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Generational perceptions and their influences on organizational commitment

Rodrigo Cunha da Silva (Business, FIA, São Paulo, Brazil.)
Joel Souza Dutra (Business, FEA-USP, São Paulo, Brazil.)
Elza Fátima Rosa Veloso (Business, FIA, Mackenzie and FMU, São Paulo, Brazil.)
André Luiz Fischer (Business, FEA-USP, São Paulo, Brazil.)
Leonardo Nelmi Trevisan (Business, Pontifícia Universidade Católica de São Paulo, Brazil.)

Management Research

ISSN: 1536-5433

Article publication date: 15 June 2015

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Abstract

Purpose

This study aims to investigate the existence of delimitations more suited to the emergence of generations in Brazil, and to assess generational perceptions on constructs of the work environment and their influences on organizational commitment.

Design/methodology/approach

The perceptions of 102,540 respondents employed by 394 organizations were classified into nine constructs. The methodology used entailed an initial confirmatory factorial analysis, which was undertaken to investigate the validity of the proposed measurement model. Regression analyses were applied to test the relationship between work environment and commitment.

Findings

The results highlight that the Baby Boomer generation attributed more value to the meaning of work and corporate social responsibility. Meaning of work, learning and development were given a high level of importance in the results for Generation X. Generation Y values learning and development, relationships with co-workers and Work-life balance more than the other two generations.

Research limitations/implications

This research is classified as a cross-sectional study that does not allow us to substantiate whether differences between the groups were caused by influence of generations or the age of respondents. Therefore, nationwide surveys capable of offsetting the age effect on generational differences are still necessary. Another constraint is related to the fact that only data from the survey that annually elects the “Best Companies to Work for in Brazil” were used for undertaking this study. Moreover, because all variables were collected simultaneously from the same source, the authors recognize that the results could have problems related to common method biases.

Practical implications

The authors believe that the identification of critical dimensions of workers’ perception regarding the work environment equips human resources professionals with the ability to implement policies and practices that align people management with the differing desires of each generation, effectively ensuring commitment from these professionals.

Social implications

This study may contribute to researchers by highlighting the need for temporal outlines suited to the Brazilian reality, which might also inspire further research on the country’s generations, even associating them with other themes, such as values, personality and professional motivation.

Originality/value

As the main contributions, the authors have sought to highlight that generational differences may be related to specific periods in each country’s historical context. The authors also show the determining factors influencing each generation’s affective commitment and justify each of their choices.

Keywords

Acknowledgements

The author acknowledges PROGEP and CNPQ.

Citation

Silva, R.C.d., Dutra, J.S., Veloso, E.F.R., Fischer, A.L. and Trevisan, L.N. (2015), "Generational perceptions and their influences on organizational commitment", Management Research, Vol. 13 No. 1, pp. 5-30. https://doi.org/10.1108/MRJIAM-12-2013-0537

Publisher

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Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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