Generations in organizations

Aparna Anand Joshi, John C. Dencker, Gentz Franz

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

47 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Despite a rich tradition of scholarship across many disciplines, organizational research on the topic of generations has been relatively scarce. In this article we develop a framework for studying generations in organizations that draws on multiple conceptualizations across multiple disciplines. Our framework distills two distinct critical elements that give 'generations' agency in organizational settings - chronology (the idea that a unique location in time creates a 'generation') and genealogy (the idea that generations are linked through the transmission/descent of ideas/values/skills/knowledge). After an historic overview of the evolution of the topic of generations, we review generational research across the fields of political sociology, family sociology, psychology, social anthropology, cultural sociology, demography, and gerontology. Our framework elucidates how linkages between generations, based on chronology and genealogy, can be characterized in organizations and how the nature of intergenerational contact and transfer predicts a wide range of organizational outcomes such as change/innovation, conflict, turnover, and socialization. We outline the implications of this framework for future research on generations in organizations.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)177-205
Number of pages29
JournalResearch in Organizational Behavior
Volume31
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 28 2011

Fingerprint

Sociology
Genealogy and Heraldry
Chronology
Organizations
Cultural Anthropology
Social Psychology
Socialization
Research
Geriatrics
Demography

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Social Psychology
  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Organizational Behavior and Human Resource Management

Cite this

Joshi, Aparna Anand ; Dencker, John C. ; Franz, Gentz. / Generations in organizations. In: Research in Organizational Behavior. 2011 ; Vol. 31. pp. 177-205.
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Generations in organizations. / Joshi, Aparna Anand; Dencker, John C.; Franz, Gentz.

In: Research in Organizational Behavior, Vol. 31, 28.10.2011, p. 177-205.

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

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AU - Franz, Gentz

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AB - Despite a rich tradition of scholarship across many disciplines, organizational research on the topic of generations has been relatively scarce. In this article we develop a framework for studying generations in organizations that draws on multiple conceptualizations across multiple disciplines. Our framework distills two distinct critical elements that give 'generations' agency in organizational settings - chronology (the idea that a unique location in time creates a 'generation') and genealogy (the idea that generations are linked through the transmission/descent of ideas/values/skills/knowledge). After an historic overview of the evolution of the topic of generations, we review generational research across the fields of political sociology, family sociology, psychology, social anthropology, cultural sociology, demography, and gerontology. Our framework elucidates how linkages between generations, based on chronology and genealogy, can be characterized in organizations and how the nature of intergenerational contact and transfer predicts a wide range of organizational outcomes such as change/innovation, conflict, turnover, and socialization. We outline the implications of this framework for future research on generations in organizations.

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