Committee Chair

Rausch, David W.

Committee Member

Miller, Ted L.; Crawford, Elizabeth K.; O'Brien, Elizabeth R.


Dept. of Education


College of Health, Education, and Professional Studies


University of Tennessee at Chattanooga

Place of Publication

Chattanooga (Tenn.)


The aging Baby Boomer Generation, coupled with the large coming of age Millennial Generation and the need for more adaptive and flexible employees in business, is presenting companies with a challenge of how to develop individuals in leadership positions within their organizations to properly demonstrate and implement adaptive leadership attributes. This study compared data previously gathered by the participating organization from individuals composed of multiple generations currently in leadership positions attending a leadership orientation course. Data were collected using a selected instrument measuring adaptive leadership skills. The focus of this study was to determine if the Millennial Generation has gained more experience with situations playing video games and, if so, if this resulted in enhanced adaptive leadership skills. Potentially acquiring leadership, organizational, and social skills, while learning to accomplish tasks in a rapidly changing and volatile simulated environment in a video game, could have a positive impact on the Millennials’ ability to employ adaptive leadership. The learning outcomes from video game play are accomplished either as a part of the individual video game design or via Internet games for multiple players. The applicability of this study could provide direction on how to better prepare more appropriate learning solutions to develop individuals as they move into leadership roles. The resulting analysis generated data finding no significant relationship between birth generations and scores from an instrument measuring adaptive leadership, or with the amount of video game play by generation. There was a positive relationship found between birth generation and the amount of video game play.


I would like to acknowledge the support and guidance of the Learning and Leadership Program Staff. Their support and mentoring have been incredible during my journey. Having been out of the academic environment for over 20 years, it was refreshing to have a group of professional individuals that demonstrated they truly cared about my growth and development as a research practitioner. Four individuals in particular have been instrumental in my completion of this program. Dr. David Rausch, Committee Chair, has provided leadership and unique perspective, which pushed me to expand my horizons. His perspective from the business world also helped make my journey more applicable to my current professional pursuits. Dr. Elizabeth Crawford and Dr. Elizabeth O’Brien have also been critical players in my journey as I have navigated the core course curriculum and, have been constant resources of knowledge, experience, and superb perspective. Finally, Dr. Ted Miller has provided the guidance, expertise, and attention to detail in the development of my methodology that I had only previously experienced while in the Army. As a young officer I had to rely on my senior non-commissioned officers to help me apply the theory of leadership and tactics of Army Doctrine to the real world. Dr. Miller gave me the same level of professional and academic advice I needed to successfully complete this body of work.


Ph. D.; A dissertation submitted to the faculty of the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga in partial fulfillment of the requirements of the degree of Doctor of Philosophy.




Leadership -- Management; Career development; Human-computer interaction


Adaptive leadership; Millennial generation; Social Cognitive Learning Theory; Video games

Document Type

Doctoral dissertations




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