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 7: Perceptions of age diversity in Singapore: implications for managing a diverse workforce

Stewart L. Arnold and Samantha Yue


Do you feel like there is a “generation gap” between you and other people at work? Are there many fellow employees who are older than you? What about those younger than you? What is it like to be supervised by someone younger than you? How can you learn to work well together, despite your age differences? These are some questions posed in an exploratory research study conducted in 2009 by a team of final year undergraduate students from Nanyang Business School (NBS) in Singapore. Twenty employees aged from 18 to early sixties were interviewed intensively, while another 46 were surveyed for additional information. Both samples came from several organizations that were representative of various industries in Singapore. Forty percent of survey respondents said they worked frequently with colleagues of at least 15 years’ age difference, while the interviewee sample was deliberately selected so that 80 percent worked with colleagues who were effectively one generation apart. The survey data were intended to complement our interview findings as extensive surveys have recently been carried out in Singapore (for example, by the Singapore Human Resource Institute (SHRI, 2008) and the Tripartite Alliance for Fair Employment Practices (TAFEP, 2011)).

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