This article aims to advance understanding of the various and differing aspects of government communication as a means to determine where the various generations’ values converge and diverge and to forecast the future implications of the findings by analyzing similarities and differences between the Generation Y public relations (PR) student sample at a Western Canadian university and the working generations of a communications branch within a provincial government, specifically Generation Y.
This comparative study uses data from two previous studies to identify and analyze trends among Generation Y communicators – both those in the university setting and those already working within government – specific to values, skills and perceptions of the government communication function. It asks: how do the values and opinions of Generation Y university PR students compare and contrast with values and opinions from Generation Y communication staff within a provincial government?
Along with supporting some of the assumptions and previous findings relating to Generation Y, the findings from this purposive survey and subsequent comparative analysis offer a new and deeper understanding of the workplace needs and wants of those represented by the particular sample. The findings also provide a glimpse into what the future of government communications might look like and the skills the next generation of employees will need to have.
The sample size used in this article is small and purposive, and should not be read as representative. The intent is not to generalize broad populations and generations, but to add to knowledge in a very specific area.
The results of this study directly inform the practice of government communication by addressing current and future recruitment challenges.
A study of generational values within Canadian Government communication has not been conducted previously by scholars and academics. This study fills a gap in the research and offers valuable insight for future research.
Berry, J. (2014), "Y in the workplace: comparative analysis of values, skills and perceptions of government communication amongst university students and government staff", Foresight, Vol. 16 No. 5, pp. 432-447. https://doi.org/10.1108/FS-03-2013-0010
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