According the Economist, the current workforce can mostly be broken down into three generations: Baby-boomers (born between 1946 and the mid 60’s), Generation X (born from the mid 60’s to the early 80’s) and Generation Y (born after the early 80’s). However, managers are concerned more than in the past about working with three groups that seem to have such hugely differing values. But are the values across the generations of the current workforce really that different? Authors Jennifer Mencl and Scott W. Lester discuss in their article “More Alike Than Different: What Generations Value and How the Values Affect Employee Workplace Perceptions” from Journal of Leadership and Organizational
The purpose of this study was to extend generations research by investigating similarities and differences regarding the importance generations place on the presence of various workplace characteristics. We hypothesized (1) that similarities in the importance of workplace factors between generations would be more prevalent than differences and (2) that the importance of the workplace factors would have consistently similar or different moderating effects among generations on the relationships between employee perceptions of the factors at their organizations and employee attitudes. As expected, results showed the generations were similar on 7 of the 10 work values examined. Findings also revealed similarities and differences between the generations for the factors as moderators, although more differences than similarities were present from these analyses. Implications of these findings as well as directions for future research are discussed.
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