Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Work, leisure attitudes of Baby Boomers, Generation Xers and Millennials compared

Date:
March 10, 2010
Source:
SAGE Publications
Summary:
Managing the young generation of workers -- sometimes called GenY, GenMe, or Millennials -- is a hot topic, covered in the popular press and discussed in numerous books and seminars. However, most of these discussions are based on perceptions and anecdote rather than hard data, partially because no one had established that GenY differed in work values from previous generations -- until now.

Managing the young generation of workers -- sometimes called GenY, GenMe, or Millennials -- is a hot topic, covered in the popular press and discussed in numerous books and seminars. However, most of these discussions are based on perceptions and anecdote rather than hard data, partially because no one had established that GenY differed in work values from previous generations.

Related Articles


Until now. Using a large nationally representative sample of young people surveyed since 1976, an article in the Journal of Management (published by SAGE) compared the work values of GenY (born in the late 1980s) to those of GenX (born in the 1970s) and Boomers (born in the 1950s) at the same age. This unique design using data from the past and present allowed the authors to identify differences due to generation and not to age or career stage.

Striking differences emerged for valuing leisure. GenY was much more likely than previous generations to say they wanted a job with an easy pace and lots of vacation time, and less likely to want to work overtime. They also saw work as less central to their lives and were more likely to agree that "work is just making a living." At the same time, they placed more importance on salary and status. In other words, the younger generation wants to have their cake (big salaries) and eat it too (work-life balance).

Press accounts often mention that GenY wants to help others and have a positive impact on society, but the study found no differences in preferences for jobs that helped others or were worthwhile to society -- GenX'ers and Boomers embraced such values just as much when they were young. GenY supposedly want interesting and fulfilling jobs where they can make friends, but analyses showed that GenY actually values these things less than previous generations.

These findings have practical implications for recruiting and retaining the young generation. Programs allowing employees to volunteer to help others during work hours or that emphasize social good will be no more successful now than in the past.

"Company programs focusing on work-life balance, relaxation, and leisure, however, fit GenY's values well," writes lead author Jean M. Twenge, professor of psychology at San Diego State University and author of the book Generation Me. "With more and more GenY'ers entering the workplace, these findings provide implications for the recruitment and management of the emerging workforce."

Co-authors on the study included Stacy M. Campbell, a management professor at Kennesaw State University, and Brian Hoffman and Charles Lance from industrial-organizational psychology at the University of Georgia.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by SAGE Publications. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Twenge et al. Generational Differences in Work Values: Leisure and Extrinsic Values Increasing, Social and Intrinsic Values Decreasing. Journal of Management, 2010; DOI: 10.1177/0149206309352246

Cite This Page:

SAGE Publications. "Work, leisure attitudes of Baby Boomers, Generation Xers and Millennials compared." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 10 March 2010. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/03/100310083450.htm>.
SAGE Publications. (2010, March 10). Work, leisure attitudes of Baby Boomers, Generation Xers and Millennials compared. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 31, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/03/100310083450.htm
SAGE Publications. "Work, leisure attitudes of Baby Boomers, Generation Xers and Millennials compared." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/03/100310083450.htm (accessed October 31, 2014).

Share This



More Science & Society News

Friday, October 31, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

U.S. Ebola Response Measures Demonstrated

U.S. Ebola Response Measures Demonstrated

AP (Oct. 31, 2014) Officials in the Washington area showed off Ebola response measures being taken at Dulles International Airport and the National Institutes of Health. (Oct. 31) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Fauci Says Ebola Risk in US "essentially Zero"

Fauci Says Ebola Risk in US "essentially Zero"

AP (Oct. 30, 2014) NIAID Director Anthony Fauci said the risk of Ebola becoming an epidemic in the U.S. is essentially zero Thursday at the Washington Ideas Forum. He also said an Ebola vaccine will be tested in West Africa in the next few months. (Oct. 30) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Killer History on Display at Museum of Death

Killer History on Display at Museum of Death

AP (Oct. 30, 2014) Visitors take a trip down murderer memory lane at the Museum of Death located in the heart of Hollywood. (Oct. 30) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Nurse Defies Ebola Quarantine With Bike Ride

Nurse Defies Ebola Quarantine With Bike Ride

AP (Oct. 30, 2014) A nurse who vowed to defy Maine's voluntary quarantine for health care workers who treated Ebola patients followed through on her promise Thursday, leaving her home for an hour-long bike ride. (Oct. 30) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Science & Society

Business & Industry

Education & Learning

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins