- New Horizons in Leadership Studies series
Edited by Stephen P. Banks
4. Dissent and the generational divide Stephanie Hamel and Ruth Guzley Your generations’ collective mind-set cannot help but inﬂuence you – whether you agree with it or spend a lifetime battling against it. (Strauss and Howe, 1991: 9) INTRODUCTION Leading and dissenting diﬀer across generations. As Greenberg-Walt and Robertson (2001) quip, ‘Younger generations always strive to develop their own identities and to make their mark’ (p. 148). We know this intuitively and anecdotally, but we need to understand generational diﬀerences in a deeper and more disciplined way if we are to promote eﬀectiveness and minimize failures among future leaders. We wonder what today’s youth will be able to accomplish on a global scale, given the monumental challenges they face, for both themselves and the generations that will follow. Pragmatists among us seek to understand those of the newest generation who one day will emerge as leaders. We want to know, can they lead through these challenges? Can they advocate eﬀectively on our behalf and their own? Will they be willing to speak out against injustices? Will they embrace the central tenets of democracy and engage diﬀerences through deliberation and dissent? Or will they pave a new way we cannot yet comprehend? We devote this chapter to exploring a fundamental ingredient of democracy – dissent – and learning whether the new generation will seek to embrace, suppress or redeﬁne dissent as they become leaders in our communities, workplaces and global scene. As professors we interact daily with...
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