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Accountability, entitlement, tenure, and satisfaction in Generation Y

Mary Dana Laird (Department of Management and Marketing, Collins College of Business, The University of Tulsa, Tulsa, OK, USA)
Paul Harvey (Management Department, Peter T. Paul College of Business and Economics, University of New Hampshire, Durham, NH, USA)
Jami Lancaster (Department of Energy Management, Oklahoma City University, Oklahoma City, OK, USA)

Journal of Managerial Psychology

ISSN: 0268-3946

Article publication date: 9 February 2015




Given the entitlement and job mobility associated with Generation Y, the purpose of this paper is to investigate the moderating effects of psychological entitlement and tenure on the felt accountability-job satisfaction relationship.


Survey data from a sample of resident assistants were examined using hierarchical moderated regression analysis.


Entitled employees responded to accountability favorably, demonstrating lower job satisfaction than non-entitled employees when accountability was low, but nearly equal levels when accountability was high. All participants reported higher job satisfaction when job tenure was lower, but entitlement-driven satisfaction differences were observed only when accountability was low.

Research limitations/implications

Cross-sectional data warrants longitudinal replication to establish causation and to give insight into how much time must pass before accountability begins to reduce the negative effects of entitlement.

Practical implications

Findings suggest that managerial tactics that increase employees’ felt accountability could reduce the negative impact of psychological entitlement on job attitudes and related outcomes.


Using a unique sample of Generation Y employees, the results provide an indication of how supervisors from earlier generations can improve the workplace attitudes of younger workers.



Laird, M.D., Harvey, P. and Lancaster, J. (2015), "Accountability, entitlement, tenure, and satisfaction in Generation Y", Journal of Managerial Psychology, Vol. 30 No. 1, pp. 87-100.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2015, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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