6 May 2022


Managing Generation Differences in Public Sectors

Format: APA

Academic level: Master’s

Paper type: Research Paper

Words: 7834

Pages: 30

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Chapter One


In a natural societal setting, there are generation differences among the demographic population in the society which in turn affects how individuals within a specific generation reason, believe, their values as well as their way of life. In the recent past business sectors either private or public sectors have been experiencing and is still experiencing significant generation gap between their workforces. Generation gap or difference refers to the difference that existing between people of born and existed in a specific period in matters regarding politics, believes and values ( Kapoor & Solomon, 2011) . In today's workforce, there are four generations, which range from the older or the traditional should provide which forms the oldest generation in the workforce and composes of individuals who were born in 1945 or earlier and they experienced major events such as the world war two and the great depression period ( Twenge et al., 2010) . The second generation in today's workforce in the booming baby generation, which involves individuals that were born in the period between 1943 and 1965, and it is the population that has had a significant impact on the US society due to its large population. The third generation in the workforce today is the generation X which includes people born in the period between 1968 and 1979 which varies in some books and indicated as 1963-1982, the generation was brought up during a period when the US society was experiencing financial and family insecurity ( Costanza et al., 2012) . Lastly is the Y generation, which involves the population, born between 1978 on the lower limit and 2002 on the upper behaviors.

Despite the wanting need for managers in public and private sector to develop strategies that will enable the sectors to benefit from the generation gap. It is essential to indicate that some research findings demonstrate that some organizations have been slow to adapt the diversity while others have viewed and utilized the generation diversity as an opportunity, hence, integrating it into the day to day operations of the business ( Parry & Urwin, 2011 ). The public sector plays are a role in the well-being of a nation regarding social, cultural, economic as well as political spheres, and therefore, the public sector managers should develop strategic approaches at each level of management to enable the employees to work for peace and a common goal irrespective of their generation differences. One of the principles of management indicates that managing a group of people involves ensuring that the employees' needs are adequately met so as to balance their efforts extracted while working for the organization with the benefits they get in their working place ( Parry & Urwin, 2011 ). The managers are also called to lead by example; the managers should embrace diversity so that the employees can lead by example ( Twenge et al., 2010 ). This case study will provide detailed data to the management team which will enable them to effectively manage the diversity of the generations in the public sector.

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In a working environment, whether in the private or public sector the multi-generation human element significantly shapes the culture as well as the working environment ( Costanza et al., 2012 ). In a working environment, the composition of the workforce differs regarding gender and generation, which directly impact how the individual, think, their values, as well as their attitude towards their role in an organization and their working environment. Additionally, the generation differs in their loyalty and how they perceive career development. Traditionally, the majority of the workforce composed of the middle age whiles the young and the old were not considered in most of the jobs as they were viewed as unproductive and inexperienced respectively ( Kapoor & Solomon, 2011) . Today, the Us economy is run by all the four generation, and this is because the old have extended their years of retirement while the young are aggressive in accruing jobs and also they have been considered as productive age group by some researchers. Importantly the generation Y is one of the generation that has served in the workforce for the longest period when compared with the other three generations. The current workforce has a unique feature, which involves a progressive multi-generation workforce, an advanced technologically, as well as improvement in the innovation sectors ( Parry & Urwin, 2011 ). Age is a primary factor in the social class within the human interaction as it shapes how individuals within the society are assigned roles such as hierarchy in an organization setting, power allocation, and prestige. Additionally, age shapes political, cultural as well as economic factors. 

As a result of economic development which has been experienced in most of the nations in the world, the economic industry has been suffering from labor shortage which is one of the major factors that has significantly led to the existence of the four generation in the workforce after a long period ( Costanza et al., 2012) . Also, due to laborers shortage, most of the older generation have found themselves increasing their retirement years which in turn enable the old to still work in some institutions such as in the health sector and service industry where the four generation work side by side with each other irrespective of their differences. As a result of being brought up in a different period with different and distinct values, behaviors and attitudes, a multi-generation workforce poses a challenge to the management team as some of the organization take advantage of the diversity as an opportunity while others view it as a challenge ( Costanza& Finkelstein, 2015) . Additionally, a multi-generation workforce implies that each generation differs regarding problem-solving techniques, leadership style, decision-making strategies and finally in their communication. Also, different generation forms their unique culture and way of life in a community, and it is important to harmonize the differences in a public working environment in an attempt to promote peace, cohesion, and collaboration in public workforce. As a result, it will lead to increased productivity and good working environment for the employees. It is, therefore, important that the public sector should manipulate the multi-generation character of the workforce so as to benefit from the diversity significantly.

