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Generational Differences in Work Values, Outcomes and Person-Organization Values Fit


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Purpose The purpose of this paper is to investigate differences between three generational groups currently in the workforce (Baby Boomers, Generation X, and Generation Y), in work values, job satisfaction, affective organisational commitment and intentions to leave. The study also seeks to examine generational differences in person‐organisation values fit. Design/methodology/approach A total of 504 Auckland employees representing a range of industries completed an online questionnaire. Generation X (57 per cent) was defined as those born between 1962‐1979, Baby Boomers (23 per cent) were born 1946‐1961 and Generation Y (17 per cent) were born 1980‐2000. The remainder (3 per cent) were born 1925‐1945. Findings The youngest groups placed more importance on status and freedom work values than the oldest group. Baby Boomers reported better person‐organisation values fit with extrinsic values and status values than Generation X and Generation Y but there were no other generational differences in fit. Where individual and organisational values showed poor fit there were reduced job satisfaction and organisational commitment, and increased intentions to turnover across all three generational groups. Research limitations/implications The study was cross‐sectional and based on self‐report data, limiting the generalisability of findings. Practical implications Values are important in guiding behaviour and enhancing work motivation. Organisational values must be able to meet the needs of different employees, and organisations need to clarify their work values and expectations with staff. Originality/value The paper presents evidence that person‐organisation values fit is important for all generational groups and popular notions about generational differences should not be over‐generalised.
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Generational differences in work
values, outcomes and
person-organisation values fit
Lucy Cennamo
Louis Vuitton Moet Hennessy Perfumes and Cosmetics, London, UK, and
Dianne Gardner
School of Psychology, Massey University, Auckland, New Zealand
Purpose The purpose of this paper is to investigate differences between three generational groups
currently in the workforce (Baby Boomers, Generation X, and Generation Y), in work values, job
satisfaction, affective organisational commitment and intentions to leave. The study also seeks to
examine generational differences in person-organisation values fit.
Design/methodology/approach A total of 504 Auckland employees representing a range of
industries completed an online questionnaire. Generation X (57 per cent) was defined as those born
between 1962-1979, Baby Boomers (23 per cent) were born 1946-1961 and Generation Y (17 per cent)
were born 1980-2000. The remainder (3 per cent) were born 1925-1945.
Findings The youngest groups placed more importance on status and freedom work values than
the oldest group. Baby Boomers reported better person-organisation values fit with extrinsic values
and status values than Generation X and Generation Y but there were no other generational
differences in fit. Where individual and organisational values showed poor fit there were reduced job
satisfaction and organisational commitment, and increased intentions to turnover across all three
generational groups.
Research limitations/implications The study was cross-sectional and based on self-report data,
limiting the generalisability of findings.
Practical implications Values are important in guiding behaviour and enhancing work
motivation. Organisational values must be able to meet the needs of different employees, and
organisations need to clarify their work values and expectations with staff.
Originality/value The paper presents evidence that person-organisation values fit is important for
all generational groups and popular notions about generational differences should not be
Keywords Age groups, Employees, Job satisfaction, New Zealand
Paper type Research paper
Increasingly human resource specialists, managers and researchers are becoming
interested in how to manage and work with people from different generations in the
workplace. Much of this interest is based on the assumption that generations differ
significantly in their goals, expectations and work values. While this assumption is
widely reflected in the popular press, it has been subjected to relatively little empirical
evaluation. The aim of this paper was to investigate generational differences in work
values and possible discrepancies between the values held by individuals and
The current issue and full text archive of this journal is available at
differences in
work values
Received September 2007
Revised February 2008
Accepted March 2008
Journal of Managerial Psychology
Vol. 23 No. 8, 2008
pp. 891-906
qEmerald Group Publishing Limited
DOI 10.1108/02683940810904385
A generation can be defined as an “identifiable group that shares birth years, age
location, and significant life events at critical developmental stages” (Kupperschmidt,
2000, p. 66). Definitions of generation boundaries are problematic. To date most
research into generational differences has been conducted in the US, UK and Canada.
New Zealand has followed similar demographic patterns to those countries, including
participation in World War II and the social and economic changes of this era, and
increasing levels of technological change especially the continuing rapid growth of
information and communications technology (Statistics New Zealand, 2007). The two
generational groups prevalent in today’s workforce are often called the Baby Boomers
and Generation X. The generational boundaries for Boomers are generally set between
1945 and the mid-1960s with the decline in birth rates that signalled the end of the
Baby Boom. The generation now entering the work force corresponds with the rise in
birth rates in the early 1980s when Baby Boomers began to have children and this has
been referred to as the Baby Boom Echo, Generation Y or Generation Next (Loughlin
and Barling, 2001; Lyons, 2004; Zemke et al., 2000). For the present study the
classification offered by Lyons (2004) has been adopted as it is compatible with data
from Statistics New Zealand. This classification and the names used for the groups of
relevance to this research are Baby Boomers (born 1946-1961); Generation X (born
1962-1979) and Generation Y (born 1980 onwards).
Differences between generations are confounded with changes due to ageing,
experience, life stage and career stage. Even so, changes to work and the fact that each
generation was introduced to work at differing points in time suggest that work value
differences may exist between generations. Numerous approaches to classifying work
values exist. One of the most widely used distinguishes between work values that are
extrinsic, or a consequence of work (e.g. job security, salary) or intrinsic, occurring
through the process of work (e.g. intellectual simulation, challenge) (Elizur, 1984).
Subsequent research has added altruistic values (e.g. making a contribution to society)
(Borg, 1990), status-related values (e.g. influence, recognition, advancement) (Ros et al.,
1999), freedom-related values (e.g. work-life balance, working hours) and social values
(e.g. good relationships with supervisors or peers) (Lyons, 2004). Generational
differences in work values have been linked to changes in the meaning of work, to
increasing numbers of dual-career and single parent families’ expectations for
work/life balance and to the increased use of electronic media and continuous learning
of new skills (Bernstein, 1997; Harding and Hikspoors, 1995; Ruiz-Quintanilla and
Wilpert, 1991).
