experimental quantitative study used the 2016 Federal Employee Viewpoint Survey that consisted of data from 407,789 federal government employees. The population in this study included 1,383 respondents who worked in the SBA. Data were analyzed using the Mann-Whitney U test to examine perceptions of leadership and perceptions of turnover intention between 2 age groups. Results indicated that employees under 40 had higher satisfaction with leaders than employees 40 and over (p < .05). There were no statistically significant differences between the age groups and turnover intention. Findings showed that generations differ based on shared experiences of their members. These findings can help government leaders enact policies to strengthen the relationship between leaders and employees, resulting in satisfied and committed employees across generations.