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Article
Publication date: 11 April 2016

Phil Lambert, Warren Marks, Virginia Elliott and Natalie Johnston-Anderson

The purpose of this paper is to report on a study examining the existence and perceived influence of “generational collide” for teachers and leaders across three…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to report on a study examining the existence and perceived influence of “generational collide” for teachers and leaders across three generations – Baby Boomers, Generation X (Gen X) and Generation Y (Gen Y). The study sought to further determine if a teacher’s generation, gender, school level or position influenced their beliefs about generational leadership change.

Design/methodology/approach

This study employed a cross-sectional survey using an explanatory sequential mixed methods design. A random sample of teachers and leaders from schools in the Sydney metropolitan area participated in a questionnaire (n=244) and a purposive sample of eight participants from each of the three generational groups (n=24) participated in a follow up interview.

Findings

The data revealed that teachers and leaders across all three generations agreed that “generational collide” is real and is currently happening in some schools. Each generation has their own perceptions about the “collide” and often do not recognise that this may differ for other generations. In relation to the key variables, this study demonstrated that primary teachers were significantly more likely to believe that generational leadership change was happening than secondary teachers and that Baby Boomers were significantly more likely to view their staying on past retirement age as positive compared to both Gen X and Gen Y.

Practical implications

The findings from this study have practical implications for system leaders charged with the responsibility of providing the supply of quality leadership for schools through effective succession planning programmes and policies.

Social implications

The findings from this study have social implications for principals’ (and deputy principals’) professional associations who have the responsibility for the personal, professional and career welfare of principals and aspiring principals.

Originality/value

This paper adds to the growing body of evidence around generational collide in schools by providing an Australian perspective on the phenomenon. Moreover, this paper raises important concerns for school leaders and administrators involved in leadership development initiatives at the micro, meso and macro levels. Teachers in each generation have specific beliefs around promotion, career pathways, knowledge transfer and talent retention that need to be recognised and considered in future succession planning.

Details

Journal of Educational Administration, vol. 54 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0957-8234

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Book part
Publication date: 8 August 2017

Deborah Gaspar and Kelly Hayden

How does leadership empower seasoned staff to relinquish historical practices without compromising self-image with new staff? Libraries are rife with legacy practices;…

Abstract

How does leadership empower seasoned staff to relinquish historical practices without compromising self-image with new staff? Libraries are rife with legacy practices; those processes and procedures that were valid and important yet are no longer useful. Relinquishing those practices can be challenging for some staff members. In many cases it is simply, “we’ve always done it that way.” In other cases it has to do with ownership, self-image, or perceptions of job security. The authors examine literature on organizational change exploring the implications of legacy practices and procedures through the lens of Generational Theory. A targeted literature review establishes the link between theories and practices. Specific examples of workflow transitions are examined in order to understand how generational and change theories inform staff behaviors. Legacy practices may be perceived as a barrier that disenfranchises younger staff while at the same time be perceived as a barrier that isolates and devalues older staff. Literature informs us that intra-generational stereotypes prevail and add tensions to discussions of workflow changes. Times of change can be emotionally charged and these stereotypes often lead to misunderstandings, hurt feelings, and conflict. Leadership strategies emerging from literature on organizational change must be applied with careful attention to characteristics identified by generational theory. Communication is a prevalent and recurring theme for successful change initiatives. It is also a moment when generational theory awareness will inform good practice and avoid emotional pitfalls. A careful step-by-step examination of specific workflows that have changed in libraries during recent decades will provide examples in order to inform leaders’ planning for future changes.

Details

Emotion in the Library Workplace
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78743-083-9

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Article
Publication date: 5 January 2015

Xiang Yi, Barbara Ribbens, Linna Fu and Weibo Cheng

– The purpose of this paper is to compare and understand how age, gender and culture affect individual career and work-related attitudes in Chinese and American samples.

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to compare and understand how age, gender and culture affect individual career and work-related attitudes in Chinese and American samples.

Design/methodology/approach

Online and printed questionnaires were administered to employees and managers in China, whereas in the USA, faculty, staff and students at a Midwestern university responded to an online survey. Snowball sampling technique was used to collect data. Independent sample t-tests were conducted to test the hypothesis.