Purpose of the Study

The study aims at providing the general structure of the labor force in the public industry. This will enable the reader to clearly understand the diversity and how the generation interacts and work together in the public sector. In the workplace, in some instances employees in a specific generation might suffer from stereotyping which in turn might affect the other generations’ attitudes towards the specified generation, hence, creating unconducive working environment for the affected generation which in turn influence their moral and their productivity rate ( Mencl& Lester, 2014) . Therefore, understanding the multi-generation feature of the current workforce will enable the reader and the managers to understand why the topic of generation difference is important in the management of employees in the public sector. 

The research will also provide the trend in which the generation groups have been performing in the workforce industry. In this case, the study will indicate the rate of growth for each generation in the workforce to determine which generation is most active regarding employees population. 

The research will also provide detailed information on some of the strategies that have been previously used and have proved to be successful in managing the multi-generation workforce. In this case, the data will ensure that public managers have an insight of some of the best strategies that can be employed to ensure that all generations in the working environment feel important and work together to achieve the common goals of the organizations involved. 

Substantive Assumption

For the public sector to effectively motivate employees to work there should be appropriate measures that enable effective management of the different generations in the workplace which will, in turn, enable the public sector to increase its productivity as well as encourage good working environment by enhancing effective communication and collaboration among the employees in different generations. Another assumption is the fact that in every public organization, four generations compose of the total workforce in the public sector employees. The last assumption revolves around the fact that some public organizations lack strategic approaches that would enable them to benefit from the diverse workforce from a different generation, and therefore, the importance of the research in establishing approaches that can be used to manage generation diversity in the public sector. 

Study Scope

The case study will be conducted in a public organization whereby the researcher will select randomly but voluntary select a sample of fifty co-workers who will be subject to answering the survey questioners. The questioners will involve ten survey questions on how the baby boomers generation, the generation Yers, and generation Xers view their working environment. In an attempt to avoid the researcher's interferences with the coworkers'' responses to the survey questions, the participants identity remain anonymous, which will in turn aid in enhancing the privacy of the information as well as protecting the participants. Additionally, the questioners will also be focused on age and gender of the participants to ensure each gender and generation is provided with an equal opportunity which will in turn help in dealing with a biased report. Finally, the survey will be conducted in a span of one week whereby the researcher will collect the questioner from the participants, for analysis and representation of data. 

Definition of terms

Generation, this refers to a group of people born and brought up at the same period in history. Each generation has a distinct age and era that define them, which in turn shapes their behavior, communication, culture and believes ( Kapoor & Solomon, 2011)

The great generation, this is the oldest generation and composes of individuals who were born in the period before 1945 ( Kapoor & Solomon, 2011) . Members of this generation were brought up in the period after the world war two. About the working environment members of this generation are conservative regarding their dress code and language, they also they view their work as a privilege. One of the reasons as to why they are still relevant in the public workforce today is the fact that they have a rich experience in their work which in turn increases efficiency.

The baby boom generation is the second and the largest population which is characterized by individuals born between 1946 and 1964. It is the most active generation in the workforce, and it forms approximately 46% of the US total workforce which is approximately 66 million employees in the US working environment and also the population that holds most of the powers in the US social setting( Kapoor & Solomon, 2011) . In the working environment members of the baby boom portray good communication skills, good working ethics, as well as features of emotional maturity.

Generation X is the third generation which in composed of individuals born between 1965 to1980. The generation forms approximately 33% of the US total workforce, which is fifty-five million employees. In the workplace members of this generation are self-reliant ( Kapoor & Solomon, 2011) .

Lastly is the Millennial Generation which is also referred as the generation Y and composers of the population that were born between 1980 and 2000. The generation accounts for 15% of the US workforce which is about twenty two million employees ( Costanza et al., 2012) . This is a generation that has significantly adapted technology in their daily operations and also in the workplace they portray goal and achievement oriented characteristics.

Chapter Two

History and General Background

In a nutshell, any organization today existing in the economy is experiencing a wave of changes in the workforce, whereby there is four generations working side by side as well as living along. Despite the fact that the first wave of the booming baby generation turned sixty-five years in 2011, it is important to note that this age group is still in the workforce ( Kapoor & Solomon, 2011) . This is due to some factors such as an extension of the retirement age, due to a weak economy, poor saving habits that leave the old with inadequate funds to sustain them after retirement, personal preferences as well as increasing need for experienced personnel in the organization among other factors. Numerous researchers have to be conducted on the differences that exist between the generations, but little attention has been challenged on how to effectively manage the cross-generational differences in the public sector in an attempt to increase efficiency and increase employees’ productivity. Over the years, the generation y members have been increasingly occupying jobs in the US market and based on existing data, approximately 53.5 million employees in 2015 were composed of the generation Y, generation X and the booming generation scored 52.7 million employees and 44.6 million employees respectively ( Twenge et al., 2010) . The data indicates a growing number of the generation Y in occupying jobs while the booming generations are leaving the workforce due to old age and retirement hence the decline in the numbers of employees under the booming generation.

