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Xennials: a microgeneration in the workplace

Melissa Kempf Taylor (Division of Student Affairs, University of Louisville, Louisville, Kentucky, USA)

Industrial and Commercial Training

ISSN: 0019-7858

Article publication date: 11 January 2018

Issue publication date: 20 February 2018




The purpose of this paper is to investigate the microgeneration between Generation X and the Millennial generation. The research question addressed was “What makes the Xennial generation unique and how might the knowledge of these differences be beneficial to organizations?”


The research question was analyzed by a review of literature through the lens of generational theory. This study reviewed current literature on generational theory, years encompassing specific generations, and differences between recent generations in the workplace.


It was discovered the exact years distinguishing generations were unclear because generations fade into one another without a distinct starting and stopping point. This overlap creates a cusp generation or microgeneration. The presented findings suggest microgeneration employees could aid in reducing workplace generational tensions.

Practical implications

Organizations can benefit from creating flexible workplaces accommodating the desires of multi-generational employees while still meeting the goals of the organization as a whole. It is important managers approach generational differences with a clear perspective of what information is valid and what may simply be popular. It is crucial to remember employees are individuals who never completely fit a stereotype, generational, or otherwise.


Very few academic articles on generational differences mention cusp generations and none address their unique opportunities for organizations in the workplace. Members of microgenerations between major generational cohorts may be a key to reducing workplace friction between employees of different generations.



Taylor, M.K. (2018), "Xennials: a microgeneration in the workplace", Industrial and Commercial Training, Vol. 50 No. 3, pp. 136-147.



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