Generations and Generational Differences: Debunking Myths in Organizational Science and Practice and Paving New Paths Forward

Talk about generations is everywhere and particularly so in organizational science and practice. Recognizing and exploring the ubiquity of generations is important, especially because evidence for their existence is, at best, scant.

Generations Science is Bunk

Our recent paper on generations published in Public Policy & Aging Report has been featured in an OUP blog post.

Answers to 10 Questions About Generations and Generational Differences in the Workplace

When seeking information about the influence of generations, policy makers are often faced with more questions than answers. One reason for this is the nearly ubiquitous nature of generations. Generations have been used to explain every- thing from shifts in broadly defined social phenomena (e.g., antiwar movements; Dunham, 1998) to the demise of marmalade (Gough, 2018). Likewise, owing to the fact that the modern workplace offers increasing opportunities for interactions among (relatively) older and younger coworkers, generations and especially generational differences have been used to describe a number of work-related phenomena, processes, and policies (for reviews, see Costanza, Badger, Fraser, Severt, & Gade, 2012; Costanza & Finkelstein, 2015).

Age Inclusive Human Resource Practices, Age Diversity Climate, and Work Ability: Exploring Between- and Within-Person Indirect Effects

To address the challenges imposed by demographic change, organizations have become increasingly interested in maintaining and improving employees’ work ability across the working life span. Based on signaling and social exchange theories, we present a study that investigates the indirect influence of age inclusive human resource practices (AIHRP) on work ability through age diversity climate (ADC).

COVID-19 and Careers: On the Futility of Generational Explanations

It is common to broadly group people of different ages into “generations” and to speak of distinctions between such groups in terms of “generational differences.” The problem with this practice, is that there exists no credible scientific evidence that a) generations exist, b) that people can be reliably classified into generational groups, and c) that there are demonstrable differences between such groups.

“The COVID-19 Generation”: A Cautionary Note

With COVID-19 presenting as a global pandemic, we have noticed an emerging rhetoric concerning “the COVID- 19 Generation,” both anecdotally and across various media outlets.

Age-Conditional Effects of Political Skill and Empathy on Emotional Labor: An Experience Sampling Study

Grounded in lifespan development theories that posit a positive influence of aging on emotion regulation, we examine how chronological age and political skill (i.e., a work-related interpersonal competency that functions as an emotion-relevant resource) jointly moderate the relationships between within-person levels of empathy and the use of emotional labor strategies across a workweek.

Age and Career Commitment: Meta-Analytic Tests of Competing Linear Versus Curvilinear Relationships

Career commitment refers to individuals' dedication to their career, profession, or occupation, and has been studied for nearly four decades.