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Generational Differences in the Workplace: The Perspectives of Three Generations on Career Mobility Open Access

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Have you ever had someone stereotype or prejudge you because of your age? Have any of these stereotypes held you back in your career? These experiences are not uncommon and there are numerous publications that promote stereotypes and ascribe certain characteristics to different generations. These labels and stereotypes are often found in the workplace and may impact how an individual navigates his or her career. To address these questions, this dissertation examined generational differences in the workplace using the perspectives of three generations of employees on succession planning and career mobility. The goal of this study was two-fold, a) to provide data driven research that moves beyond descriptive, broad or anecdotal research published in magazines and popular books; and b) to understand and describe the perspectives of Generation Y, Generation X and Baby Boomers on succession planning (career mobility), using a Basic Interpretive Design methodology.This study was conducted through the lens of the lens of social identity theory and talent management principles in order to addresses generational differences and succession planning and was based on an understanding of organizations as multi-national companies with many businesses and site locations. The findings support human resource practitioners and organizational leaders plan succession and further develop employees by understanding the revelations and expectations of each generation.The format of this dissertation is as follows: Chapter 1 outlines the structure of the study and provides key foundational background to situate this research study. Chapter 2 provides a more detailed review of the literature, including peer-reviewed research publications on generational concepts and theory, talent management and succession planning. Chapter 3 details the methodology, which includes the means and approach through which data was collected in this study. Lastly, Chapters 4 and 5 present the findings of the study in addition to applications of the research and recommendations for leaders and HR practitioners.

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