Defense Date


Graduation Date

Fall 2004


Immediate Access

Submission Type


Degree Name



Instructional Leadership Excellence (ILEAD)


School of Education

Committee Chair

James E. Henderson

Committee Member

Carol S. Parke

Committee Member

S. Jay Liebowitz


generations, high potential employees, manager's behavior, Retention


The purpose of this study was to identify the behavior of the manager that affects the retention of high potential individuals within an organization. Research suggests that the reason why employees leave organizations is their manager. A high potential is defined as an individual who exhibits the capabilities of developing into a future leader of the organization. The study also investigated high potentials' perception as to how effectively their expectations of those managerial behaviors are being met. Managerial behavior is defined as the manner or conduct displayed toward employees by the manager. High potential individuals who participated in the study were identified as belonging to one of the two generational categories: Baby Boomers (born between 1943 and 1960) and Generation X (born between 1961 and 1989) to determine if there were any generational differences within the high potentials regarding these managerial behaviors.

The survey consisted of 36 managerial behaviors that the high potential participant rated as important to their staying with the organization. The participant also rated how well their manager was doing in each of the 36 managerial behaviors.

Results of the study indicated that high potentials of the two generational categories are more alike than different. The results also indicate that there are four managerial behaviors that affect the intention of high potential individuals to remain with the organization. They are: utilizing their talents and strengths, providing challenging job assignments, providing opportunities to contribute and make a difference, and allocating appropriate salary increases based on their job performance. The managerial behavior that most affected the high potential's job satisfaction was for the manager to utilize their talents and strengths. When managers develop and utilize these key behaviors with high potential individuals, they increase the overall likelihood for the high potential to remain with the organization.