Date of Conferral

2017

Degree

Doctor of Business Administration (D.B.A.)

School

Management

Advisor

Teresa Lao

Abstract

One of the demographic changes in the workplace is the presence of multiple generations working together. Some managers may find leading a multigenerational workforce a challenge, because the generational cohorts may have different work values and approaches to work. The purpose of this qualitative case study was to explore how generational characteristics manifest in the workplace, how managers perceive a multigenerational workforce, and whether macro-level descriptions of generations creates stereotypes or recognizable indicators of behavior in the workplace. Mannheim's theory of generations and diversity management theory provided the conceptual framework for the study. Data were collected through interviews and a focus group discussion from 40 participants from the public sector. The participants consisted of members from the veterans, baby boomers, Gen Xers, and millennial cohorts. Summative content analysis was used to analyze data with the use of NVivo software, and member checking was used to enhance the trustworthiness of interpretations. The key themes from the analysis indicated that, among these 40 participants, intergenerational conflicts in the workplace were attributed to generational descriptors of work values, communication styles, productivity, work-life balance, leadership styles, organizational change, and the future of the public sector. The findings may enhance managers' understanding of generational perceptions and may help managers take steps to reduce intergenerational conflict in the workplace.