Using Lifespan developmental theory and methods as a viable alternative to the study of generational differences at work

Zacher, Hannes (2015) Using Lifespan developmental theory and methods as a viable alternative to the study of generational differences at work. Industrial and Organizational Psychology, 8(3), pp. 342-346.

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I agree with Costanza and Finkelstein (2015) that it is futile to further invest in the study of generational differences in the work context due to a lack of appropriate theory and methods. The key problem with the generations concept is that splitting continuous variables such as age or time into a few discrete units involves arbitrary cutoffs and atheoretical groupings of individuals (e.g., stating that all people born between the early 1960s and early 1980s belong to Generation X). As noted by methodologists, this procedure leads to a loss of information about individuals and reduced statistical power (MacCallum, Zhang, Preacher, & Rucker, 2002). Due to these conceptual and methodological limitations, I regard it as very difficult if not impossible to develop a “comprehensive theory of generations” (Costanza & Finkelstein, p. 20) and to rigorously examine generational differences at work in empirical studies.

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ID Code: 92404
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: Yes
Keywords: Lifespan Developmental Theory, Generational Differences, Work
DOI: 10.1017/iop.2015.47
ISSN: 1754-9434
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > COMMERCE MANAGEMENT TOURISM AND SERVICES (150000) > BUSINESS AND MANAGEMENT (150300) > Business and Management not elsewhere classified (150399)
Divisions: Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > QUT Business School
Current > Schools > School of Management
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2015 Cambridge University Press
Deposited On: 28 Jan 2016 03:40
Last Modified: 02 Mar 2016 07:23

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