Generational Differences and Work Values
(3 pages of text)
A consultant had been asked by multiple clients for advice on how to manage generational differences in the workplace. According to experts in the area of generational differences, generations are defined by the watershed events and conditions that individuals are exposed to in their formative years. These experts believed that these common events and conditions shape individuals’ attitudes, which in turn influence their core beliefs and work values. The consultant, like many others, felt that generational differences were overhyped in the literature. Nevertheless, her client wanted answers and she set out to find them by collecting a dataset on work values.
The dataset contained over 1,000 responses across the four generations (Veterans, Boomers, Gen X, Gen Y). It also contained enough responses to deal with the question of whether there were three sub-generations of Boomers.
The case can be used to teach students the value of formulating research questions prior to conducting data analysis. By carefully looking at the questions and the “claims” about generations, students can undertake a systematic study of these claims.
This case can be used to teach basic descriptive statistics, crosstabs, unpaired t-tests, one-way ANOVA, ANCOVA, and factorial ANOVA. It can also be used to teach MANOVA.
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