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Book part
Publication date: 30 June 2016

Eddy S. Ng and Emma Parry

Interest in generational research has garnered a lot of attention, as the workplace is seeing multiple generations (i.e., the Silent Generation, Baby Boomers, Gen Xers…

Abstract

Interest in generational research has garnered a lot of attention, as the workplace is seeing multiple generations (i.e., the Silent Generation, Baby Boomers, Gen Xers, and Millennials) working side-by-side for the first time. However, it is unclear how multiple generations of workers interact with each other and affect the workplace. Although there is extant literature on generational differences, some scholars have argued that the effect sizes are small and the differences are not meaningful. The focal aim of this chapter is to present the current state of literature on generational research. We present the relevant conceptualizations and theoretical frameworks that establish generational research. We then review evidence from existing research studies to establish the areas of differences that may exist among the different generations. In our review, we identify the issues arising from generational differences that are relevant to human resource management (HRM) practices, including new workforce entrants, aging workers, the changing nature of work and organizations, and leadership development. We conclude with several directions for future research on modernizing workplace policies and practices, ensuring sustainability in current employment models, facilitating future empirical research, and integrating the effects of globalization in generational research.

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Article
Publication date: 2 October 2019

Cherise M. Burton, Chrissa Mayhall, Jennifer Cross and Patrick Patterson

Therefore, the purpose of this paper is to review the existing literature on multigenerational teams, to evaluate the maturity of the research area, identify key themes…

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1902

Abstract

Purpose

Therefore, the purpose of this paper is to review the existing literature on multigenerational teams, to evaluate the maturity of the research area, identify key themes, and highlight areas for future research. Generational differences in the workforce are becoming a critical factor, as four generations (Veterans/Traditionalists, Baby Boomers, Generation X and Generation Y/Millennials) currently co-exist, and a fifth generation (Generation Z) stands poised to enter the workforce. To manage these differences effectively, organizations must first understand the various generations and, ultimately, their interaction and engagement with each other. Whereas some literature on the differences between the generations and how they pertain to the organizational work environment exists, currently, it is unclear what is known about how these differences impact the performance of multigenerational teams.

Design/methodology/approach

This paper presents a systematic literature review on teams and generational differences. A total of 7 platforms were included, resulting in 121 articles in the final paper set.

Findings

The review confirmed a low presence of literature related to generational differences and teams, implying the knowledge area is currently immature; however, despite this, there is an upward trajectory in publications and citations over the past few years, and existing publications and citations span a number of countries, suggesting a likelihood of significant growth in the research area in the near future. Further, key themes were identified in the current literature relating to commitment, leadership, team dynamics, conflict and wages and work environment.

Research limitations/implications

Only seven platforms were included in this review, although the seven platforms chosen are believed to provide comprehensive coverage of the field. The search strings used were “generation” and “team,” which was the word combination found to produce the largest number of results in preliminary trials; however, it is possible that using additional word combinations might have yielded some additional papers. Finally, the review was limited to English-language articles (or their translations); although, ultimately, only two articles were eliminated because of lack of an English language version.

Practical implications

The findings can be used by organizations to identify factors of interest in managing multigenerational teams, as well as what is currently known about influencing those factors to achieve more positive team outcomes.

Originality/value

To the best of the authors’ knowledge, this appears to be the first systematic literature review on generational differences in teams. Given the importance of this topic, this review is critical to provide a baseline on what is currently known in the field and existing research and practice gaps.

Details

Team Performance Management: An International Journal, vol. 25 no. 7/8
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1352-7592

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Article
Publication date: 28 February 2020

Julie Smith and Susan Garriety

Being successful in a rapidly changing world of work depends upon having very clear insights into the nature of the workforce from top leadership to lowest employee…

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697

Abstract

Purpose

Being successful in a rapidly changing world of work depends upon having very clear insights into the nature of the workforce from top leadership to lowest employee levels. Understanding generational similarities and differences provides a good starting point, as it provides the basis for examining the diversity of generational perspectives and needs and insight and instruction to open the thinking about the diverse population of employees. The purpose of this paper is to explore ways to bridge the five generations that work in today’s workforce.

Design/methodology/approach

Human resources has an especially important role to play in employee policy development and implementation, employee relations, performance evaluation, career progression and a wide range of other equally important and complex situations.

Findings

While it is important to understand these broad generations, it is critical to engage with the individuals within your organization to better understand their perspectives, what matters most to them and where they see the greatest challenges and opportunities to bridge across generations. This paper explores approaches to take in bridging these generations.

Originality/value

This paper will offer readers valuable insight into managing a multi-generational workforce.

Details

Strategic HR Review, vol. 19 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1475-4398

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Article
Publication date: 22 November 2011

Andrew Joy and Barry P. Haynes

The purpose of this paper is to evaluate the impact the workplace can have on knowledge working for a multi‐generational workforce.

