Personality and leadership style in generation z: A quantitative study in a higher education institution in Mexico

Marcela Haydée Ruiz Vázquez, Francisco Gabriel Rodríguez González, Juana Cecilia Trujillo Reyes


Purpose: The purpose of this study was to discern the combination of personality traits that most contribute to effective leadership styles in individuals belonging to Generation Z.

Design/methodology/approach: We utilized a structural equation model to analyze data from 244 higher education students in Mexico. This approach allowed us to examine the relationship between personality traits, leadership styles, and perceived effectiveness.

Findings: Our findings indicate that the transformational leadership style is the most impactful among Generation Z individuals. Furthermore, the personality traits of openness and conscientiousness emerged as the most influential in relation to effective leadership styles.

Research limitations/implications: 

Despite valuable insights, limitations exist due to small sample size (n=244) from one institution, restricting generalizability. The cross-sectional nature provides a snapshot, not accounting for societal/technological shifts affecting Generation Z over time. Self-reported data may suffer from biases. The cultural context focuses solely on a Mexican educational setting. Future research calls for larger, more diverse samples across institutions/countries with longitudinal data to offer enhanced, nuanced understanding of evolving leadership and personality traits within Generation Z.

Practical implications: Organizations could enhance effectiveness by fostering transformational leadership among Generation Z employees through coaching/training programs tailored for this cohort. Academically, business curricula would benefit from integrating insights on aligning leadership styles with inherent personality traits.

Social Implications: Transformational leadership emergence within Generation Z may propagate leaders equipped to drive innovation, convey visionary goals, and evoke follower commitment to address pressing societal issues.

Originality/value: To our knowledge, this study represents the first investigation within the Mexican context examining the interplay of personality traits, leadership styles, and effectiveness among Generation Z individuals.


Transformational leadership, big five, Generation Z, structural equation modeling, effectiveness

Full Text:



Licencia de Creative Commons 

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License

Intangible Capital, 2004-2024

Online ISSN: 1697-9818; Print ISSN: 2014-3214; DL: B-33375-2004

Publisher: OmniaScience