Existing Studies

Working in today's society implies that one is likely to work in a working environment which is led by the millennial as well as working with Generation X, and the booming baby generation, this is because in today's society the team of workers is made up of teams with a different range of age. Recent statistics indicate that the boomer generation is likely to extend their retirement age which provides an opportunity for this age group to work with the high-tech generation which is the generation Y ( Schullery, 2013) . The differences between the generations in work have become profound in the recent past whereby different characters in different generation portray significant differences in their communication styles, their values and believe, as well as the work habits of each generation. Most of the studies indicate that the booming baby generation is the most dominating generation in the workforce as its members occupy most of the top, most positions in areas such as managerial ranks as well as being viewed as the knowledgeable group due to its experiences and knowledge accumulated over their many years of working ( Oh& Reeves, 2014) . On the other hand, the generation Y is viewed as the youngest generation in the workforce and a generation that has a wide exposure to the technology as they were born and brought up during the period of technological innovation and development. 

In a working environment, there is a profound difference between the generations whereby the boomers are found as a group of employees that value team –work, they are loyal to their work, they are process oriented as opposed to goal-oriented which best describes the generation x and Y ( Lyons et al., 2015) . Additionally, the booming generation also believes in a group discussion in the workplace, believe in sacrifice as an important element of success and always focuses on attaining permanent employment. On the contrast the generation Xers are described as employees who view autonomy in the workplace, works hard to balance work and life objectives, are not interested in organizational leadership, they are action oriented and have no work or workplace loyalty ( Lyons et al., 2015) . Lastly, the generation Y believes in using technology to increase productivity, view work as a fulfillment as opposed to a career, they are flexible from one job to the over and embrace creativity in the workplace. Also, they believe in working with a bright team and believe in working in a working environment that rewards extra work. The data indicate the differences between the three generations and how their age group in the workplace shapes their beliefs and behavior, these calls for the management team to develop strategic approaches that will enable the different generations to work together for a common purpose effectively. 

In an attempt to effectively manage the generation differences in the public sector it essential to clearly understand what motivates the generation as well as the major differences between generations in the public sector. Most of the researchers have common differences between generation in workplaces as, differences in communication styles, differences in adaptation to changes, and differences in technical skills among employees of different generations ( Lyons et al., 2015) . While focusing on the communication differences between the generations presented in the workforce, data indicate that the booming generation is reserved while generation X and the generation Y are to trays characters of collaboration and in person interpersonal relationship. It is also important to note that the generation Yers prefers the coaching system of management to the traditional form of management which involved the movement of powers and information from top to bottom an approach that is considered as authoritative. On matters regarding adaptation to change in the workplace, generation Y and generation X members view change as a process towards opportunity; therefore, they are described generations that expect and embrace change ( Schullery, 2013) . On the contrary, the booming generation has already exploited and developed their career, and they view change as a means of limiting their comfort zone and hence they are rigid to change. Lastly, when focusing on technological skills in the working environment, it is essential to indicate that the generation Y is the most conversant generation with technology matters; this is because the generation was brought up during an era of massive technological evolution. Also, the literature indicates that most of the generation Y members had experiences with technological gadgets right from their childhood which in turn explains their rich experience and skills in with technology. Contrary, the booming and the X generation prefer traditional methods of carrying out duties and learning new skills as opposed to using technology for the same purpose. For example, when learning a new skill in the workplace, the generation Xs and booming generation prefer using instructor together with the self-learning equipment while on the other hand, the generation Y prefers collaborative and technological approaches ( Oh&Reeves, 2015)

The public sector workforce has experienced changes in the workforce whereby the workforce have shifted from being dominated by one or two generations and in today's workforce, there are employees in their twenty years and those close to sixty years. In a situation where the intervention is not well managed it can adversely affect one or the other generation due to factors such as stereotype and inappropriate strategies to that allow all generations to participate in an organization actively. It is essential to point out that negative intergeneration social interaction results in conflicts within an organization which also bring about the opposition between generations which result from differences in thinking, problem solving techniques, communication difference as well as differences in how the different generation carry out their roles within the organization ( Kapoor & Solomon, 2011 ). Based on research that was carried out on matters regarding the impact of generation differences in the workplace carried out in n Erie County Department of Social Services, among the participants 60% attributed generation differences with the conflicts experienced in the workplace. The data indicate that most of the conflicts among the employees result from generation differences. Different generations have unique experiences, and they are brought up during different events which in turn shapes their code of conducts. Additionally, each generation forms its culture, values, beliefs and attitudes which are different from other generation ( Lyons et al., 2015) . The differences in these aspects significantly shape how a multigenerationalworkforceinteract with each other, communicate and how they reason with each other. It has been found essential that each generation within a workforce should be well monitored and managed to allow collaboration among the workforce.

