Master of Science in Organizational Dynamics Theses

Document Type

Thesis or dissertation

Date of this Version

9-1-2015

Comments

Submitted to the Program of Organizational Dynamics, College of Liberal and Professional Studies, in the School of Arts and Sciences in Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for the Degree of Master of Science in Organizational Dynamics at the University of Pennsylvania.

Advisor: Walter Licht

Abstract

The purpose of this capstone project is to investigate the following question: How do members of the Baby Boom, Generation X and Millennial generations believe influences and experiences of their formative years impact their workplace attitudes and values? In the U.S. labor force, there are three predominant generations comprising a significant share of the workforce, each unique with their own set of core values that have been collectively shaped and defined by their formative political, cultural, and social experiences. For every generation, there are events and circumstances that mold preferences, expectations, and values that ultimately shape their workplace perspective and expectations.

This paper was undertaken to provide a lens into the formative influences of each generation and the subsequent attitudes and values that emerge as a result of these experiences. By understanding the unique influences and motivations of each generation, we can qualitatively assess the research on generational influences on work-related attitudes. This capstone investigates the growing body of research and aligns it to survey data captured by members of each generation in a higher education institution in the Philadelphia area. This exploratory research is valuable for employees, management professionals, and practitioners who want to better understand generational values so they can evaluate their practices in order to communicate, engage, and lead their organizations effectively.

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Date Posted: 20 September 2015