Named after the post-war boom in birth rates, Baby Boomers grew up in optimistic
and positive times (Kupperschmidt, 2000). According to the most recent census, in 2006
Baby Boomers made up 36 per cent of the labour force in New Zealand (Statistics New
Zealand, 2007). Baby Boomers have been found to rate the chance to learn new skills,
personal improvement and creativity at work as important (Jurkiewicz, 2000; Lyons,
2004). A strong focus on hard work and achievement may mean that this group values
status and extrinsic rewards as recognition for loyalty and commitment (Collins, 1998)
and may have difficulty balancing work and family (Lancaster and Stillman, 2002;
Smola and Sutton, 2002; Zemke et al., 2000). Good supervisor relations and positive
interactions with co-workers have also been found to be important (Karp et al., 2001).
In 2006 Generation X made up 41 per cent of the New Zealand workforce (Statistics
New Zealand, 2007). This generation grew up during rapid technological and social
change representing financial, family and social insecurity and has entered the
workforce without expecting job security. Overall the portrait of Generation X painted
by the media is often negative but what may be viewed as “selfishness” can also be
seen as independence and autonomy (Jurkiewicz, 2000). Generation X members may
have more commitment to their own careers than to their organisations (Lyons, 2004;
Miller and Yu, 2003) and may prefer organisations which value skills development,
productivity and work-life balance rather than status and tenure (Smola and Sutton,
The most recent generation beginning to feature in the workplace is Generation
Y. The most defining experience for this group is the growth of the Internet and
technology (Lyons, 2004). As members are just entering adulthood (in 2006, 17 per cent
of the NZ labour market) (Statistics New Zealand, 2007), there has been little
opportunity to study their work values but anecdotal information characterises
Generation Y as valuing work/life balance, life styles, career development and overseas
travel more than other generations (Zemke et al., 2000). This generation may be the
most adaptable yet in terms of technological skills and has been said to value intrinsic
aspects of work such as mentoring and training in order to remain marketable
(Loughlin and Barling, 2001; Lyons, 2004).
To explore generational differences in work values in NZ, the following hypotheses
will be tested:
H1a. Baby Boomers will show higher levels of extrinsic, status, altruism and social
work values than Generation X and Generation Y.
H1b. Generation X and Generation Y will show higher levels of intrinsic and
freedom work values than Baby Boomers.
H1c. Generation Y will show higher levels of intrinsic and freedom work values
than Generation X.
While generations may hold particular sets of work values, organisations also possess
and communicate values (Miller and Yu, 2003). Person-organisation (P-O) values fit
involves the match between an individual’s values and the values of their organisation.
Kristof (1996) distinguished between four types of fit: person-organisation fit,
person-vocation fit, person-group fit and person-job fit. Although the last three make a
substantial contribution to work outcomes, the focus of the present study is on
person-organisation (P-O) fit. A common way to assess P-O values fit is from a
“supplies-values” (S-V) perspective in which fit is assumed to occur when the supplies
provided by the organisation satisfy an individual’s values (Edwards, 1996; Kristof,
1996; Taris and Feij, 2001). This type of fit is classed as “supplementary” in the sense
that the person and the organisation possess fundamentally similar values (Muchinsky
and Monahan, 1987). The present study aims to examine P-O values fit from a
supplies-values perspective and how it may vary across generations.
Generational differences in P-O values fit have received little attention. Theoretical
views suggest that the values of an organisation’s influential members tend to
represent the culture of the organisation (Schein, 1992). The generations currently
holding the most senior positions are the older groups, introducing the potential for
younger employees to experience less fit if they hold differing values. The study
examined the degree of discrepancy between individual and perceived organisational
differences in
work values
values for each generation. As there has been little, if any, previous research into this, a
single broad hypothesis was tested.
H2. Baby boomers will show higher levels of person-organisation fit than
Generation X and Generation Y for extrinsic values, intrinsic values, status
values, social values, altruism values and freedom values.
P-O values fit is related to organisationally relevant outcomes (Cooper-Thomas et al.,
2004; Dawis and Lofquist, 1984; Westerman and Cyr, 2004). Generational differences in
P-O fit are expected to have an impact on outcomes such that groups with better fit will
show higher levels of job satisfaction and organisational commitment and lower
intentions to leave.
H3. Generation group will moderate the relationship between person-organisation
values fit and job satisfaction, organisational commitment and intention to
A total of 1,422 employees from eight organisations based in New Zealand were invited
to participate in the present study. Organisations were identified through personal
contacts of the researchers. Data were collected by means of a web-based questionnaire,
which took approximately 20 minutes to complete. Following ethical approval, the
manager from each participating organisation was sent an email to distribute to staff.
The email contained the link to the secure data collection site. The online questionnaire
was developed in accordance with the guidelines for creating computerised tests and
questionnaires provided by Green et al. (1984), and Kyllonen (1991).
A total 597 people (42 per cent) responded and 504 (35 per cent) returned usable
questionnaires. Thirty percent were from law firms, 27 per cent were from media
corporations, 18 per cent were from the construction industry, 12 per cent were from
pharmaceutical distribution and 4 per cent were from information technology firms.
Nine percent (44) were classed as “other”, predominantly from the recruitment
industry. The majority of respondents (57 per cent) were born between 1962-1979
(Generation X), followed by Baby Boomers (23 per cent) and Generation Y (17 per cent).
Only 14 respondents were born between 1925 and 1945 so this group was not included
in further analyses (Table I).
Not surprisingly, Baby Boomers had longer tenure than younger groups,
Fð2;488Þ¼32:28, p,0:01). There was a higher proportion of female respondents
in the Generation Y group than in the other two groups (
2¼18:70, df ¼2,
p,0:01). Compared to Baby Boomers, higher proportions of Generation X and
Generation Y respondents had completed undergraduate education while Baby
Boomers were more likely to have secondary school or trade/technical training as
their highest level of education (
2¼42:97, df ¼6, p,0:01) and job level
2¼50:38, df ¼12, p,0:01).
