Leslie, Braedon, Claire Anderson, Cole Bickham, Julia Horman, Audrey Overly, Claire Gentry, Clark Callahan, & Jesse King (2021, March). Generation Z perceptions of a positive workplace environment. Employee Responsibilities and Rights Journal. (ePub in advance of print). (doi: 10.1007/s10672-021-09366-2) (Link: https://doi.org/10.1007/s10672-021-09366-2)

Abstract: The most recent generation to enter the workplace, generation Z, has been stereotyped as being less engaged in the workplace, despite being highly success oriented (Barna, 2018). This discrepancy might be explained by the theory of generations and generation units (Mannheim, 1952), which states that subgroups exist within each generational cohort. The purpose of this study is to identify intra-generational differences among generation Z employees in order to identify the subjective workplace perceptions and proclivities. In order to do so, we deployed Q methodology, which allowed us to identify subgroups within the generational cohort. Results indicated three distinct subgroups within generation Z: Social Investors, Chill Worker Bees, and Go Getters. Social Investors valued a work-life balance, Chill Worker Bees desired a comfortable workplace environment, and Go Getters prioritized advancing their career. All three groups reported prioritizing companies with high moral and ethical standards. These results present HR practitioners, employers, and managers with a new perspective on the distinct generation units within generation Z, including intra- and intergenerational overlap.

Jesse King <jesseking@ucsb.edu> is in the Department of Communication, University of California, Santa Barbara, Santa Barbara, CA (USA).

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