Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


College of Education and International Services


Leadership PhD

First Advisor

Jay Brand

Second Advisor

Gustavo Gregorutti

Third Advisor

Diana Ming



The Jamaica Union Conference (JAMU) currently faces a phenomenon of having a multi-generational workforce that includes four generations working alongside each other across its five fields for the first time in its history. This intersection of generations brings challenges concerning the adequacy of leaders’ generational intelligence and its relationship to team outcomes and perceptions of performance. The potential concerns for leaders center around employee recruitment, retention and engagement, conflict resolution, workplace culture, and productivity, among others (Tapscott, 2009). Any potential misunderstanding resulting from inadequate cross-generational intelligence among members of the generations currently represented may result in these Jamaican generationally diverse groups of workers falling short of effective relationship-building because these differences may have led to relationships and environments that are not conducive to productive positive outcomes. Most relevant studies direct attention to non-religious companies when conducting large scale research to understand multi-generational workforce challenges and associated shifting needs. Unfortunately, few pertinent studies and related data on the Seventh-day Adventist Church’s contemporary workforce exist. Any lack of understanding of generational intelligence to inform leaders on how best to move forward creatively and innovatively to ensure that teams are empowered to achieve common goals might significantly impact the quality of church life, leadership, and retention of workers.


The methodology involved an explanatory sequential mixed-methods investigative study encompassing a group of four generations of individuals in workplaces within the Jamaican Union Conference (JAMU) of Seventh-day Adventists, using individuals and cases. The qualitative focus relied on first-hand observations. Attention was directed to the central question: What is the impact of the multigenerational phenomenon on the experiences of workers in regards to generational intelligence, team cohesion, and perceptions of performance in the JAMU? The mixed-method study also used quantitative data, focusing on inferential analysis to address the research hypotheses derived from the literature review. The deductive approach explored any possible connection between the perspectives of digital natives and prior generations. This correlational descriptive research sought to describe the current status of relevant variables and their relationships by systematically gathering information about the phenomenon from members of the four generations. The identification of relationships among generational intelligence, team cohesion, and team performance was studied, measuring each core variable thoroughly. The participants came from all the generational cohorts, sectors, ranks, and Conferences within the JAMU. The JAMU employs over 1300 employees across five Conferences (or administrative divisions), one university, one hospital, schools, and clinics. The demographic data currently available indicate that the age span of the employees ranges from 18 to 79; this covers four generational cohorts. The participants were included in the study if they were current employees of the JAMU and over the age of eighteen.


This study’s results give insights and hopefully increased understanding about the phenomenon of a contemporary intergenerational workforce within the JAMU. Answers from both the quantitative and qualitative portions of this mixed-method study reveal some potentially relevant and useful differences in the perceptions from the participants. The study shows that there is a significant correlation between generational intelligence and team cohesion (R2 = 0.12) and also a significant relationship between generational intelligence and team performance (R2 = 0.17). These results suggest that generational intelligence can estimate team cohesion, and generational intelligence also can estimate team performance. Thus, these empirical findings in other contexts may also hold within the JAMU workforce. Furthermore, the results also include findings about possible concerns centered around the quality of inclusion in church life, leadership, and the job satisfaction of workers – particularly among younger employees.


This explanatory sequential mixed-methods investigative study has yielded some insights that are potentially relevant for leaders faced with the challenges associated with JAMU’s currently generationally diverse workforce. Foremost among these insights is the significant relationship generational intelligence has with team cohesion and team performance. To maximize this advantage, there needs to be effective, multi-faceted approaches to understanding, building and sustaining teams in this new environment. This will impact the way in which leadership supports, empowers and collaborates with employees to embrace a shifting culture and work environment. To this end, the issue of inclusion, empowerment and innovation are key to unlock the potential and growing expectation of an intelligent and educated workforce. The study also highlights the need for carefully examining the systems, structures and manner of work best suited to respond to the new workforce of JAMU. This mixed-method research provides useful, convergent insights for addressing any misunderstandings arising from the various perspectives and priorities of members of different generations working for JAMU.

Subject Area

Generations--Intelligence levels; Teams in the workplace--Jamaica; Church group work; General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists. Inter-American Division. Jamaican Union Conference; Jamaican Union Conference of Seventh-day Adventists