Gender, Generation and Transition Leadership: Towards a Conceptual Framework


  • Atif Hassan
  • Rafia Faiz
  • Nadeem Iqbal


Gender, Generation, Leadership, Change, Qualitative Research


It is inevitable and leaders must keep on taking transitional initiatives proactively or reactively to keep their businesses in competition. The purpose of this paper is to examine the lived experiences of educational leaders as change agents in terms of gender and generational variations involved in transitional initiatives in services industry of Pakistan. Based upon critical realism philosophy, twenty semi structured in-depth face to face interviews were conducted with the heads of departments of different universities in Pakistan. Purposive and snowball sampling techniques were employed. All the interviews were translated into English and transcribed verbatim. Data was analyzed in QSR NVivo using thematic analysis. The study derived that large scale disparities exist in transition leaders on the basis of their gender and generational contexts which can be better understood through the dyadic combinations derived on the basis of dynamics of both gender and generational variations i.e. Male Young (MY) or Female Young (FY). Furthermore, it was found that young male leaders are more change oriented and keen to take new initiatives as compare to the older generation leaders whereas young female leaders are inhibited at large due to cultural limitations and attitude of male counterparts as major barriers yet young female leaders are found enthusiastic to confront these challenges and succeed in their careers. Additionally, it is also found that the differences are relative to adaptiveness and passion of the transition leaders to keep themselves abreast of emerging approaches and technologies. The proposed Four quadrant transition leadership framework will personify the four indigenous types of transition leaders at the interplay of gender and generation. This study is vital for developing understanding about the critical needs of being adaptive in near future while setting foundational guidelines for the transition leaders to assess themselves in line with the changing needs of the 21st century businesses and be responsive. The proposed framework will facilitate critical understanding of inherent differences for being a male or female and young or old leader in terms of strengths and weaknesses specifically within the spectrum of transition leadership. This will institute a novel mechanism to select and develop the transition leaders as per the transformational needs of 21st century.