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2771

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to evaluate the impact the workplace can have on knowledge working for a multi‐generational workforce.

Design/methodology/approach

A case study analysis is undertaken of Leeds City Council (LCC) workplace in the UK.

Findings

The findings from the study show that in the context of LCC there are some key differences between the generations regarding knowledge working preferences for formal/informal meeting spaces. In other aspects, such as knowledge sharing, the generations appear to agree on key aspects such as mentoring and team‐based working environments.

Practical implications

Corporate real estate managers can use the research findings to assist them in providing a range of workplace settings to enhance multi‐generational interaction.

Originality/value

This paper fills a gap in current research by evaluating workplace preferences based on generational differences.

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Book part
Publication date: 19 August 2021

Frances M. McKee-Ryan

Generation Z comprises the newest cohort to enter the workforce, and they not content to be the Millennials’ younger sibling. Born between 1997 and 2012, Gen Z’s identity…

Abstract

Generation Z comprises the newest cohort to enter the workforce, and they not content to be the Millennials’ younger sibling. Born between 1997 and 2012, Gen Z’s identity is shaped by being the first generation to come into a post-9/11 world, by the effects of the Great Recession on their parents’ and families’ economic well-being, by the proliferation of technology and social media, by the specter of school shootings and violence, and by the current period of reckoning with past and present racial injustice. The defining moment for this generation, however, is entering adulthood during or in the wake of a global pandemic that significantly changed both education and industry. The confluence of this new generation of career entrants, the dramatically shifting job forms and careers (e.g., contingent work and the gig economy), and the post-COVID landscape of work provides a rich and compelling research agenda for management and human resource management as Gen Z enters workplace and progresses through their careers. Little academic research has examined this generation and its complexity, but the business community is very interested in preparing for the influx of Gen Z into their organizations and as consumers. Gen Z is diverse, global, and mobile. They are defined by their almost symbiotic relationship with technology, but surprisingly desire in-person connection. This generation was hard hit by the COVID-19 pandemic, in their education, finances, relationships, and well-being. They are a generation in flux. Future research directions are explored and presented.

Details

Research in Personnel and Human Resources Management
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-80117-430-5

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Article
Publication date: 8 July 2014

Tomislav Hernaus and Nina Pološki Vokic

The purpose of this paper is to uncover the nature of job characteristics related to different generational cohorts (Baby-boomers, Generation X and Generation Y)…

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6176

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to uncover the nature of job characteristics related to different generational cohorts (Baby-boomers, Generation X and Generation Y). Significant differences between four task and four social job characteristics across generational cohorts have been revealed.

Design/methodology/approach

The empirical research was conducted through a field study of employees from large-sized Croatian organizations. A cross-sectional and cross-occupational research design was applied. A total of 512 knowledge workers (139 managers and 373 professionals) participated in the research. Descriptive and inferential statistical methods were used to determine and compare work design across generations.

Findings

The results indicate that job characteristics are not equally represented within different generational cohorts. While the nature of task job characteristics is mostly irrespective of generations, social job characteristics to some extent differ among generational cohorts. High task variety, reasonably high task identity, and a moderate level of both received interdependence and task significance are recognized as common job characteristics of knowledge workers across generations. However, jobs of Baby-boomers, Xers, and Yers are idiosyncratic for work autonomy, interaction with others, initiated interdependence, and teamwork. Additionally, the inclusion of the work type as a control variable revealed that interaction with others does differ but only among generations of professionals.

Originality/value

The present study is the first research in which generational similarities and differences have been empirically examined through job characteristics. The authors focused on knowledge workers within an under-researched context (studies about knowledge workers, work design and generational differences are rare or non-existent in south-eastern European countries), making this systematic investigation unique and practically significant.

Details

Journal of Organizational Change Management, vol. 27 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0953-4814

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Article
Publication date: 7 September 2012

Ruth Helyer and Dionne Lee

The purpose of this paper is to explore the issues around a multiple generational workforce and more specifically, the challenges and benefits for education providers and…

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6651

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to explore the issues around a multiple generational workforce and more specifically, the challenges and benefits for education providers and employers.

Design/methodology/approach

Reviewing research papers, analysing academic texts, interrogating market intelligence and contextualising case studies, the paper examines the “experience” or “qualifications” debate alongside the similarities, differences and overlaps of the cross‐generational workforce, with a view to offering education/training solutions.

Findings

Demographic forecasts suggest that the UK workplace will imminently be dominated by older, experienced employees. As the composition of the workplace shifts, examining the inter‐relationship between groups of workers of different ages/profiles who have different skills, attitudes, expectations and learning styles is vital. The synergy caused by this inter‐mingling cannot help but impact on employers, sectors and higher education institutions.

