6. Generational Differences: Fact or Fiction?

If you manage a team, odds are that you have faced the difficulties of managing multiple generations. Seventy-five percent of the managers in a survey conducted recently by Ernst & Young agree that “managing multi-generational teams is a challenge.”1 You might even have experienced some fairly strong feelings on the topic yourself. The odds are also good that you have been bombarded with all kinds of advice for how to manage your team. The media is full of horror stories, opinions, “true stories,” and even...survey results.

Despite the buzz, however, some critics say that the issue is not worthy of attention. In this chapter, we show why it is, and we review two perspectives2 from the social sciences—the ...

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