Generational Cohort Theory

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Four generations, Traditionalist, Baby Boomers, Generation X, and Millennials are in the workplace, each with their unique expectations, needs, and work style preferences (Lovely and Buffum, 2007). The idea of generational cohorts were theorized by Karl Mannheim (1923) defining them as a group of people who were born around a common time period, and experienced significant life events during the critical development years of their life. Neil Howe and William Strauss (1991) evolved the generational cohort theory and concluded members of generational cohort maintain similar attitudes, ambitions, and synergy. Understanding the implications of different cohorts in the workplace is one of the challenges human resource offices and leadership is faced…show more content…
Baby Boomers preferred leaders that were humane, established a vision of the future, and allowed the followers to take ownership and determine the next steps. Generation Xers preferred leaders that were credible, prescribe loosed working guidelines, and a framework that encouraged followers. They preferred relatively open and informal leaders. Millennials preferred leaders that were competent. They also preferred a large amount of individual freedom and independence, a flat reporting system, and challenging targets (Warner & Sandberg 2010). Matching members of different generations to their preferred leadership is one example of the current challenges faced by human resource officers in many…show more content…
In 2010, Ng, Schweitzer, and Lyons studied Millennials in a workforce the study concluded Millennials set realistic about starting their careers, they valued rapid advancement, individualistic aspects of jobs and a work life balance. In contrast, Kennedy, (2003) found that most Baby Boomers valued job security and would sacrifice family time for job security and long-term employment. Generation Xers were found to enjoy work that was challenging to them and provided them with the opportunity to acquire transferable skills for future
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