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Intellectual structure of multigenerational workforce and contextualizing work values across generations: a multistage analysis

Vibhav Singh (Human Resource Management, Narsee Monjee Institute of Management Studies University, Navi Mumbai, India)
Surabhi Verma (Department of Marketing and Management, Center for Integrative Innovation Management, University of Southern Denmark, Odense, Denmark)
Sushil Chaurasia (University of New Brunswick, Fredericton, Canada)

International Journal of Manpower

ISSN: 0143-7720

Article publication date: 3 August 2020

Issue publication date: 19 May 2021




This study attempts to understand the research clusters and thematic evolution of the topic generational diversity at workplace, over the period of 2001–2009 and 2010–2018. Furthermore, it attempts to identify the key shifts (and convergence) that have taken place in the value system across generational cohorts.


In this context, the first stage of the study involved an in-depth systematic analysis of extant literature on multigenerational workforce between 2001–2009 and 2010–2018 by applying bibliometric analysis. Following an explanatory mix-method approach, the second stage of the study comprised of 32 interviews conducted across generations, exploring the role of ethics at the workplace.


It was revealed that during the period 2001–2009, communication and identification of generational characteristics emerged as the major themes. The 2010–2018 period unraveled four themes of research – retaining and engaging millennials through leadership, generational differences in work values, impact of generational differences on organizational-level variables and generational diversity in education and nursing. The outcome from the second stage showed that work values differ across generations with an emphasis on intrinsic work values, and work values have rather deteriorated, with baby boomers possessing stronger work ethics in comparison to the millennials. Finally, an integrated model for multigenerational workforce has been proposed.

Research limitations/implications

This paper provides significant inputs to the expanding research in the area of work values, as it delves into the principal mechanisms leading to differences in work values among generations.


Bibliometric analysis, which is a quantitative approach to understanding the intellectual structure of a research topic, has been applied to generational diversity at the workplace. This constitutes a novel attempt that can be bracketed as a pertinent contribution to the field.



The authors would like to acknowledge the insights given by the Editor, Associate Editor, and Anonymous reviewers to improve the manuscript.Funding: There is no funding for this project.


Singh, V., Verma, S. and Chaurasia, S. (2021), "Intellectual structure of multigenerational workforce and contextualizing work values across generations: a multistage analysis", International Journal of Manpower, Vol. 42 No. 3, pp. 470-487.



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