Creating Psychologically Healthy Workplaces
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Creating Psychologically Healthy Workplaces

Edited by Ronald J. Burke and Astrid M. Richardsen

Workplaces can often be sources of stress, interfering with both job satisfaction and performance. This book explores ways to combat the factors contributing to an unhealthy workplace by building on the advances in positive psychology and organizational scholarship over the last 15 years.
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Chapter 13: Generational identity in the workplace: toward understanding and empathy

Sean T. Lyons and Joshua E. LeBlanc

Abstract

Research and popular literature concerning generational differences in the workplace abounds, but much of it lacks a clear theoretical and/or empirical basis. The result is a body of recommendations that are ill-conceived at best and at worst perpetuate stereotypes and create potential for workplace conflict. We contend that generation is a meaningful and important phenomenon in contemporary workplaces, but that it must be viewed from the perspective of identity, rather than merely demographics. We outline a means of understanding generation as a form of social identity and discuss the implications of this approach for stereotype reduction, inter-generational conflict and generational awareness in general. We conclude with recommendations for enhancing psychological well-being in the workplace through greater understanding and empathy of generational identity.

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