Based on evidence base approach on the management of the multi-generation workforce in organizations, it has been found that for effective management of the different generations an organization must integrate the ACRON imperative strategy which focuses on intergeneration comfort at the workplace. The imperative approach allows managers to have a clear understanding of their employees about their generation, and therefore, incorporating strategies that meet the diverse need of the generation in the workplace ( Schullery, 2013 ). Additionally, the approach also encourages employees’ free choice whereby the employees have the freedom to make minor decisions that affect them directly this can be achieved by altering the structure of the organizational bureaucracy. In this case, the management of the multi-generation workforce will be easy, and also the generations will have limited opportunities to engage in conflict, hence managing the cross-generational differences among the employees. Besides focusing on management and leadership techniques other approaches that can be used to effectively manage generation differences in the public sector include communication and respect approach, using training and learning sessions, employees retention techniques, and finally using rewards to encourage collaboration among the employees.

Communication Style Approach

It is also important to note that the differences in communication styles between the different generations such s generation Y and the booming generation call for the public sectors to use communication strategies in an attempt to solve conflicts and variances between the various generations in the workforce ( Abrams, 2014) . For example, the generation Y members prefer to use text messages, tweets as well as immediate response communication approaches while on the other hand the baby booming generation and Generation X individuals prefer to communicate through a call or email. Additionally, the generation Y members have increasing use of abbreviations and informal language which results in communication breakdown in the workplace which in turn increases conflicts within an organization. Existing literature indicate that understanding a group of people or individuals regarding what they value and what motivates them enables people in a working environment to easily communication job expectations as well as offering the required support whenever called to do so ( Salahuddin,2010 ). Additionally, allowing members of different generations to engage in a face to face communication and activities during events such as team building plays a significant role in breaking down the barriers that can result from digital communication such as the use of abbreviations ( Abrams, 2014)

Also, the public sector can also develop strategies that enable the employees and the employers to use a communication style that each in the different generation finds preferable to use ( Vijayalakshmi, 2013) . Appling this approach will provide members of all generation to express themselves using a style that they best prefer effectively and that is acceptable to the organization. Hence, avoiding over-dominance of one generation or limiting a generation from communicating due to using universal communication that does not meet the communication needs of the different generations presented by the workforce. This way the different employees of various generations will understand each generation style of communication and respect it which will in turn help in solving conflicts that arise from communication differences exhibited by different generations in the public labor industry ( Vijayalakshmi, 2013) .

Firstly when using the communication respect approach, it is essential to establish that organizational generation conflicts arise from subjective such as attribution and perception as opposed to valid and genuine reasons. As a result of the subjectiveness of the causes of the generation conflicts in the workplace, researchers establish the role of effective communication in solving generational conflicts ( Salahuddin, 2010 ). For example, aggressive communication is an important element that can be sued to develop effective intergeneration workforce due to the nature of communication engagement, which involves pre-empting which in turn enables the management team to uncover generational disagreements and other risk factors that might that, might result to other forms of conflict. While engaging in an aggressive communication, the employees from different generations will air out their complaints including those that individuals prefer to keep for themselves, it will also provide the workforce with the opportunity to express their passive aggressive features as they open up during the communication. In such a setting, the managers can acquire detailed information regarding the different generation’s needs and incorporate some of the wise thoughts of the old and experienced generation. The employees should be provided with an opportunity to discuss numerous factors and problems that affect the organization, and it is through such discussion forum that enables the managers to clearly understand their employees as well as creating a mutual understanding between employees across the different generations ( Del Campo, 2011) . Additionally, since communication style is one of the contributing factors towards generation conflicts in the workplace, it is essential to develop nutria but effective communication approaches that match all the generals represented in the workforce. As a result, the public sector will be in a position to reduce or eliminate organizational conflicts that arise from the multi-generation labor force.

