Enhancing facilities management through generational awareness

Paulette Hebert (Department of Design, Housing and Merchandising, Oklahoma State University, Stillwater, Oklahoma, USA)
Sylvia Chaney (Department of Design, Housing and Merchandising, Oklahoma State University, Stillwater, Oklahoma, USA)

Journal of Facilities Management

ISSN: 1472-5967

Publication date: 3 May 2011



Facilities management centers on the triad of people, process, and place, but the element of people is incomplete without recognition and consideration of the different generations that make up today's workforce and the differences between these groups. The purpose of this article is to suggest that facilities managers should take advantage of available current information on generational differences, in order to maximize their ability to manage people and knowledge.


This article presents pertinent findings from a recent pilot study that surveyed 55 facilities management professionals from the mid‐Western USA, presents a brief overview of current knowledge relating to generational differences, and highlights the relevance of such knowledge to effective facilities management.


Almost one quarter of the respondents to the pilot study did not agree that knowledge of generational differences was important, while about half of the respondents only somewhat agreed that it was important. However, a survey of relevant literature suggests that successful management of generational differences in the workplace has the potential to improve the efficiency and viability of an enterprise, including facilitating knowledge management.

Research limitations/implications

The current study is limited by its small sample size. Additional research is needed to further examine the value facilities managers place on generational knowledge and the relationship between facilities management and knowledge management.


The current paucity of information regarding the relationship between generational differences, facilities management, and knowledge management makes studies like this one relevant and valuable to facilities managers operating in a workplace with unprecedented generational diversity and an increasingly knowledge‐driven economy.



Hebert, P. and Chaney, S. (2011), "Enhancing facilities management through generational awareness", Journal of Facilities Management, Vol. 9 No. 2, pp. 145-152. https://doi.org/10.1108/14725961111128489

Download as .RIS



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2011, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Please note you might not have access to this content

You may be able to access this content by login via Shibboleth, Open Athens or with your Emerald account.
If you would like to contact us about accessing this content, click the button and fill out the form.
To rent this content from Deepdyve, please click the button.