Work values. A measure of work values was required that was appropriate for NZ
organisations, measured relevant dimensions and allowed comparison of individual
and organisational values. Two scales were considered most appropriate: the Work
Values Questionnaire (WVQ) (Elizur, 1984) and the Work Values Scale (WVS), (Lyons,
2004). Both included extrinsic, altruistic, intrinsic and status factors and the WVS
added freedom and social factors. The 24 items from the WVQ were included with
non-redundant WVS items and items were added to cover other work values suggested
to differ between generations. These were “pride in craftsmanship” (Smola and Sutton,
2002); “technology” (Thomas, 2002), “working as part of a team” and “communicating
optimism” (Zemke et al., 2000). The final Generational Work Values Scale consisted of
40 items. For each value respondents were asked to rate:
(1) “To what extent is each item a top priority for you in your work?” (to provide
individual values, Ivalues).
(2) “To what extent do you feel your organisation provides you with each item?”
(a measure of perceived organisational values, Ovalues).
Responses were on the same five-point scale. P-O values fit was measured indirectly
and at the individual level (Kristof, 1996). Ovalues were subtracted from Ivalues to
create discrepancy scores. A positive difference indicated that organisational supplies
did not meet individual values, while a negative score indicated that values supplied by
the organisation exceeded individual values (Verquer et al., 2003).
Job satisfaction. The 15-item “job satisfaction scale” (JSS) (Warr et al., 1979) was
used to measure facet satisfaction (e.g. “The way the organisation is managed”)
Responses were on a five-point scale from “1 ¼Very Dissatisfied” to “5 ¼Very
Affective organisational commitment. The nine-item “Organisational Commitment
Questionnaire” (OCQ) was included (Mowday et al., 1979). A sample item is: “I am
proud to tell others that I am part of this organisation”. Responses ranged from
“1 ¼Strongly disagree” to “5 ¼Strongly agree”.
GenY % GenX % Boomer %
Gender (n¼502)
Female 63 76 168 58 53 45
Male 20 24 120 42 64 55
Highest level of education (n¼501)
Secondary 32 39 60 21 48 41
Trade/technical 9 11 72 25 39 33
Undergraduate degree 32 39 103 36 16 14
Postgraduate degree 10 12 52 18 14 12
Current role (n¼504)
Senior manager 0 0 19 7 11 9
Middle manager 2 2 47 16 15 13
Supervisor/team leader 2 2 29 10 13 11
Salaried, no direct reports 58 70 131 45 42 36
Waged 19 23 49 17 36 31
Other 2 2 14 5 1 1
Tenure with organisation (months) (M, SD) 17.49 17.02 44.59 48.83 78.21 77.67
Table I.
differences in
work values
Intention to leave. A three-item measure was included:
(1) “Thoughts about quitting this job cross my mind” (“1 ¼Never” to “6 ¼All the
(2) “I plan to look for a new job in the next 12 months” (“1 ¼Strongly disagree” to
“6 ¼Strongly agree”); and
(3) “How likely is it that, over the next year, you will actively look for a new job
outside of this organisation?” (“1 ¼Very Unlikely” to “6 ¼Very likely”)
(O’Driscoll and Beehr, 1994).
Demographics. Additional items asked for participants’ gender, age (representing
generational groups), education level, tenure in organisation and job level. Tenure was
strongly negatively skewed and so a log transformation was applied.
Data analysis
A total 93 respondents with more than 15 per cent missing data were omitted from
further analyses (Schafer, 1997). This left 504 cases. One item on the work values scales
(“teamwork”) still had more than 9 per cent missing data and was not included in
future analyses. All remaining cases had less than 5 per cent missing data and these
scores were missing randomly. The expectation maximization method was used for
missing data (Tabachnick and Fidell, 2001). This technique has been praised for its
realistic estimates of variance (Little and Rubin, 1987). No univariate outliers were
found and the normality and kurtosis statistics for all variables were acceptable.
Confirmatory factor analysis (CFA) was used to examine scale structure. The
39-item work values measurement model was analysed with 6 factors specified:
extrinsic, intrinsic, status, social, altruism and freedom. Several items had moderate to
low factor loadings with their latent variables and were removed. These were: “travel”,
“work alone”, “company”, and “meet people”. This resulted in a 35-item model with
good fit to the data (
2¼2329:76, p,0:001; df ¼545; TLI ¼0:966; CFI ¼0:971;
RMSEA ¼0:081). Tabachnick and Fidell (2001) recommend that
$0:65 shows good
reliability for scale items. All scales showed good internal reliability except individual
freedom work values with
¼0:63 (Table II). This scale was included in hypothesis
testing but results may have to be treated with caution.
The six-factor, 35-item measurement model was analysed for the organisational
work values items. This measurement model showed adequate fit (
p,0:001; df ¼545; TLI ¼0:957; CFI ¼0:963; RMSEA ¼0:086) and all scales
showed acceptable reliability (Table II).
A one-factor solution for the JSS showed good fit to the data:
p,0:001; df ¼38; TLI ¼0:988; CFI ¼0:992; RMSEA ¼0:081. Items were averaged
to produce a mean job satisfaction score (
The OCQ measured a single factor. The measurement model produced satisfactory
fit (
2¼118:39, p,0:001; df ¼27; TLI ¼0:956; CFI ¼0:967; RMSEA ¼0:082).
Items were averaged to produce a mean score (
Analysis of intention to leave was problematic as the latent variable only had three
indicators (items). Exploratory factor analysis indicated a single factor accounting for
83.3 per cent of the variance. Items were averaged to produce a mean score (
Multivariate Analysis of Variance (MANOVA) and, where applicable, MANCOVA,
were used to examine group differences in work values. If these tests yielded
significance then univariate ANOVAs or ANCOVAs were used to examine differences.
Where appropriate Tukey’s Honestly Significant Difference post-hoc tests were used.
Levene’s test established that the assumption of homogeneity of variances had not
been violated.