Communication skills also play a significant role in conflict resolving process and therefore, through the communication strategy, the public sector can develop good communication skills among the employees from different generations to ensure that they acquire appropriate and effective communication skills. Negotiations, turn taking, use of polite language, among other communication skills play a significant role in conflict resolving ( Abrams, 2014) .Additionally, good communication skills leads to effective communication which in turn reduces the cases of generation conflict that might arise from ineffective communication which arises from poor communication skills. It is also through communication that the public sector that deals with the generation stereotype associated with specific generations. Through communication, the management team can learn what the different generation thinks about each other and how they judge their action. Open-ended discussions such judgments can be corrected which will in turn help in enhancing the cohesiveness of the employees due to a clear understanding of each generation. Lastly of matters regarding communication strategy, through the strategy the employees are allowed to express their opinion in discussion forums as well as a decision-making process, and when the views and decisions of different generations are discussed the employees learn to respect each generation's opinion hence reducing conflicts in the workplace ( Grubb, 2016)

Cultural Approach

In every institution, culture plays a vital role in shaping how the individuals within an organization conduct themselves, how they solve problems as well as how they relate to each other. While focusing on solving the generational differences within the public sector, it is essential to alter the public sector cultures to ensure that they are flexible and embrace diversity regarding age, gender, and race in the workforce ( Bal& De Lange, 2015) . The public sector should develop organizational cultures that allow the members of different generations to interact freely, and learn from each other's way of life. Such opportunities will enable the employees of various generations to clearly understand members of other generation in terms of their behaviors, their way of communicating, their beliefs as well as values, which will, in turn, lead to a comprehension of what make each group of generation conducts themselves in a specific manner. Therefore, respecting understanding and respecting as well as promoting the different generations in the workforce. For example, celebrating exciting events such as company's success, or birthday provides the employees with the opportunity to interact freely and it always presents a great approach to ensure employees irrespective of their generation grow together ( Bal & De Lange, 2015) . Additionally, the public sector can solve the generational differences by focusing on corporate culture which allows the employees to learn about generational issues hence equipping them with the adequate knowledge that helps them to respect and appreciate other generations which leads to increased production. The organizational culture should also be accommodative to all ages, in this case, the culture should provide equal opportunities regarding promotion, recruitment, fair firing procedures that apply to all ages, employees’ development, as well as when executing salary increment ( DelCampo, 2011) . Such a culture will help the employees to respect each other and alter some conflict that might arise in the organization due to unequal treatment due to age-related matters. Additionally, all employees learn and appreciate the fact that they are all important in the day to day operation of the organization which in turn help them to gain confidence and high self-esteem which leads to the good working environment and increased employees’ productivity ( DelCampo, 2011) . Additionally, equal opportunities for all employees in career development lead to employees’ satisfaction which is a major element in defining the success of any organization whether public or private.

Training and Learning

Different generations have different training and learning needs that require altering of the training procedures and styles to ensure that they meet the generational workforce needs ( Rowe& American Society for Training and Development, 2010) . Each generation has a distinct preference for a specific learning procedure and mode, and hence one verbally, of training might lead to inadequate learning procedures which will fail to impact the desired knowledge and skills. For example, the booming generation and the generation Xs members prefer learning through the soft skills which involve classroom instruction, which a physically present instructor while on the other hand the young generation which in this case is the generation Y members prefer assessment and feedback approaches in learning soft skills ( Rowe & American Society for Training and Development, 2010) . In this case, if either of the approaches is used alone, this will mean that it will have an impact on the age group that prefers the specific mode of teaching. An additional difference is experienced in the skills that employees from different generations require during the career development programs. For example, the older generation which composes of the baby boom and the Generation X prefer training in their areas of expertise while the young generation which is composed of the generation Y members prefers training in leadership skills. Therefore a combined mode of training and learning should be incorporated in organizational training sessions to help to impact the desired skills to all employees in different generations. Some of the integrated approaches that can meet the needs of all generations in the workplace include learning approach where individual get their hand on the task, discussion groups, group interaction and immediate feedback approach ( Hanifah & Syaebani, 2016) . The methods enable the learners to determine their progress in the teaching-learning process, and finally, the step to step coaching on a one on one basis. Despite the differences in generations in learning soft skills, it is important to note that the generations have a common preference for training approaches for hard skills. The management and the human resource departments should develop training goals that are specific rather than general which will in turn help in meeting the training objectives as well as meet the needs of the different generations in the workforce.


In the recent past employees have lost meaning in their work due to the decreased loyalty of the employees to their employers. In today's society, the employees keep moving from one type of job to the other and from one organization to the other irrespective of their generation. Employees tend to remain in workplaces that are rewarding and loyal to organizations that consider them as valuable assets as opposed to being treated as disposable assets ( Hanifah& Syaebani, 2016 ). Members across different generations share common reasons for remaining in an organization which includes being appreciated, recognized, valued as important in the organization day to day operations, as well as being provided with adequate and necessary support whenever they require it. Employees across all generation value being rewarded and being informed about the organizational progress and therefore, previewing the organizational goal and providing rewards such as bonuses will help to retain all the employees in the organization irrespective of their generational differences. Additionally, organizations with high employees’ retention rates have also proved to have a minimal generational conflict which in turn can be used as a strategy to effectively manage the differences across different age groups in the workplace. In some literatures, the appreciation of the experiences of the older generation in and the adaptation of the new talents from the younger generation significantly helps employees to understand the role of each generation in the organization ( Hanifah & Syaebani, 2016) . Leading to an increase in the retention rate as well as solving generation differences that might arise from one generation feeling more important than the others. 

