Managing the New Workforce
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Managing the New Workforce

International Perspectives on the Millennial Generation

Edited by Eddy S. Ng, Sean Lyons and Linda Schweitzer

Shifting demographics around the world have created a unique historical phenomenon in which a large cohort of employees (i.e., post-war Baby Boomers) are nearing retirement, and a new cadre of younger workers are being recruited to replace them. These twenty-something year-olds, often referred to as ‘Gen Y’ or Millennials, represent the workforce of the future and come with their own set of expectations, demands, and work habits. The contributors to this volume, drawn from countries around the world, document the cultural, historical, and social context surrounding this phenomenon. The international perspective makes it possible to examine cross-cultural similarities and differences in HRM practices. This timely book provides an understanding of the new workforce in multiple countries and settings and a valuable reference as scholars and employers seek to understand the values, beliefs, and expectations of the next generation of workers.
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Chapter 6: Differences in work-related attitudes between Millennials and Generation X: evidence from Germany

Heiko Breitsohl and Sascha Ruhle


Recently, more and more individuals from Generation Y (Millennials) are entering the workforce, prompting researchers to investigate their characteristics (for example, Lyons et al., 2007; Ng et al., 2010). Millennials are assumed to bring with them new challenges, values and attitudes to life at work, changing how managers should effectively lead and develop employees. Currently, we know relatively little about how exactly Millennials are different, particularly in their attitudes toward work. Most research is centered on generational diff erences in values (for example, Deal et al., 2010; Macky et al., 2008; Parry and Urwin, 2011). This chapter aims at extending this field of research by focusing on (work-related) attitudes, namely, satisfaction and insecurity, and their respective differences between Generation X (GenX) and Millennials. Furthermore, most generational studies are conducted in North America (Parry and Urwin, 2011), which hinders comparability and generalizations of results. Systematic research in other regions, such as Europe, Africa or the Middle East, is sparse or completely missing. While this volume aims to accumulate perspectives from different cultures, our chapter investigates German Millennials and their differences relative to GenX.

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