Diversity and inclusion in information technology from an age perspective: Motivating and managing information technology professionals across multiple generations in the workforce

by Kenan-Smalls, Yottie Marie, Ph.D., CAPELLA UNIVERSITY, 2011, 217 pages; 3443662


The purpose of this quantitative study was to investigate diversity and inclusion from an age perspective among information technology (IT) professionals that were categorized as 4 different generations in the workforce today: Traditionalists, Baby Boomers, Generation X, and Generation Y. At the same time, this study sought to examine motivational factors and management and leadership styles used to motivate and lead IT professionals across generations in the workforce today. To investigate diversity and inclusion, motivation, and management/leadership styles among IT professionals across generations, a 4-prong survey instrument was used in this descriptive and one-way analysis of variance (ANOVA) quantitative study. The statistical assumption of homogeneity of variance was tested and significant differences between groups were followed-up with post hoc analyses (e.g., Bonferroni comparisons) in order to determine which groups were statistically significantly different. To gather information on each generational cohort, Traditionalist, Baby Boomers, Generation X, and Generation Y, a generic demographic instrument was used in this study. In addition, a survey created by L. K. Larkey (The Development and Validation of the Workforce Diversity Questionnaire: An Instrument to Assess Interactions in Diverse Workgroups, 1993), Workforce Diversity Questionnaire (WDQ); the Work Performance Inventory (WPI), created by T. M. Amabile, K. G. Hill, B. A. Hennessey, and E. M. Tighe (“ The Work Preference Inventory: Assessing Intrinsic and Extrinsic Motivational Orientations, ” 1994); and the Multifactor Leadership Questionnaire (MLQ)-5X Short Form, developed by B. M. Bass and B. J. Avolio (Multifactor Leadership Questionnaire: Manual and Sampler, 2004), were used in this study to gather data on interactions, motivations, and preferred managerial/leadership styles of IT professionals in the workforce. IT professionals from both the public and private sector of the United States took part in this quantitative research study. Analysis of the data suggests that there are differences with regard to interactions, motivation, and preferred leadership styles by each generational cohort of IT professionals in the workforce. Based on the conclusions drawn from the findings of this study, a number of recommendations were made for executives and business leaders to help overcome some of the challenges faced by organizations with 4 different generations of IT professionals in the workforce today.

AdviserJose Nieves
Source TypeDissertation
SubjectsManagement; Information technology; Organization theory
Publication Number3443662

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