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Significant Management Challenges Gen Y Poses on Gen X

Significant Management Challenges Gen Y Poses on Gen X

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Managing Gen �Y� poses significant challenges for the Gen �X� manager
admin | August 21, 2014
Managing Gen �Y� poses significant challenges for the Gen �X� manager
explain how the concepts of early management theorists may be used to effectively improve the
performance of a modern
organisation. Using the following topic and a management theorist, or a number of theorists, from the
following list, students should
construct a solution that might prevent or mitigate the management and workforce challenges described
in the question:
�Managing Gen �Y� poses significant challenges for the Gen �X� manager�. Describe the
situation surrounding the aging
Gen �X� workforce and its managerial interaction with Gen �Y�. Which management theories can a
Gen �X� manager learn
and exploit in order to effectively manage a Gen �Y� workforce.�
Also try to connect the effect of the technology on both Gen X and Y
�Managing Gen �Y� poses significant challenges for the Gen
�X� manager�.
Describe the situation surrounding the aging Gen �X�
workforce and its managerial interaction with Gen �Y�.
Which management theories can a Gen �X� manager learn
and exploit in order to effectively manage a Gen �Y�

Generation Gap 2

Significant Management Challenges Gen Y Poses on Gen X
Generalization about generations and their universal features has become part of the
modern world. The generalization relates to social, economic, educational, and cultural
disparities between age groups and how they have been affected by the economy, culture, and
technology. Due to the delayed retirement of the baby boomers and faster entry of young people
into the marketplace, senior management is likely to deal with more than three generations. The
workplace has developed to a community of diverse generations. Boomers are around 65 years
old of age; generation X is about 30-45 years old, and the millennial group known as the
generation Y are 20-30 years old. The work styles of these individuals are quite different; they
have completely different opinions and views. Therefore, managing one generation by a manager
from a different generation has become a big predicament that faces the organizations. Currently,
most workplaces are occupied by generation X and Y whose age differences are not quite big but
their ideas, lifestyles, and opinions are totally different (Remesar 2012, n.p.). To deal with this
kind of disparity, the managers need to know the situation around these generations, and also the
skills that manager X should learn to deal with the most ambitious and digital Gen Y for the
betterment of the organization.

Comparison between Gen X and Gen Y

Generation X was born between 1965 and 1976. Thus, the group is currently between 35-
46 years old. Events that define every generation typically impact their lives by the time the
individuals turn around twenty years old. Therefore, defining occasions for this generation were
events such as Watergate, the AIDS epidemic, the popularity of MTV, the appearance of non-
traditional families, and the development and fame of computers and the internet. This was the
first generation to see their parents more work focused than family focused. Additionally, this
generation saw a change in work, ethics, entertainment, business and government. Individuals of
this Generation are skeptical, independent, and less loyal than the previous generation. They are
more loyal than the next generation, and less enthusiastic to sacrifice their lives to work.
According Erickson (2010, p.14), “They moved their focus from the ‘nose to the grindstone’
archetype of their grandparents, to the quality of life paradigm that supports free time and looks
for a balance between play and work” .
Generation Y, or the millennials, were born between 1977- 1994; this generation is now
aged between eighteen and thirty-four years of age. The marking life events for this generation
were the great fall of the Berlin Wall, the Columbine learning institution shootings that occurred
on September 11 th , 2001 (Blazev 2014, p.9). Some events also included the deadly War in Iraq,
Thailand and Indonesia, Tsunamis in Japan, and the popularity of iPods, cell phones, and iPads.
This generation falls into three major personalities: the rebel the rationalist, and the sensualist;
however, people may be a weighted combination of the three personalities.
Rationalists are ruled by motives where their goals are materialistic in nature with a
monetary focus. These knowledge workers can excel in analysis work, accounting, development,
and finance. Rebels are ruled by their desire to rule and of course rebel from the environment.
Unlike the rationalist, this generation is not driven by monetary gains and is choosy yet ever
motivated. It should be noted that the rebels are not often successful in a teamwork environment;
however, promotion, sales, and product development suits this group. Sensualists are guided by