Impacting Knowledge on the Generational Difference to the Employees

From the previous discussion it have been highlighted that in today's workforce it is character by four generation which has diverse thoughts, work ethics, thinking processes, different values as well as differences in how they view work and other generation ( Derlukiewicz et al., 2015) . It is, therefore, important to ensure that each generation has a clear perspective about the other generation and as a result, the organization will enable the different generations to work together. Differences in perception regarding specific group influence the ability of the employees to work side by side with each generation group as well as understanding each other. Understanding employees behavior regarding generations help the management team as well as other employees to effectively allocate jobs, develop appropriate interaction, as well as communication styles that will not offend any generation. In this case, the management of the public sectors will be in a position to effectively manage the conflicts and differences by identifying such factors and developing strategies that best meet the factors. For example, the generation Y group of employees is aggressive and requires immediate gratification in their workplace, and also they are innovative, in this case, the management team can allocate duties that require such fears to the group while allocating traditional roles to the baby boomers ( Derlukiewicz et al., 2015) . Finally, the process of understanding behavior among the diverse groups of generations in the workforce enables employees to understand each other better and engage in activities that harmonize their differences. For example, communication differences between the baby booming and generation Y can be solved through a face to face discussion which provides both groups with the opportunity to inquire more about unclear issues and hence solving conflicts that might arise from a misconception of written communication with unclear details. 


Most of the studies that have been involved in the evaluation of the generational differences in the workplace and how to effectively manage the differences and conflicts have significantly employed both the theoretical approach as well as empirical evidence based approach in gathering adequate data about the topic. The empirical studies involved experimenting as well as observing how different generation responds to specific situations. For example, a case study was conducted in the Erie County Department of Social Services to determine the differences between learning and motivation among different groups in the workforce and how it affects the general well-being of the organization ( Lyons & Kuron, 2014) . Additionally, the study involves surveys whereby participants from different generations were subjected to an interview either written or orally as well as the use of questioners to establish existing difference among the generations in the workforce. For example, a modified survey which was extracted from a survey that was carried out in 2004 which involved the Survey Report on Generational Differences from the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) which was presented to one hundred and ten participants through the email ( Lyons & Kuron, 2014) . In this case, the survey aimed at establishing generation differences in learning, motivation factors, communication differences as well as differences among generation groups on work ethics and loyalty. Lastly, the study also involved the application of theoretical study approach whereby information regarding the difference between the generations in the workplace as well as strategies to effectively manage the differences was arrived based on existing body of knowledge and facts relating to the topic at hand. For example, using data from the U.S, Labor Department to determine the percentage of each generation in the US workforce. As using behavioral and social theories such as the use of rewards and social belonging to explain why generations share common behaviors and values as well as in recommending the managerial principles that have previously proved to be effective in dealing with generation differences in the workplace. 


One of the instruments to be used in data collection is questioners which will be distributed to the participants to gather adequate data regarding the generation differences in the workplace. The survey will not require the participants from identifying themselves which will in turn help in achieving privacy and valid data due to the anonymous nature of the survey. In most of the researchers, face to face surveys has been viewed as ineffective in acquiring accurate data because the researcher might influence the participant's responses. Therefore, opting for a survey through the mail will provide the participants with the freedom to answer the questions in privacy which in turn will provide high chances of the responders to provide true data. Additionally, in most cases, participants are worried about the privacy of their identity to prevent consequences that might arise from providing the data such as being fired or terminated, in which the survey responders identity will remain as anonymous. This, in turn, will help to secure the employees’ identity as well as their views regarding the topic at hand. The questioners are enclosed to ensure that the participants do not require to explain their decisions and therefore to consider the survey as less involving and easy to answer. Additionally due to the nature of the survey, it will take relatively shorter time for the participants to complete it which will, in turn, increase the total number of responders who will effectively answer the questions. The survey questions are short and clear as well as they are few as there are only ten questions to be answered, this will take relatedly short time for participant to answer, hence, reducing the numbers of participants who might decline from responding to the survey.