Findings

The study showed different work values and attitudes in the workplace between Chinese and the US samples, and indicated the specifics influences that national culture has on them. Culture affects generational changes; generational differences in the US sample are bigger than in Chinese sample; work values differ across generations and cultures; traditional gender role differences persist more strongly across generations in Chinese sample than in the US sample.

Research limitations/implications

Generalizability issues; cross-sectional data.

Practical implications

US-based multi-national corporations need to understand these differences and better manage their diverse employees operating in China.

Originality/value

This study compared generation, culture and gender differences simultaneously; parallel groups at similar life stages were used by basing the boundaries of each generation on the distinct cultural events of each nation. This approach is more consistent with generation definitions than by using influential specific events of each country, respectively. Useful to managers, it will provide guidance for understanding work values and attitudes across gender and generations in the USA and China. Most benefit will occur for US based multinational companies that have Chinese operations, and manage employees with cultural, gender and generational differences.

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Article
Publication date: 1 August 2019

Davide Torsello

The purpose of this paper is to disentangle the different and sometimes controversial aspects of Generation Y workers’ behavior at the workplace and to provide real-life…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to disentangle the different and sometimes controversial aspects of Generation Y workers’ behavior at the workplace and to provide real-life answers to human resource management and the study of employee relations.

Design/methodology/approach

The study makes use of an empirical research framework to assess dominant preferences, values and patterns of behavior in workplaces where Generation Y employees have demographic relevance. The main research questions that this paper will address are: RQ1: What are the main features of organizational culture that are deemed functionally important to their job satisfaction by Generation Y workers? RQ2: Which are the general societal and generational values that affect most prominently their behavioral responses to duties and tasks in the workplace? RQ3: How do millennial workers perceive the gap between a real and an ideal organization in which they work in interactional and behavioral terms? The methodology includes a survey and interviews conducted in a multinational corporation based in Budapest. The theoretical framework is the one developed by Margaret Mead (1970) on value preferences and their generational change.

Findings

When generational values and behavioral patterns are not in harmony with the proper organizational cultural aspects of the company high attrition rates become manifest. Generation Y workers can be defined as cofigurate culture (Mead, 1970) in the sense that this generation encapsulates innovative aspects in some bridging features to the previous generation (Generation X). This is one of the aspects that may account for the conflicting social and work values that characterize work relations between Generation Y and X employees. Moreover, because of the three different domains on which work satisfaction is built (social, organizational and cultural) Generation Y workers will aim to strike a balance between expectations, ideas about what a good organization should look like and real-life experiences.

Research limitations/implications

Since the research concerns only one company case study, its scope is limited. In particular, empirical approaches to the study of employee relations with Generation Y workers are still few and more research is needed to fill this gap.

Practical implications

Millennial workers are not simply part of a different generation, as they actually share some value aspects and orientations of the previous generation. The practical implication is that the behavioral and organizational features that bridge Generation X and Y preferences should be detected in order to improve employee relations. Second, paying attention to the social, cultural and organizational features that Generation Y workers deem as important when describing their daily work experiences, it is possible to limit miscommunication and reduce attrition rates.

Social implications

The study of generational features and tendencies at the workplace is an important social field since it brings new insights into work relations and leadership. Treating the Generation Y as a cofigurate culture helps to bring together cultural and social preferences with values built on the workplace and in the social context of belonging.

Originality/value

The paper provides an original contribution to the study of generational, social and organizational aspects concerning the daily work experience of millennials in a corporation. The study builds an empirical framework in which the value aspects that shape the everyday reality of employee relations are measured and triangulated with qualitative data from ethnographic interviews. This paper can be of interest both to academic and to practitioners, thanks to its strong practical application to human resource management.

Details

Employee Relations: The International Journal, vol. 41 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0142-5455

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Article
Publication date: 20 June 2019

Marina Anna Schmitz

This paper aims to provide insights into current issues, such as changing expectations and needs of blue-collar workers, from both an employee and HR perspective, to…

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to provide insights into current issues, such as changing expectations and needs of blue-collar workers, from both an employee and HR perspective, to provoke further research in the business context on this crucial cohort, as well as broaden the current understanding of Human Resources Management (HRM) measures and incentives implemented by the respective foreign companies.