Discrepancy scores as a measure of P-O fit should not be used to relate fit to outcomes
as they can mask the contribution of each component and cannot explain more variance
than both components considered separately. In accordance with Edwards (1994, 1996)
polynomial regression was used to examine linear and curvilinear effects of individual
and organisational values on outcomes. Job satisfaction, affective organisational
commitment and intentions to leave were the dependent variables with the relevant
person and organisation values as independent variables, supplemented by the
higher-order terms necessary to test each model. Independent variables were centred
around their respective means to address multicollinearity among product scores and
their components (Aiken and West, 1991). Tolerance scores were examined and did not
suggest concerns with multicollinearity. Moderated regression was used to establish
whether generational differences moderated the relationships of values to outcomes, with
dummy codes created for generation groups (Aiken and West, 1991; Cohen et al.,2003).
Clark-Carter’s (1997) classification of effect size was employed where partial
was considered small, 0.01 to 0.10 was considered medium, and over 0.10 was considered
to be a large effect size.
Scale No. of items Mean SD Cronbach’s
Work values individual
Extrinsic 6 3.81 0.66 0.78
Intrinsic 12 3.97 0.59 0.91
Status 8 3.65 0.65 0.86
Altruism 3 3.74 0.70 0.69
Social 3 4.18 0.64 0.63
Freedom 3 3.92 0.71 0.65
Work values organisational
Extrinsic 6 3.19 0.69 0.78
Intrinsic 12 3.27 0.75 0.94
Status 8 3.08 0.78 0.90
Altruism 3 3.17 0.76 0.74
Social 3 3.61 0.78 0.71
Freedom 3 3.39 0.83 0.74
Discrepancy scores
Extrinsic fit 6 0.62 0.82
Intrinsic fit 12 0.70 0.74
Status fit 8 0.57 0.81
Altruism fit 3 0.58 0.87
Social fit 3 0.57 0.87
Freedom fit 3 0.53 0.90
Job satisfaction 10 3.64 0.63 0.87
Affective organisational commitment 9 3.63 0.74 0.91
Intention to leave 3 2.90 1.49 0.89
Notes: Reliabilities are not provided for the discrepancy scale scores as they are difference scores
Table II.
Descriptive statistics for
the study variables
differences in
work values
Overall, social work values (e.g. having a fair and considerate supervisor, pleasant
co-workers) were most strongly valued by individuals and seen as offered by
organisations (Table II). Status-related values (e.g. having influence and responsibility)
were least valued and also perceived as least supplied. With regard to discrepancies
between individual and organisational values, intrinsic (e.g. meaningful work) and
extrinsic values (e.g. salary) had the highest discrepancy while freedom-related values
(e.g. work/life balance) had the lowest mean discrepancies.
Most of the work values were positively intercorrelated (Tables III and IV). Job
satisfaction and affective organisational commitment were positively related to most
values. Significant negative relationships were found between “organisational” work
values and intentions to leave. All discrepancy scores showed negative relationships
with job satisfaction and organisational commitment and positive relationships with
intention to leave.
Table V provides the means and standard deviations for each of the six work value
scales for each generational group. All work values were valued or highly valued by all
H1 investigated differences between generational groups. The personal values
literature has identified that gender may be important in values orientations (Meglino
and Ravlin, 1998) so gender and generation category were entered as fixed factors.
MANOVA revealed significant multivariate main effects between generational groups
(Wilks’s L¼0:94, F12, 954 ¼2:49, p,0:01, partial
2¼0:03). There were also
significant main effects for gender (Wilks’s L¼0:95, F6, 477 ¼4:0, p,0:01, partial
2¼0:05) but no significant gender by generation interactions. Generational groups
differed on status values (F2, 465 ¼5:53, p,0:001, partial
2¼0:03) and freedom
work values (F2, 465 ¼3:54, p,0:05, partial
2¼0:02). No significant differences
were found on extrinsic, intrinsic, altruism or social values. H1a was not supported.
Contrary to expectations, Boomers showed lower levels of status values than
Generation X and Generation Y, and Boomers and Generation X showed lower values
for freedom than Generation Y. It is possible that higher status and longer tenure mean
that these requirements have been met and these work values are no longer as salient
for older groups, whereas younger respondents are still striving for status and
autonomy at work. H1b and H1c were not supported as there were no differences
between groups on intrinsic and social values. There were no differences between
groups in perceived organisational values.
To test H2, inter-group differences in the discrepancies between individual and
organisational values were examined. Once again gender was entered as a fixed factor.
Tenure can be influential in regard to person-organisation fit (Meglino and Ravlin, 1998)
therefore the log transformed tenure variable was entered as a covariate. MANCOVA
supported H2 (Wilks’s L¼0:95, F12, 950 ¼2:22, p,0:01, partial
Significant differences were found for extrinsic work values (F2, 465 ¼4:40, p,0:05,
2¼0:018) and status work values (F2, 465 ¼5:46, p,0:01, partial
2¼0:022), with the oldest group reporting smaller discrepancies than the younger
groups. Older respondents, who may be more influential within their organisations, may
be more likely than younger respondents to perceive that their organisations’ status and
reward systems are aligned with their own work values. No significant differences were
found on intrinsic, altruism, social and freedom values (Table VI).
Variables 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15
1. Extrinsic IWV 1
2. Intrinsic IWV 0.65 *1
3. Status IWV 0.63 *0.79 *1
4. Altruism IWV 0.55 *0.63 *0.52 *1
5. Social IWV 0.54 *0.59 *0.49 *0.52 *1
6. Freedom IWV 0.51 *0.46 *0.38 *0.53 *0.51 *1
7. Extrinsic OWV 0.27 *0.27 *0.27 *0.21 *0.18 *0.16 *1
8. Intrinsic OWV 0.15 *0.43 *0.34 *0.19 *0.19 *0.08 0.68 *1
9. Status OWV 0.14 *0.33 *0.38 *0.18 *0.15 *0.08 0.72 *0.86 *1
10. Altruism OWV 0.18 *0.30 *0.29 *0.30 *0.17 *0.18 *0.68 *0.68 *0.73 *1
11. Social OWV 0.10 0.24 *0.17 *0.17 *0.27 *0.16 *0.61 *0.64 *0.67 *0.63 *1
12. Freedom OWV 0.10 0.21 *0.17 *0.22 *0.25 *0.33 *0.56 *0.52 *0.54 *0.58 *0.66 *1
13. Job satisfaction 0.12 0.21 *0.18 *0.14 *0.18 *0.09 *0.66 *0.69 *0.73 *0.68 *0.72 *0.54 *1
14. OC 0.16 *0.24 *0.25 *0.16 *0.11 *0.04 0.59 *0.58 *0.59 *0.61 *0.54 *0.46 *0.63 *1
15. ITL 20.06 20.07 20.05 20.06 20.03 0.03 20.49 *20.51 *20.47 *20.43 *20.45 *20.36 *20.58 *20.61 *
Notes: *p,0:01; IWV (individual work values), OWV (organisational work values); OC (organisational commitment); ITL (intentions to leave)
Table III.
