Date of Conferral





Public Policy and Administration


Mark Gordon


Walden University

College of Social and Behavioral Sciences

This is to certify that the doctoral dissertation by

Nathasha Brooks-Harris

has been found to be complete and satisfactory in all respects,

and that any and all revisions required by

the review committee have been made.

Review Committee

Dr. Mark Gordon, Committee Chairperson,

Public Policy and Administration Faculty

Dr. Michael Knight, Committee Member,

Public Policy and Administration Faculty

Dr. Michael Brewer, University Reviewer,

Public Policy and Administration Faculty

Chief Academic Officer

Eric Riedel, Ph.D.

Walden University


There is a digital divide between Baby Boomers and Millennials in the way they communicate and use technology in the New York City public sector workplace. The purpose of this empirical phenomenological study was to explore the phenomenon of generational communications between Baby Boomers and Millennials in the New York City workplace and to understand their lived experiences of how they communicate and use technology in their job. The conceptual framework consisted of two theories: Cameron & Quinn's competing values framework and Prensky's digital natives/digital immigrants. A total of 21 New York City workers (10 Baby Boomers and 11 Millennials) from various agencies participated in semi structured interviews and answered the DISC Classic Profile, an instrument that showed their communication styles. The data were analyzed using the Stevick-Colazzi method and Dedoose data analysis procedure to find groups of meaning and themes. Research found benefits and challenges of technology that impacted communications; how organizational culture impacted technology use and communications; fears about using and learning technology; differences in relationships affecting Baby Boomers and Millennials; and differences in communication styles affecting management and subordinates. Recommendations for future research include conducting a similar qualitative study on Generation X and a quantitative study on Baby Boomers and Millennials. The findings of this study will contribute to positive social change through the implementation of reverse mentoring, knowledge management and transfer, succession planning, and human resource management.