Design/methodology/approach

The author conducted semi-structured interviews with 25 Chinese employees of German multinational companies working in the automobile industry located in Shanghai. Among them, 17 were blue-collar workers and 8 were white-collar workers (General Manager or HR Manager).

Findings

Besides factors attributed to work conditions, all of the work values are located in the individual domain, regarding their level of focus (Facet C according to Lyons et al.). Work values in the growth orientation domain (Facet B according to Lyons et al.) show a mix between context- and growth-oriented factors. However, context-oriented factors are still outnumbering the frequency of growth-oriented ones. Regarding the modality of work values (Facet A), all of the categories (instrumental, social, cognitive and prestige) were reflected in the answers of the blue-collar workers.

Research limitations/implications

Due to the limited number of interviewees no final statement can be made on how age, education, gender, or other demographics influence certain work values. Additionally, Inglehart and Abramson (1994) also mention other potential explanations for observed differences, such as inflation or unemployment rates, and per capita gross national product which were not discussed in this research. Furthermore, the HR management selected the interview candidates regarding the blue-collar cohort which could indicate biased answers of the interviewees.

Practical implications

HRM systems (e.g. reward systems or job design) should be adapted to meet the individual preferences of employees and be sensitive toward a potential value change among certain generational cohorts. The findings showed that although pay is still on the mind of the blue-collar worker, career development seems to be even more important for the future blue-collar workforce. Therefore, companies should as well consider non-financial retention strategies in the future.

Social implications

Due to the talent shortage in China, employee’s ability to assert their interests, wishes and values could be taken to a new level. However, this does not hold true for the (still increasing) flood of migrant workers, often suffering from bad working conditions or discrimination incurred by their hukou status. Although recent changes in the labor regime have taken place (e.g. social insurance reform and labor contract law), the protection of migrant workers still remains insufficient.

Originality/value

By examining the work values of blue-collar workers, this paper draws meaningful implications for talent management with regard to work outcomes, in particular voluntary employee turnover, which is considered to be an issue of concern by both economists and businessmen.

Details

Journal of Chinese Human Resource Management, vol. 10 no. 1/2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2040-8005

Keywords

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Expert briefing
Publication date: 8 February 2017

The reshuffle signals broader generational change in the ruling National Resistance Movement (NRM) regime, heightens fears of further concentration of power, and reignites…

Details

DOI: 10.1108/OXAN-DB217830

ISSN: 2633-304X

Keywords

Geographic
Topical
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Article
Publication date: 20 October 2020

Lynn R. Offermann, Lauren A. Lanzo, Kira O. Foley and Taniyia J. Harvey

Given continuing gender inequality in the upper echelons of organizations, women's leadership aspirations and orientations are of significant research interest…

Abstract

Purpose

Given continuing gender inequality in the upper echelons of organizations, women's leadership aspirations and orientations are of significant research interest. Controversy remains as to whether today's “Millennial” college women approach work with different leadership aspirations and attitudes than previous generational cohorts. This study compares the leadership and achievement orientations of college women leaders from 1985 to 2015, along with peer comparators from 2015.

Design/methodology/approach

Data were obtained from attendees at a conference for college women leaders in 1985 and 2015; male and female comparators were surveyed in 2015.

Findings

Comparing 1985 and 2015 cohorts of college women leaders suggests both similarity and change, as well as differences between women leaders and their male and female peers. Women leaders from 2015 demonstrated no differences in intrinsic direct achievement, lower self-esteem and higher power apprehension and lower levels of leadership motivation compared to the 1985 cohort. Millennial women leaders reported higher intrinsic direct and power direct achievement than male and female peers, with men higher on competitive achievement than either female group. Millennial women were more concerned about workplace gender equity, about sharing household responsibilities and were more favorable toward using external childcare while working compared to male peers.

Practical implications

Implications for developing young women with leadership potential are discussed.

Originality/value

These results make a strong contribution to understanding the leadership aspirations, achievement orientations and work–life expectations of the next generation of organizational leaders.

Details

Journal of Managerial Psychology, vol. 36 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0268-3946

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Article
Publication date: 11 November 2014

Therese Jefferson, Des Klass, Linley Lord, Margaret Nowak and Gail Thomas

Leadership studies which focus on categorising leadership styles have been critiqued for failure to consider the lived experience of leadership. The purpose of this paper…

Abstract

Purpose

Leadership studies which focus on categorising leadership styles have been critiqued for failure to consider the lived experience of leadership. The purpose of this paper is to use the framework of Jepson’s model of contextual dynamics to explore whether this framework assists understanding of the “how and why” of lived leadership experience within the nursing profession.