Correlation matrix:
individual and perceived
organisational work
values with outcomes
differences in
work values
The next stage was to establish whether individual and organisational work values
were related to job satisfaction, organisational commitment and turnover intentions
(Table VII). The work values of interest here were extrinsic and status values, i.e. those
for which generational differences in fit or discrepancy scores had been shown.
Higher-order terms did not predict outcomes. Perceptions of organisational extrinsic
and status values predicted job satisfaction, organisational commitment and
(negatively) intentions to leave. Individual status values negatively predicted job
satisfaction and positively predicted intentions to leave. The interactions between
generation and organisational extrinsic values, and between generation and
Individual-organisational discrepancy
Intentions to
1 Extrinsic 20.46 *20.38 *0.38 *
2 Intrinsic 20.54 *20.41 *0.47 *
3 Status 20.56 *20.38 *0.42 *
4 Altruism 20.48 *20.41 *0.32 *
5 Social 20.52 *20.41 *0.38 *
6 Freedom 20.42 *20.39 *0.36 *
Notes: *p,0:01
Table IV.
Correlation: individual
and organisational value
discrepancies with
Boomer Generation X Generation Y
Discrepancy scores Mean SD Mean SD Mean SD
Extrinsic fit 0.45
0.78 0.68
0.85 0.64 0.75
Intrinsic fit 0.61 0.69 0.71 0.77 0.80 0.72
Status fit 0.43
0.81 0.57 0.81 0.74
Altruism fit 0.56 0.77 0.56 0.93 0.68 0.78
Social fit 0.54 0.92 0.56 0.83 0.66 0.95
Freedom fit 0.48 0.81 0.55 0.96 0.54 0.82
Notes: Within each row, means with different superscripts are significantly different at p,0:05
Table VI.
Mean differences in P-O
values discrepancy scores
between groups
Boomers Generation X Generation Y
Mean SD Mean SD Mean SD
Extrinsic work values 3.68 0.74 3.84 0.63 3.90 0.61
Intrinsic work values 3.85 0.63 4.00 0.57 4.07 0.60
Status-related work values 3.47
0.75 3.69
0.61 3.77
Altruism work values 3.75 0.71 3.70 0.73 3.87 0.59
Social work values 4.05 0.67 4.19 0.63 4.36 0.60
Freedom-related work values 3.88
0.69 3.88
0.74 4.12
Intention to leave 2.53
1.37 2.97
1.48 3.20
Job satisfaction 3.67 0.68 3.67 0.62 3.55 0.59
Affective organisational commitment 3.72 0.71 3.60 0.75 3.60 0.74
Note: Within each row, means with different superscripts are significantly different at p,0.05
Table V.
Means and standard
deviations of individual
work values and outcome
variables for generation
organisational status values, explained significant variance in organisational
commitment (
¼0:11, p,0:05 and
¼0:10, p,0:05, respectively). Participants
who perceived higher levels of status and extrinsic values in their organisations
showed higher commitment and this was most pronounced for Baby Boomers
(Figures 1 and 2). The interaction between generation and organisational status values
explained significant variance in intentions to leave. Participants who perceived higher
levels of status values in their organisations showed lower intentions to leave, and this
was most pronounced for Baby Boomers (
¼20:12, p,0:01 for Generation X
compared to Baby Boomers and
¼20:13, p,0:05 for Generation Y compared to
Baby Boomers; see Figure 3).
Job satisfaction
commitment Intentions to turnover
Extrinsic values b
0.44 0.36 0.26
Ind. values (I-values) 20.06 2006 0.04 0.03 0.141 0.06
Org. values (O-values) 0.63 0.69 ** 0.65 0.61 ** 21.118 20.52 **
I-values2 0.04 0.04 0.14 0.12 20.08 20.04
I-values £O-values 20.06 20.05 20.002 20.001 20.06 20.02
O-values2 20.03 20.03 20.001 20.001 0.14 0.06
Status values 0.55 0.37 0.25
Ind. values (I-values) 20.09 20.09 *0.08 0.07 0.34 0.15*
Org. values (O-values) 0.62 0.77 ** 0.56 0.60 ** 20.98 20.52 **
I-values2 20.01 20.01 0.11 0.10 0.12 0.06
I-values £O-values 0.02 0.02 0.01 0.01 20.16 20.07
O-values2 20.04 20.04 20.01 20.01 20.04 20.02
Notes: *p,0:01; ** p,0:001
Table VII.
Individual and
organisational values fit
and outcomes
Figure 1.
commitment and
perceived organisational
extrinsic values
differences in
work values
Previous research and social commentary has suggested that generations can be
defined by certain work values. The purpose of the research was to investigate this
issue as well as differences in P-O values fit between generational groups in the New
Zealand workforce.
Significant generational differences were found for individual work values
involving status and freedom but not for extrinsic, intrinsic, social and altruism-related
values, and there were no generation differences in perceived organisational values.
Younger generations placed more importance on status than the older group. The
career stage of the older group may provide status so they no longer feel the need to
earn this while the younger groups may feel that status is a priority as it provides
visibility, which aids progression and marketability (Riordan et al., 2003). Generation Y
valued freedom-related items more than Generation X and Baby Boomers, supporting
Figure 2.
commitment and
perceived organisational
status values
Figure 3.
