Generational Differences in the Workplace

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Mrs Logic (CC BY 2.0)

Across today’s workforce, Boomers, Gen X, and Millenials are changing shifts and working alongside one another. Popular belief holds that younger employees bring a new set of values: while the older generation “lives to work,” the younger generation “works to live.”

Organizations such as Google have responded with perks that appeal to fresh-out-of-college hires. But do the real differences hold up against the stereotypes? How does the older generation view the younger, and vice-versa? Do leaders need to adapt? In today’s post, we present two studies that examine this changing workforce from the inside.

Scott W. Lester, Rhetta L. Standifer, Nicole J. Schultz, and James M. Windsor, all of the University of Wisconsin–Eau Claire, published “Actual Versus Perceived Generational Differences at Work: An Empirical Examination” on April 25, 2012 in the Journal of Leadership & Organizational Studies. To view other OnlineFirst articles, please click here.


Jean M. Twenge of San Diego State University, Stacy M. Campbell of Kennesaw State University, and Brian J. Hoffman and Charles E. Lance, both of the University of Georgia, published “Generational Differences in Work Values: Leisure and Extrinsic Values Increasing, Social and Intrinsic Values Decreasing” in the September 2010 issue of the Journal of Management. To view other articles in this issue, please click here.

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