Exploration of employee commitment to their employers by Baby Boomers and Generation X members

by Lowen, Michelle Y., Ph.D., CAPELLA UNIVERSITY, 2011, 116 pages; 3475047


The goal of this study was to explore the generational attitudes, beliefs, and thoughts of employees in a regional sales division concerning their organizational commitment. The two generations of concern were the Baby Boom Generation and Generation X. A secondary goal was to discover what organizational supports should be addressed in order to increase employee commitment. Twenty participants, 10 from each generation were interviewed twice. Findings indicated the targets of commitment for the sample of participants, regardless of generation, were primarily projects, products, and clients. The organization was rarely mentioned as a target by participants from either generation, suggesting that academic research focusing predominantly on organization as target may not accurately reflect the perspectives of employees. Generational differences overall were minimal. However, Generation X participants and Baby Boomer participants differed sharply in their views on the degree to which the role of job mobility impacted commitment levels. Both groups of participants felt that Generation X members were less attached to the organization based on either the desire or pressure to seek better opportunities elsewhere. Lastly, organizational supports that both generations felt organizations should address in order to improve their commitment included communication practices, personalization of recognition, feedback, and rewards as opposed to generic support, career development, or personal growth programs. Participants across both generations believed that by addressing such supports at a more personal level, the organization would increase its own commitment toward employees, thereby enhancing the organizational-employee reciprocity.

AdviserCharlotte Redden
Source TypeDissertation
SubjectsManagement; Labor relations; Business education
Publication Number3475047

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