Intentions to leave and
perceived organisational
status values
findings from past research. Baby Boomers have been said to focus on traditional work
models that involve dedication and hard work. In contrast, Generation Y is known to
place high importance on autonomy and work-life balance (Smola and Sutton, 2002;
Zemke et al., 2000). The younger groups may tend to seek out work opportunities that
supply freedom and autonomy and may be prepared to leave the organisation if these
needs are not met.
Schein (1992) postulated that the values of the organisation’s influential members
tend to represent the culture of the organisation. Baby Boomers are the group currently
holding the majority of these influential positions, a trend, which was confirmed in the
present study. This introduces the potential for conflict between the values of
generations. The present study found differences between generations on individual
and perceived organisational values but only for two of the six values. The effect sizes
were medium, suggesting that while work values are relevant, other factors also play
an important role in organisational outcomes. Baby Boomers reported better fit for
extrinsic work values (such as pay and benefits) and status than the younger groups.
Given their career stage, Boomers may receive higher salaries, more benefits and
higher status than younger employees, thus reporting better fit. Younger employees
may rate pay and status highly but due to their career stage they are unlikely to be
receiving these as quickly as anticipated (Riordan et al., 2003). There were no
significant differences for the other work values.
A lack of P-O values fit may lead to reduced job satisfaction and commitment and
increased leaving intentions. In the present analysis the values held by individuals
were less important for outcomes than perceptions of what organisations supplied, at
least for extrinsic and status values. These were the values of interest here as they
differed between groups. Respondents with high P-O fit for status or extrinsic values
were generally more committed with lower intentions to leave, but younger
respondents were more likely to experience a lack of fit and, when this occurred, were
less committed to their organisations than Baby Boomers and were more likely to
intend to leave. Overall however, group differences in relationships between fit and
outcomes were slight.
Implications for research
The cross-sectional design did not make it possible to determine whether differences
between groups were linked to career stage, life stage or genuine generational
differences. Those born earlier not only belong to a different generation to those born
later, but have been living (and working) for longer, with all the associated changes
that may result from experience. To separate the effects of generation, age and other
variables, longitudinal research is required. True generational differences can only be
identified by studying groups over time. As person-organisation fit is an ongoing
process of mutual adjustment (Dawis and Lofquist, 1984), longitudinal designs also
make it possible to study changes in fit over time. The relationships among values, fit
and outcomes would also benefit from closer examination using objective outcome
indicators such as productivity data and turnover information in addition to self-report
data to help overcome problems that may arise from common-method variance.
Overall, all groups experienced similar levels of P-O fit for most of the work values,
which may be a reflection on the mostly professional, white-collar sample and so
research into other occupational groups is required.
differences in
work values
Practical implications
The Baby Boomer, Generation X and Generation Y had some differences in work
values but fewer than expected. Younger employees may prefer a psychological
contract with the organisation, which emphasises freedom, status and social
involvement. P-O values fit was related to satisfaction, commitment and intentions to
leave across all generational groups. Discussing values and expectations with staff
may help to avoid disappointment and conflict and help manage expectations from the
outset. Developing and communicating a strong organisational values statement, and
combining this with good recruiting and assessment techniques, may help to reduce
employee turnover and recruitment costs for the company.
By understanding the differences and similarities between generational groups, human
resource professionals, psychologists and managers can develop policies, which aid
communication, improve satisfaction, commitment, and retention, and increase
organisational knowledge management and productivity. It is important for
organisations to clearly communicate values and priorities so that an assessment of
fit can be made. Understanding differences between generations at work is a useful
first step in meeting diverse employee needs. It is important to continue the
examination of generations in the workplace but it is also important to acknowledge
commonalities between employees of different ages and experience. This knowledge
can be applied to managerial practices so that communication and understanding can
be enhanced.
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About the authors
Lucy Cennamo holds Master of Arts and Postgraduate Diploma qualifications in
industrial/organizational psychology from Massey University. She has worked in a wide
range of I/O Psychology positions in Auckland and in the UK.
Dianne Gardner is a senior lecturer in industrial/organizational psychology at Massey
University in New Zealand. Previously she served on the faculty of the University of New South
Wales in Sydney where she worked on occupational health, safety and wellness issues. Now in
Auckland she continues to teach and research in areas related to occupational stress and
well-being, work-life balance, work-related challenge and coping with workplace demands. She
holds a PhD in management from the Australian Graduate School of Management/University of
Sydney and has published research on a wide range of topics concerning workplace health,
safety and well-being. Dianne Gardner is the corresponding author and can be contacted at:
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... Whitney, Greenwood, and Murphy (2009) asserts that, each generation differs from the others in terms of the values and behaviors hence the implications of these differences in the workplace can be both helpful and unhelpful to the organization. Again, an interaction was also found between the identification factor of job involvement and generation on the OCB dimension of courtesy, whereby Gen X employees who identify more with the organization evidenced more courtesy than Baby Boomers (Cennamo and Gardner, 2008). Courtesy relates to consulting with others at work about activities that may affect their work (behavior directed at the individual), and includes both informal and formal activities, such as announcing one's intentions in advance, transferring information, and so on (Organ, 1988). ...
... Eredményei azt mutatták, hogy a Baby Boom generáció számára kiemelkedően fontos a tanulás, a nyitottság az új dolgok irányába, míg a X generáció számára a függetlenségre törekvés volt a meghatározó. Cennamo & Gardner (2008) eredményei azt sugallták, hogy a Baby Boomer korosztály kisebb jelentőséget tulajdonít a státusznak, mint az X vagy Y generációs dolgozók. Smola & Sutton (2002) vizsgálatai azt mutatták, hogy az X generációs dolgozók számára az előléptetés, a gyorsabb munkahelyi előmenetel fontosabb, mint a Baby Boomerek számára. ...
