Publication Date


Document Type


Committee Members

Dan Abrahamowiz (Committee Co-Chair), Glenn Graham (Committee Member), Joanne Risacher (Committee Co-Chair)

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)


The millennial generation is continuing to replace previous work generations within higher education. The way that the millennial generation navigates issues of politics and power is not easily understood by institutions. This qualitative study of millennial professionals investigates how they handle issues of power and politics, their experiences with top-down structure, how they work around issues of power and politics and how their identity plays a role. Individual interviews and a demographic questionnaire were used to obtain data in this study. Participants invited to participate were millennial professionals who had worked at the institution from 1-5 years. Eight participants were interviewed, with five identifying as women, two identifying as men and one identifying as genderqueer. All participants were currently employed at a mid- size four-year, public university in the Midwest in a student affairs position or similar field. Themes that emerged from the interviews included politics and power, experience related to French and Raven's five bases of social power, labels and hierarchy, being intentional within the work, and identity. Limitations of the study, implications for higher education, suggestions for future research and recommendations for professionals working in higher education are also addressed.

Page Count


Department or Program

Department of Leadership Studies in Education & Organizations

Year Degree Awarded