Design/methodology/approach

Themes for a purposeful literature search and review, having regard to the Jepson model, are drawn from the contemporary and dynamic context of nursing. Government reports, coupled with preliminary interviews with a nurse leadership team, guided selection of contextual issues.

Findings

The contextual interactions arising from managerialism, existing hierarchical models of leadership and increasing knowledge work provided insights into leadership experience in nursing, in the contexts of professional identity and changing educational and generational profiles of nurses. The authors conclude that employing a contextual frame provides insights in studying leadership experience. The author propose additions to the cultural and institutional dimensions of Jepson’s model.

Practical implications

The findings have implications for structuring and communicating key roles and policies relevant to nursing leadership. These include the need to: address perceptions around the legitimacy of current nursing leaders to provide clinical leadership; modify hierarchical models of nursing leadership; address implications of the role of the knowledge workers.

Originality/value

Observing nursing leadership through the lens of Jepson’s model of contextual dynamics confirms that this is an important way of exploring how leadership is enacted. The authors found, however, the model also provided a useful frame for considering the experience and understanding of leadership by those to be led.

Details

Journal of Health Organization and Management, vol. 28 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1477-7266

Keywords

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Book part
Publication date: 8 August 2017

Kabel Nathan Stanwicks

This chapter introduces a new tool, termed the Communication Agreement, for enhancing communication in the library workplace. The chapter defines the communication…

Abstract

This chapter introduces a new tool, termed the Communication Agreement, for enhancing communication in the library workplace. The chapter defines the communication agreement, provides discussion questions for forming a communication agreement, provides examples of how communication agreements are beneficial to a diverse library workforce, and provides strategies to informally assess communication agreements’ effectiveness. Communication problems in diverse library workplaces can lead to, or exacerbate, conflict between employees. Generational, cross-cultural, gender, and other differences can lead to misunderstandings and conflict between employees. The communication agreement provides library managers with a tool to bridge differences in communication styles between employees, enable employees to engage in more effective communication, assist employees in developing better understandings and respect for colleagues of different backgrounds, and raise employees’ emotional intelligences. Numerous resources and publications provide generalized approaches to communicating with others in a heterogeneous workplace or team, but the communication agreement provides a new approach for developing effective communication between people in a diverse library workplace. The chapter lays out informal assessment strategies for the communication agreement, but formal assessment methods and metrics still need to be developed.

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Article
Publication date: 7 November 2017

Laura L. Matherly, Sheikha Shamma bint Sultan bin Khalifa Al Nahyan and Nadia Amin

This study examines attitudes toward higher education for men and women among male and female students and parents in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and demonstrates…

Abstract

Purpose

This study examines attitudes toward higher education for men and women among male and female students and parents in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and demonstrates gender differences in parent and student expectations about the importance of higher education.

Design/methodology/approach

This quantitative study examines attitudes toward higher education among 461 matched students and parents (total sample size 1442 respondents) in six higher education institutions in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and demonstrates gender differences between parent and student perceptions.

Findings

In general, attitudes about the importance of a college degree were high and stable, except that younger, more recent female graduates were more likely to disagree that family traditions were threatened by women completing a college degree. Socio-demographic variables were associated with more favorable attitudes about the value of education for global leadership, the importance of a college education for both men and women and gender equality.

Research limitations/implications

Six higher education institutions were represented in the sample so external validity can be improved by studying these variables in other sample groups across the nation, region and globe. In addition, including additional types of universities, e.g. distance learning, technical, research and military, would indicate if the findings are generalizable to a broader range of institutions of higher education. There are opportunities for future comparative studies to examine the relevance of these findings across cultures and government initiatives to build national human resource capital and to consider other aspects of intergenerational relationships, attitudes and behaviors.

Originality/value

The authors examine perceived implications of the value of higher education on different arenas of men and women’s lives among the Emirates. Additionally, we focus on whether their attitudes vary by gender and generation.

Details

Gender in Management: An International Journal, vol. 32 no. 8
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1754-2413

Keywords

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