Significant Study

One of the studies that significantly reflect this paper's statement of the problem is the study carried out by the Erie County Department of Social Services ( Lyons & Kuron, 2014) . This is because the study is focused on the general differences in the public sector which are the area of interest for this research paper. Additionally, the study significantly aimed at establishing multigenerational differences regarding values and learning preferences and also provides an adequate guideline to the managers of the public sectors on how to go about controlling general differences in the public sectors in an attempt to bring coherence to the workplace as well as collaboration among the generations ( Lyons & Kuron, 2014) . The study is important as it will provide the public sectors as well as private organizations with adequate information on how to effectively manage the generational differences presented in today’s workforce. Additionally, the study will provide the organizations with possible gaps that exist in the current industry that results in generation conflicts that can adversely affect the productivity as well as the general well -being of the organization and the employees. The possibility of the study to acquire genuine, relevant and meaningful data from the study high due to factors such as the use of closed questions as well as preserving the identity of the participants as anonymous, building confidence in them to provide genuine as opposed to biased data.

Summary of Literature Review

Based on the already existing literature, the current workforce is characterized by four main generations which are the traditional generation which composes of a small portion of the workforce, baby booming, generation X, generation Y. It is also important to indicate that the booming generation is one of the dominating generations in the workforce industry this is due to the increasing number of baby booming increasing their retirement age due to factors such as reduced availability of labor and the increasing rate of adolescent dependency on the booming baby generation ( Zemke et al., 2013) . On the other hand, the Y generation is increasing becoming part of the workforce which has led to the existence of the four generation in the workforce. The generations are distinct behaviors, communication styles, views on leadership styles as well as differences in their culture and values. The differences between the generations in the workforce can adversely affect the employee's relationship, productivity, as well as retention and therefore, the management team, should adopt appropriate strategies such as communication strategies, training, and learning approach, artistic approach as well inquiring generational differences knowledge on the employees ( Burke et al., 2015) . The approaches will help to reduce the generational conflicts and problems that arise from the diversity of workforce based on age matters.

Chapter Three


The research involves a case study on the public sector which involves identifying how the different generation varies in the workplace so as to determine the most effective management strategies that can be used to manage each generation so as to improve their productivity. During the case study, the variables against which the generations will be tested against include their preference in communication, how they interact with other employees, the organization ability to balance work and employment needs among other variables as presented in the survey. 


The study will use the survey approach which will involve answering ten questions in the questioner. The participants will compose of fifty co-workers who will be provided with printed questioners with closed questions. The participant's identity will remain anonymous, and t participants will take part of the study on a voluntary decision. The survey will be held in one week whereby after distributing the questioners the researchers will collect them after a week which will provide the participants with adequate time to respond to the questions. Finally, the survey questions revolve around age and gender factors.

Field Procedure

The questioners will be distributed to workers from different generation groups represented in the workforce and also by age and gender. Additionally, the questioners will be distributed and collected a week later.

Data Processing and Analysis Procedures

The raw data collected from the study will be processed and presented in tables and charts so as to make sense. Additionally, the data will also be coverage in percentage to indicate how the different generation scored in the different activities.

Methodological Assumption

The first assumption is that which assumes that all the participants will answer all the questions with honesty and provide the questioners during the collection period. Secondly, the coworkers who volunteered to take part in the study represent all the population of workers in the public sectors. The participants clearly understood the question before answering them. Members of all the generation groups portrayed similar behaviors at all cases.

Methodological Limitation

Firstly the study was only carried in one institution and therefore lacked adequate data to compare and contrite the employee's behaviors. In this case, it would be difficult to make an assumption about the generational differences in the workplace as there are chances that there are companies with different approaches whose employees would provide contrasting information. Additionally, the study was also limited because it failed to recognize some of other contributing factors that might result in differences in behavior between members of the same generation such factors include social economic as well as personality differences. Lastly, the study was subjected to stereotype whereby members of specific age groups were assumed to have specific behaviors.

Validity and Reliability

The participants will have their own free time to answer the questions as opposed to providing a face to face survey or interview verbally, therefore, limiting the influence of the researcher on the responses provided. Secondly, the participants through voluntary to participate must be balanced for the generations involved, and this will ensure that each group is well represented and hence avoiding biasness in one generation. The participant's identity was hidden to ensure that they enjoy their privacy and also to prevent them from providing false data for fears of consequences that might arise from their revealed.

Decision Criteria

Critical decision-making process will be used to analyze and present data so as to ensure that it reflects the real situation in the organization. In this case, the data will be critically analyzed and presented to provide adequate information regarding the generation differences in organizations and how management strategies shape these conflicts. 

Chapter Four

Data Analysis

Differences between generations in terms of behavior and response to situation in a working environment.