Research limitations/implications

Data around the “older” graduate is not readily available – there is still an implicit belief that “graduate” means approximately 21/22 years old. Whilst many general demographic forecasts are produced, the future is still relatively unknown.

Originality/value

The paper builds upon the authors’ own original research into the employment market from an HE perspective. Little has been so far published around how the generations might usefully work together, especially the idea of adapting the skills and maximising on the overlaps of different generational profiles. The exploration of the hybrid graduate is also a new area for academic research.

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Article
Publication date: 20 January 2012

Vittal S. Anantatmula and Bobbie Shrivastav

The purpose of this paper is to develop a knowledge base for project managers to understand and deal with issues that arise out of Generation Y working with other…

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8705

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to develop a knowledge base for project managers to understand and deal with issues that arise out of Generation Y working with other generations. The research study is expected to generate interest among the research community for undertaking similar studies to advance understanding on this interesting and important topic.

Design/methodology/approach

This research method consists of analyzing literature review findings and survey results of an exploratory study of Generation Y working professionals. Both the literature review findings and the study results were analyzed to develop findings and recommendations.

Findings

Research results confirmed that the generation gap is an issue. Generation Y is viewed unfavorably and they face struggles in dealing with other generations. These generation gap issues might vary depending on the type of industry and composition of the workforce. People from each generation – raised in different social and technological contexts – bring different attitudes, values, and work ethics to the workplace and a project manager is required to manage these to improve project team effectiveness.

Research limitations/implications

The research study has a participant selection bias; only Gen Y working professionals from the USA participated in the study and people from other generations and Generation Y people from other countries were not included in the study. Therefore, study results do not reflect issues from the perspectives of other generations. A similar study that considers participation of people from real project teams consisting of different generations is recommended to validate the research results of this study.

Practical implications

The paper explored issues concerning project teams consisting of members from different generations. Results are expected to help project managers develop team management strategies. This study is also aimed to develop a foundation for future studies to examine how project management can deal with project teams consisting of people of different generations working together. The study findings and implications for practical use are limited due to participation bias.

Originality/value

The study is an original effort in examining some of the issues related to different generations working together in a project environment. Results are of relevance in today's corporate world. Project teams span many generations and present challenges in developing them into a high performing team. This paper addresses some of the challenges from the perspective of Generation Y.

Details

International Journal of Managing Projects in Business, vol. 5 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1753-8378

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Article
Publication date: 10 April 2018

Baiyun Gong, Regina A. Greenwood, David Hoyte, Arlene Ramkissoon and Xin He

Growing up in the technology era and heavily invested in longer full-time education, the millennial workforce holds unique characteristics that may influence important job…

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4812

Abstract

Purpose

Growing up in the technology era and heavily invested in longer full-time education, the millennial workforce holds unique characteristics that may influence important job outcomes. Building on the recent research on workforce generations, this paper aims to investigate not only the overall effect of the millennial generation on organizational citizenship behavior (OCB) but also the nuanced effect of how workforce generations may interact with two factors in career development (i.e. job crafting and career anchor) in predicting OCB.

Design/methodology/approach

An online survey was conducted among full-time workers in the USA, 321 (64 per cent) of whom were millennials. Hierarchical regression was used to test the hypotheses.

Findings

Results indicated that millennials appeared to be less interested in OCB compared to earlier generations in the workforce. Nevertheless, some dimensions of OCB increased when millennials conducted resource-related job crafting or when they held a career anchor on service. In addition, both of these career development factors were positively correlated with OCB.

Research limitations/implications

This study offers important implications to researchers as well as practitioners and highlights the significance of career development factors in motivating millennials toward desired job outcomes.

Originality/value

This research is among the initial attempts to assess the impact of job design and career factors on OCB among millennial workers. The findings highlight millennials’ unique perspectives toward OCB and how job crafting and career anchor may play influencing roles on OCB. With millennials becoming the largest generation in the workforce, such knowledge is critical.

Details

Management Research Review, vol. 41 no. 7
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2040-8269

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Book part
Publication date: 23 October 2020

Shaheema Hameed and Meera Mathur

With a population of 472 million, Generation Z in India is the largest in the world. This chapter studies the demographic breakdown of the members of Generation Z, their…

Abstract

With a population of 472 million, Generation Z in India is the largest in the world. This chapter studies the demographic breakdown of the members of Generation Z, their political and social concerns, their career aspirations, their workplace preferences, and the changing consumer attributes. The research design for this study incorporated a qualitative approach comprising of four focus group discussions (see Appendix). Members of Generation Z in India show common behaviours and preferences with their counterparts around the world. However, members of Generation Z in India have clear opinions and ideas of how youth can contribute to a developing nation like India.

Details

The New Generation Z in Asia: Dynamics, Differences, Digitalisation
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-80043-221-5

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