Generations and employee commitment: An exploration of the impact of changes in technology, home and family structure, and employer-employee relationships

by Swiggard, Scott B., Ph.D., CAPELLA UNIVERSITY, 2011, 150 pages; 3439654


A qualitative method was used in this exploratory study assessing the relationship between generational cohort and employee commitment of 3 generational cohorts (Baby Boomers, Generation X, and Generation Y). The study was designed to answer 3 research questions: (a) How does employee commitment differ by generational cohort?, (b) What is the impact of changes in technology, home and family structure, and employer-employee relationships on employee commitment by generational cohort?, and (c) What are the recommendations on ways to increase employee commitment today by generational cohorts? Data were collected via semistructured interviews conducted over the phone with 24 participants, 8 from each of the 3 generational cohorts. Data were analyzed using NVivo 8 software. The findings of the research show there are differences in the way the cohorts think about, place emphasis on, and relate to contextual issues of employee commitment. Consistent with research literature, financial incentives and compensation continues to be the number one driver that impacts people to join the organization and stay with them, this remains a priority within the three generations. What was found, the desire for relationships, has no identified support in research literature. Participants identified relationships with coworkers a priority of 4 out of 10 categories in which their employer positively impacts their commitment. Within Generation X, a relationship with the boss ranked number 1 in that same rank order, just slightly higher than compensation. Relationships with coworkers and relationship with the Boss are also dominant subthemes within employer impacts on commitment. This research was exploratory and by that not meant to solve any issues; it was to investigate the contextual issues impacting employee commitment to determine if there is future value in additional research. Based on the findings, additional future research would be warranted, specifically in understanding how relationships foster employee commitment.

AdviserMarc Muchnick
Source TypeDissertation
SubjectsManagement; Organization theory; Organizational behavior
Publication Number3439654

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