Behaviour Generation Y Generation X BabbyBoomers
Engaging in team building 32% 58% 88%
Level of harmoney working with co-workers 50% 50% 77%
Engaging in activities to promote harmoney in the workplace 47% 60% 89%
Chances of adopting to change  98% 54% 10%
Prefered communication method Upto date such as texting, emailing, infomal communication and skype Written documentsand face to face Writen, face to face documentsand formal communication

The table illastrates the different features that the millennials, generation X and the baby boomers have in the working environment that result to generational conflicts within an organisation.

Generation in the workplace

The piec chart illastrates that the highest population in the organisation is the generation Y followed by generation x and finally, the babyboom generation.

Management techniques to manage generational differences

How the different generations believe that the managing techniques have aided in dealing with the institutional generational differences. 

Management technique Generation Y Generation X Babby Boomers
Training procedures 98% 90% 90%
Using ethics 78% 88% 93%
Using organizational Values 90% 89% 89%
Work Life Balance 94% 90% 86%

The table presents data of some of the generational differences management techniques that can be employed to deal with generational conflicts and how frequently that have been utilized in an organization to help the employees to effectively manage generational differences. From the table the organization have adopted training technigues, use of ethics, values and balancing life and work experiences in dealing with generational differences.

Chapter Five


From the table it is clear that each generation has their unique behaviors, beliefs, and values that guide them in their day to day activities and which define each generation. Since the current workforce is made up of individuals from the three generation, it is natural that their differences are experienced in the workplace ( Yi et al., 2015) . Therefore, it is essential for both the private and public working industries to develop appropriate procedures and structures that will accommodate all the differences hence, enabling individuals from different generation groups to work together side by side with minimal conflicts. 

Statistics indicate that for in the recent past, the workforce has experienced drastic changes in its composition. This is because it is the only time in history that there is four generation in the working industry who work side by side. From the chat, it is evidence that the generation Y is the largest population in the the organization. Statistics indicate that generation Y is leading with approximately 53.5 million workers. The second's generation that is in the current workforce is the generation x which composes of about 52.7 million employees ( Wiedmer, 2015) . The booming baby generation is still in the workforce despite their old age; this is because of the increasing financial needs among this population low retirement savings that cannot keep one for long; hence, the generation continues to work so as to save and reduce the time that they will be unproductive. Additionally, due to the increasing labor demand of experienced personnel in the working industries, the baby boomers are still in the workforce ( Wiedmer, 2015) . Despite the fact that the baby boomers have dominated the workforce for a relatively extended period, the population has been a decline as that of generation Y and X continue to increase. 

The table illustrates how the different management techniques that have been previously found useful in dealing with generation differences within an organization when the approach is frequently used. While focusing on consistency, organizational values and ethics within the organization, the approaches have a significant impact on the relationship between employees which in this case, it is enhanced, therefore, allowing employees from different generations to work together ( Salahuddin, 2010) . Additionally, the literature indicates that most of the employees prefer working in places whose values upholds employees respect rather than working in areas with high pay and without respect. Additionally, treating all employees equally regarding salaries, firing, promotion, and career development enables each employee to appreciate and respect every generation represented in the workforce ( Lyons et al., 2015) . Also work life balance and training factors can also be manipulated to bring about coherence in the workplace by reducing the conflicts that arise from generational differences experienced in the workforce.Training also equip the employees with adequate information about different generation which in turn leads to mutual understanding and respect. 


The existence of four generations in the workforce places a challenge to the management team as they have to develop appropriate strategies that meet each generation needs within the workforce, failure to which the generation will be unproductive and increase generation conflicts which also affects employees’ relationship and productivity. Numerous factors have to lead to the existence of the four generations in the workplace which include, increased retirement age, increased economic demand, high leaving standards that force the old and the young to engage in financial developing activities among other factors. Firstly, communication plays a vital role in an organization, and therefore, it can be utilized to bring about understanding, respect, and appreciation among different generations employees. Secondly, culture in an organization shapes the people's way of life, and therefore, the culture can be manipulated to match the needs of different cultures that will result to coherence in the workplace. Additionally, providing an opportunity for each employee to learn different generation will enable the employees to conduct themselves in a manner that does not offend the other generation, hence, acquiring harmony. Lastly, the training and learning sessions can be used to manage difference generations in the organization by ensuring that the teaching and learning process caters for the different generations represented in the workforce. 


Generational conflicts should be properly managed to ensure that the public sector continues to provide quality services and products. Therefore, the government and the managers should provide learning sessions to the employees to enable them to clearly understand each generation and how they work, this way, the generations will be able to work side by side ( Paludi, 2012) . Secondly, despite the long working experience that is placed by most of the booming baby generation, the organizations should provide equal opportunities to each generation, and for the Y generation, they should be provided with the opportunity to lead as they are aggressive. Finally, the public organizations should develop flexible cultures that can be easily manipulated to meet the different generation’s needs in different situations.


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