Generation Gap 3
sensual pleasure and look for pleasure, as an escapist, rather than power or monetary driven
gains. Moreover, this generation craves for relationships and seeks ideas from other people
(Remesar 2012, n.p.)
Millennials in overall have a worldwide perspective, are patriotic, optimistic, fast-paced
multitaskers, assertive persons, self-learners, self-aware, spiritual, and have a “different or
confused” value system. They are independent, determined, selectively commit to goals and
stoic, and see endless information and new technology always. According to Saichev and
Sornette (2011, p.345) of the Chicago University Business Review, most Americans are now
working longer hours than before; she argues that this is creating antipathy in the generation Ys
that are going into the workforce. Same way Remesar (2012, n.p.) says that the millennials are
self-confident and self-aware of their own desire and goals, this group do not need “a lot of work
and little life dynamic” as the previous generation and baby boomers” (Srinivasan 2012, p.52).
Generation Ys want a very flexible life and work equality where they are always challenged. A
study carried by Lowe (2010) reveals that regardless of where they come from, expect them to
work in new, and a diverse ways based on their expected rhythms. They are not confined in the
offices for more than 8 hours since they want to do other things. In order to attract Generation Y
employees, managers should value time as currency; compressed schedules, telecommuting,
flextime, and job sharing all appeal to generation Y.
This theory is very relevant to the conversation for managing the generational split. Some
of the experts have suggested that as Gen Y enters the job market, there has been a constant shift
in the dynamic of the workforce’s requirements (Srinivasan 2012, p.55). It has been proposed by
organizational psychologists that the preceding generations have been motivated and driven by
their need for Self-Esteem” in the workplace. Employees before Generation Y have to put a
higher value on factors such as title, salary, and respect from their bosses or colleagues.
Conversely, millenials seem to put a higher premium on mentorship, work-life balance, and
challenging the norms. Some psychologists posit that this procedure began with Gen X’s climb
the proverbial organizational ladder (Srinivasan 2012, p.50). It is currently manifesting itself in
the preservation practices being implemented in organizations in order to attract, and importantly
keep the Generation Ys on staff.
Humanist Theory developed by Carl Rogers and Abraham Maslow concerns human
beings and their ability to select choices throughout the life “within the constraints imposed by
heredity, personal history, and the environment” (Remesar 2012, n.p.). The theory shows an
existential drive for universal purpose and meaning. By self-assessment tools, cooperates are in a
position to analyze knowledge employee behavior; it includes assessing important thinking,
personal improvement and firm value added, and connections with colleagues through a self-
reflection (Leask & Barron 2013, p.22). This self-assessment helps companies in accounting for
employees’ existing development and generates a benchmark from which to consider the coming
development and growth. Questionnaires are used in order to assess team or individual
performance. In these questionnaires and through the workplace behaviors, expectancy, self-
esteem, desire, and self-confidence are measured. It is very important to note, nonetheless that
expectancy, self-esteem self-confidence, and desire are measured by the people based on what
they expect the outcome to be, how brawny their desire for success are and the confidence with
which they trail it. As such, results merely account for how each person or team feels as though

Generation Gap 4
they accomplished certain goals rather than weighing the superiority and success of the goal
itself as compared to another teams or individual performance (Ramesar 2012, n.p.).
Technology has many effects on both of the generations that may be negative or positive.
Leask & Barron (2013, p.31) say that the introduction of technology has molded individuals in
Gen Y, who are lazy and hate hard work. He argues that there are cases when the physical
interaction is needed not just sending emails to the offices. However, Erickson (2010, p.21) says
that the introduction of technology has created people in generating Y who are smart and need
very little exercise to perform firm’s activities. Additionally, the technological effects have
eroded the origin culture of interaction. The Gen Y has online friends, and physical interaction is
very limited to a few individuals. Many individuals in a workplace that belong to Gen X feel out
of place, for those who do not understand these technological advances either boycott such duties
or tell the digital group to assist them. As such, they feel they are not good enough for certain
organization, hence, are not motivated and feel disappointed. The old employees also feel that
the technological advances will rob them their position hence at times feel frustrated.
Following the delayed retirement and early entry of young people in the job market,
managements have been faced to handle more than three different generations whose ideas and
values differ. Gen Y and Gen X occupy most of the functions of the organizations. These groups
are different in the way they do and perform their roles and air out their ideologies. They see the
world in two different viewpoints. The Gen Y is known to be smart and digital while Gen X is
described as manual and know little about the technologies as compared to Gen Y (Leask &
Barron 2013, p.34). Following the aggressive nature of Gen Y, managers of Gen X have found it
quite challenging managing this digital generation. Gen Y is fearless, respect the leaders
according to their legacy and not age. For Gen X managers to successfully handle these
individuals, they have to archive the command and control form of leadership and embark on
motivational theories that ensure everyone has a role in the organization.


Erickson, TJ 2010, What’s Next, Gen X? : Keeping Up, Moving Ahead, And Getting The Career
You Want, Boston, Mass: Harvard Business Press.
Leask, A, Fyall, A, & Barron, P 2013, ‘Generation Y: opportunity or challenge – strategies to
engage Generation Y in the UK attractions’ sector’, Current Issues In Tourism, 16, 1, pp.
17-46, Hospitality & Tourism Complete.
Lowe, S 2010, Managing In Changing Times : A Guide For The Perplexed Manager, Los
Angeles: Response Books.
Remesar, A 2012, Urban Regeneration. A Challenge For Public Art [1999]. Edition 2005, n.p.:
Publicacions de la Universitat de Barcelona, RECERCAT
Saichev, A, & Sornette, D 2010, ‘Generation-by-generation dissection of the response function in
long memory epidemic processes’, European Physical Journal B — Condensed Matter,
75, 3, pp. 343-355.

Generation Gap 5
Srinivasan, V 2012, ‘Round Table: Multi generations in the workforce: Building collaboration’,
IIMB Management Review, 24, pp. 48-66.
Blazev, AS 2014, Power Generation And The Environment, Lilburn, GA: The Fairmont Press,
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