Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to develop a knowledge base for project managers to understand and deal with issues that arise out of Generation Y working with other generations. The research study is expected to generate interest among the research community for undertaking similar studies to advance understanding on this interesting and important topic. Design/methodology/approach – This research method consists of analyzing literature review findings and survey results of an exploratory study of Generation Y working professionals. Both the literature review findings and the study results were analyzed to develop findings and recommendations. Findings – Research results confirmed that the generation gap is an issue. Generation Y is viewed unfavorably and they face struggles in dealing with other generations. These generation gap issues might vary depending on the type of industry and composition of the workforce. People from each generation – raised in different social and technological contexts – bring different attitudes, values, and work ethics to the workplace and a project manager is required to manage these to improve project team effectiveness. Research limitations/implications – The research study has a participant selection bias; only Gen Y working professionals from the USA participated in the study and people from other generations and Generation Y people from other countries were not included in the study. Therefore, study results do not reflect issues from the perspectives of other generations. A similar study that considers participation of people from real project teams consisting of different generations is recommended to validate the research results of this study. Practical implications – The paper explored issues concerning project teams consisting of members from different generations. Results are expected to help project managers develop team management strategies. This study is also aimed to develop a foundation for future studies to examine how project management can deal with project teams consisting of people of different generations working together. The study findings and implications for practical use are limited due to participation bias. Originality/value – The study is an original effort in examining some of the issues related to different generations working together in a project environment. Results are of relevance in today's corporate world. Project teams span many generations and present challenges in developing them into a high performing team. This paper addresses some of the challenges from the perspective of Generation Y.
International Journal of Managing Projects in Business – Emerald Publishing
Published: Jan 20, 2012
Keywords: United States of America; Project teams; Project management; Generation Y; Baby Boomer generation; Generation X; Veterans