Date of Conferral







Richard Thompson


Millennials in retail account for a large portion of the U.S. workforce and have the highest number of body image modifications from tattoos, piercings, and/or gauges. Following Moustakas concept of perception, the purpose of this transcendental phenomenology study was to explore how Millennial-aged retail employees describe and experience leaders with body image modifications from tattoos, piercings, and/or gauges. Participants were sought from various retail locations and were required to be born between 1981 and 1996. Data were collected through interviews with 6 participants and the data were analyzed using Moustakas modification of the Van Kamm Method. The results showed that employees typically felt good about their experiences with their leaders, yet varied on how effective and personable their leaders were; however, employees did not ascribe any impact on leadership effectiveness to the body image modifications of their leaders. Implications of this result extends to an increased openness towards traits that make others different, theoretical changes that note visual cues are important for ideal leader categorization, and increased understanding of follower views in relation to leader-follower relationship development.