PhD Thesis


Ashley Bamberg



quality of life large scale generational european social survey age work values human health decision making

Generational work values: Not so different after all? (2020)

Abstract Broad advancements in human health, quality of life, and longevity have culminated in an increasingly age diverse population. Over several decades, successive researchers have adopted a generational lens - the categorisation of individuals according to their perceived generation - as a means to better understand this age diversity within the context of the workplace. Several recent studies have focused on the existence of distinct sets of work values (human values expressed in the context of work) across generations and the impact that these differences are likely to have for the management of employees. Much of this extant work has been critiqued for lacking sound theoretical or conceptual underpinnings, or robust empirical evidence. To address these issues, and drawing on two studies using large-scale, multi-country datasets, the research here adopts Mannheim’s (1952) seminal theory of generations and Rudolph and Zacher’s (2016) conceptual Lifespan Model of Generations to empirically explore whether generational differences in work values exist. Because age is the key means by which a generation is typically conceptualised, and since work values comprise human values expressed in the specific context of work, Study 1 investigates age differences in human values using data from the European Social Survey (ESS). Study 2 explores generational differences in work values using the Generations of Talent (GOT) survey, and moves beyond age as the sole identifier of a generation. Results from both studies demonstrated no significant generational differences in human values or work values. contradicting the wellspring of extant discourse. It is argued here that the continued use of a generational lens to explain perceived differences among individuals may represent little more than age stereotyping, and introduce age bias in organisational decision-making with attendant implications for diversity and inclusion.
Collections Ireland -> University of Limerick -> Doctoral theses
Ireland -> University of Limerick -> Theses: Kemmy Business School
Ireland -> University of Limerick -> Departments Kemmy Business School
Ireland -> University of Limerick -> Kemmy Business School
Ireland -> University of Limerick -> Doctoral theses (KBS)
Ireland -> University of Limerick -> University of Limerick Theses & Dissertations
Ireland -> University of Limerick -> Department of Work and Employment Studies
Ireland -> University of Limerick -> E-theses

Full list of authors on original publication

Ashley Bamberg

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