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Although it is widely recognized that exam and assessments are ways to explore and query knowledge, emergence of the internet, digitalization, and the deployment of artificial intelligence in teaching and learning extends the concept to digital exam and assessment. Some lines of research suggest that digital exam and assessments are costly and unfortunate, whereas others suggest that it is beneficial and adaptive. However, there are little theoretical underpinnings probing these arguments. To fill the void, this chapter probe existing teaching and learning literature, and concepts of digital exam and assessments relative to faculty development. To this end, this chapter theorize that these concepts are contingents on generational cohorts, arguments that advances and reorients research on digital exam and assessment, and generational difference are highlighted. The chapter concludes with pros and cons associated with digital assessments.
The study validates a scale that allows the exploration of intergenerational conflict in organizations. To validate the questionnaire, the descriptive statistics of the sample are obtained, Cronbach's alpha and Pearson's correlations between variables are calculated, an exploratory factor analysis is performed with the SPSS software. A first-order confirmatory factor analysis is performed with the AMOS software, and the Dillon-Goldstein rho (or composite reliability) is calculated to verify the internal consistency of the indicators for each latent variable. The result is that all the acceptance criteria have been met, the Rho de Dillon-Goldstein is acceptable, the first factor (opening of the generation gap) is 0.85, and the second factor (limitations for intergenerational work) is 0.78, so the model obtained the required validation quality.
Amid a global war for accounting talent, this paper extends our understanding of early career accountants’ (ECAs) career values and the alignment between their career expectations and experiences when entering the profession. Drawing on survey data from 305 ECAs and 165 managers/recruiters of ECAs in Australia, the paper uses social cognitive career theory and person–organisation fit theory to explore the dynamic interplay between individual and contextual factors and career values, career choices and subsequent career satisfaction. The findings emphasise the importance of both intrinsic, and to a lesser extent extrinsic, career values for ECAs, with variations by gender and organisation setting. ECAs and managers identified different perceptions of attractors to diverse organisational settings. While ECAs were generally satisfied with their careers, satisfaction varied by organisation type. Intrinsic career values were positively associated with ECAs’ career satisfaction, along with age and closer alignment between career expectations and experiences. Our analyses suggest implications for the recruitment and retention of new accounting talent and calls to engage with individual and contextual influences on career values, experiences and satisfaction. Specifically, the paper highlights how different organisations can tailor their strategies to better attract and retain early career accountants to support more sustainable careers.
Purpose The purpose of the study is to investigate the differences between generational groups (specifically Generations X, Y and Z) in terms of variables that influence organisational commitment and intention to stay within an organisation. The aim is to fill the research gap in understanding how different factors influence commitment and retention across different generations. Design/methodology/approach This study follows a quantitative approach based on cross-sectional survey data. The respondents were employees of Generations X, Y and Z. The data were analysed using partial least squares structural equation modelling and multigroup analysis. Findings The results of the study indicate several relationships between variables and organisational commitment/intention to stay. Person-organisation fit is positively related to organisational commitment, and work-life balance is positively related to both organisational commitment and intention to stay. The mediation of organisational commitment shows a positive relationship with person-organisation fit and work-life balance. In addition, there are positive relationships between organisational culture and both organisational commitment and intention to stay, as well as a positive relationship between person-organisation fit and intention to stay. Furthermore, all three Generations (X, Y and Z) show positive relationships between organisational commitment and intention to stay. Research limitations/implications The implications of the study are twofold. First, it provides theoretical contributions by uncovering the relationships between various variables and organisational commitment/retention. Second, it provides practical implications for organisations by highlighting the importance of person-organisation fit, work-life balance and organisational culture in fostering commitment and retention among employees of different generations. Originality/value The originality and value of this study lies in its exploration of the differences between generational groups in terms of variables affecting organisational commitment and intention to stay. By addressing this research gap, the study contributes to the existing literature on organisational commitment and retention. The detailed presentation of theoretical contributions, practical implications, limitations and suggestions for future research enhances the overall value of the study.
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The way Jobseekers apply for jobs has drastically changed due to the rise of digital technology. With the rise of social media Jobseekers nowadays typically utilize social networking sites or other online platforms to look for work and it has made it a vital part of the labor market, especially among the young generation. The aim of this research was to determine the mediating efect of Social Media Platforms on the relationship between Employer Attractive‑ ness and Generation Z intentions to apply for a job. The researchers use a Judgmental sampling method among fresh graduates and fnal-year students of number of Private universities in Egypt. Structure Equation Modeling were then used to analyze the data. The fnding of this research revealed that Social Media Platforms has a mediating efect on the relationship between Employer Attractiveness and Gen Z intentions to apply for a job. Moreover, when it comes to choosing an employer, the younger generations prioritize economic value, social value, Reputation and development-interest factors over the application-diversity, working environment aspects, and management and work life balance. Furthermore, this research revealed that, the signifcance of certain aspects of a job change depending on the participants’ educational level and the study’s program. The contribution of this research provides valuable insight into how employers are perceived by young job seekers. They can also be used to develop effective recruitment strategies and improve the communication between HR professionals and candidates. Keywords : Employer attractiveness, Employer branding, Social media platforms, Generation Z, Job pursuit intention
The article focuses on business graduates’ job market choices to aid corporate branding in a changing environment. Case study done at Czech HEIs. The goal is to discover and evaluate age, gender, and study level-specific job selection factors for graduates. A six-year study at Case University surveyed 238 graduates (2015–2021). Graduates’ employer selection criteria varied statistically. Female-important social criteria vary by gender. Master’s graduates concentrate on growth and management criteria (possibility of decision making, challenges, creativity). Age influences social and developmental parameters. Under-30s and over-30s vary. Under-30 graduates concentrate on economic parameters; older responders prioritise development.KeywordsHigher educationQuality assuranceHuman resource developmentInnovationEmployment
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This cross-sectional study reports the work-related differences and similarities of 241 Generation X and Baby Boomer employees in the public sector. A more homogeneous pattern of what employees want across age cohorts emerges, contrary to the literature and stereotypes on generational differences. Surprising levels of similarity were found between GenXers and Boomers, with the three significant areas of difference focused on issues of personal growth. The implications for recruiting, retention, motivation, training, and human resource processes are discussed.
