A Scholarly Investigation of Generational Workforce Differences: Debunking the Myths

Numerous stories in the popular press and media assert that each generation has different perceptions, values, interests, and expectations that must be satisfactorily managed if organizations are to be successful.

We reviewed the scholarly literature to ascertain whether these popular claims have any scientific merit. No study completely supported differences across all four generations. The few studies that found support for popular media claims had varying levels of scientific rigor and limited applicability with most corporations.

At this point, current HR "best practices" appear to be sufficient to foster employee engagement and resolve conflicts between the four generations.