Challenges and Opportunities
- New Horizons in Management series
Edited by Ronald J. Burke, Cary Cooper and Alexander-Stamatios Antoniou
Chapter 6: Millennials: who are they, how are they different, and why should we care?
Since the publication of Howe and Strauss’s (2000) Millennials Rising, interest in the millennial generation has become widespread, particularly among marketers and employers (Foot, 2001; Hoover, 2009). Companies are eager to tap into a new market that is composed of younger consumers (Nowak et al., 2006), while employers are keen to attract and retain the next generation of workers as the Baby Boomers exit the workforce in large numbers (Burke and Ng, 2006; Perry and Buckwalter, 2010). In the U.S., there are roughly 74.3 million Millennials, representing 23.6 percent of the population (U.S. Census Bureau, 2013). Likewise in Canada, there are 9.1 million Millennials, making up 27 percent of the Canadian population (Statistics Canada, 2011a). Although researchers have used different birth-year boundaries to define the Millennial generation (e.g., 1980–95 in Foot and Stoffman, 1998; 1982–99 in Howe and Strauss, 2000; after 1982 in Twenge, 2010), in reality the exact boundaries defining a generation are much less important than shared historical events and experiences accompanied by social changes (Lyons and Kuron, 2014; Parry and Urwin, 2011). Given the historical events that characterized their lives (e.g., post-Gen X, internet, turn of the century), authors have labeled them Gen Y, Gen Me, Net Gen, Nexus Generation, and Millennial Generation (Advertising Age, 1993; Barnard et al., 1998; Burke and Ng, 2006; Howe and Strauss, 2000; Twenge, 2006). For the purpose of this chapter, we will use the term “Millennial” to keep consistent with the literature.
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