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Understanding consumers by examining their characteristics within segments is a key activity for business success. Many apparel businesses use this strategic tool for focusing their promotions efforts and their assortment selections on a group or segment of consumers. For practitioners and academicians, two of the largest and most intriguing consumer segments in the 2000s are Baby Boomers and Echo Boomers (i.e., Gen Ys). The Echo Boomers are the children of the Baby Boomers or the second generation of consumers following the generation of the Baby Boomers. These generational segments represent two of the most affluent consumer groups in the market place. Many retailers and academic researchers are interested in these segments, and although each segment has received some review, limited academic research has examined their apparel shopping behavior. Studies tend to be focused on one generation but not on the comparison of the two generations and their similar or different shopping activities. The purpose of this study was to examine the influences of generational consumer segments, shopping orientation, and specific product categories on the shopping process variables. Data collection resulted in 355 usable responses from Echo Boomers (ages 18-24) and 180 responses from Baby Boomers (ages 46-59). The respondents, for both generations, included three-fourths female and one-fourth male consumers. The primary occupation for Baby Boomers was listed as professionals (53%), while the second most common occupation was listed as homemaker (16%). More than 98% of the Echo Boomers were full time students. Exploratory factor analysis resulted in two shopping orientation variables (i.e., fashionista and experiential). Multiple regression analyses showed that these two orientation factors significantly explained both segments’ shopping process activities (i.e., wait time and try on). In contrast, the generational segment variable showed no significant differences for the shopping process activities. Findings from this study support the previous work place literature that notes similarities between the segments. In this study, age (i.e., generational segments) was not a significant factor in explaining selection activities (i.e., try on and wait time). This finding refutes previous studies that proclaim the differences between the Baby Boomers and the Echo Boomers and provides support for the similarities, not differences, between the two generational segments. With the similarities between generational segments being identified, the differences found with other variables are further discussed. The shopping orientation variable provided more information in explaining consumers’ selection activities than the generational segments. Regardless of age (i.e., generational segment), both Echo Boomers and Baby Boomers in this study, who scored high on the fashionista shopping orientation factor, placed less importance on try-on activities and were less willing to wait for products. The try-on activities variable was also explained by the experiential shopping orientation in comparison to its lack of differentiation with the generational segments variable. Consumers, regardless of age, who rated experiential activities as more important when shopping were the consumers who wanted to try on the products. Denim was the one product category variable, in the conceptual model, that explained try-on and wait time activities. Consumers who placed more importance on denim, specifically the fit, color and styling of blue jeans, were the consumers who were more willing to wait for products to be delivered. This research has a number of implications for practitioners and for academicians. Previous research studies in several fields have noted that consumers may react differently to various situations according to their generational segment (i.e., age grouping). However, the findings in this research showed that other variables from the model in instead of the generational segment were more significant in explaining selection activities of consumers. Because of this finding, academic researchers may want to include multiple variables when examining or comparing generational segments. In addition, marketers and retailers may wish to consider removing the age factor in their presentations and promotions of some apparel products. In this study, these female consumers were more driven by their shopping orientations when selecting products than by their age. In another example of practical application of the findings, retailers who design dressing rooms and have sales staff assist customers should realize that all consumers who are interested in shopping may have varying opinions on trying on products and on how long they will wait for a product. Retailers should not assume that the younger consumer will not want to try on products or that an older consumer will want to take the time to try on a product.
This paper considers research on the centrality of work in the lives of Europeans and evaluates the extent to which changes associated with post-industrial development have impacted on work values. Drawing on data from the European Values Systems Study Group surveys, two hypotheses are tested: that employees are becoming more demanding of their employers, and that they are expecting greater personal involvement in their work. The second part of the paper draws on research by International Survey Research to investigate the way in which organizations are developing values both at the corporate and individual level. -Authors
The aim of this article is to explore the linkage between Generation Y's career expectations and aspirations on the one hand and employee engagement on the other. The article includes primary work on the views of Generation Y undergraduate students with work experience in the hospitality industry. The questionnaire was developed by the authors to focus expressly on identified aspects of Generation Y's views on their careers. Across two universities in Scotland, the views of 122 respondents with work experience mainly in the hospitality industry are analysed. The Generation Y respondents in this study signal that their early experiences in the hospitality industry act to discourage them from pursuing careers in this sector. This is a generation that is apparently self-centred and demanding. It seems to have high initial career expectations and higher aspirations still for long-term careers that the hospitality industry can do more to meet. Expectations and aspirations centre mainly on their personal career development, or employability factors. They involve both employee and employer inputs, notably determination to succeed and good pay respectively. While based on a relatively modest sample size, the article suggests pointers to hospitality industry employers on how to engage Generation Y in order to support business performance. Above all, graduate recruitment and career development that is clear, structured, fair and equal is sought by Generation Y, especially for females. By responding to Generation Y and with further research, hospitality organisations may be better placed to attract and retain Generation Y graduates. More, they may encourage employee engagement.
Young workers represent the workforce of the future. We discuss research on two major influences on young people's work-related values, attitudes, and behaviours, namely family influences and work experiences. Particular emphasis is given to the role of young people's work experiences in shaping their future work-related attitudes, values, and behaviours (an under-researched area in occupational/ organizational psychology). To begin outlining a research agenda based on young workers, changes in the world of work and emerging areas of importance for the future generation of workers and their organizations are also highlighted (i.e. the rise in non-standard employment, leadership, workplace health and safety and unions).
This study examined two versions of the person-environment (P-E) fit approach to stress, one representing the fit between environmental supplies and employee values (S-V fit), and another the fit between environmental demands and employee abilities (D-A fit). Hypotheses based on three competing models derived from the P-E fit literature were tested with a procedure that overcomes problems with the measurement and analysis of fit. Results indicated that the relationships of S-V and D-A fit with strain combined aspects of the models with other relationships suggested by P-E fit theory and the organizational stress literature. Also, S-V fit was linked primarily to dissatisfaction and D-A fit to tension, but both versions were related to both forms of strain.