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 13: Cultural influences on Millennial MBA students’ career goals: evidence from 23 countries

Saba Colakoglu and Paula Caligiuri


Attracting, motivating and retaining talent that can contribute to gaining and sustaining organizational success remains one of the most significant challenges facing organizations today (Barber, 1998; Huselid et al., 2005; Scullion and Collings, 2011). Another related challenge facing employers globally is the shifting of demographics, with a large cohort of employees approaching the retirement stage of their careers and being replaced by the youngest of all named generations–the Millennials –defined in the literature as those individuals born after 1980 and before 1995 (for example, Ng et al., 2010; Zemke et al., 2000). Like all previous generations, Millennials were influenced by the unique historic, cultural, political and social events and forces of the era in which they grew up (Mannheim, 1952). Consequently, their work-related values, goals, expectations and ideals have been shaped by such forces. Existing evidence on generational differences, and in particular Millennials, suggests that these young adults hold relatively different work-related values, goals and attitudes than the members of previous generations (for example, Gursoy et al., 2008; Lancaster and Stillman, 2002). However, empirical evidence on what specific career goals members of this generation are attracted to and would like to attain is relatively limited. Understanding the career goals of the Millennial generation is important because such goals will dictate the kinds of work experiences Millennials will desire from their employers and the job opportunities they will seek throughout their careers.

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