Degree Name

EdD (Doctor of Education)

Program

Educational Leadership

Date of Award

5-2011

Committee Chair or Co-Chairs

Catherine H. Glascock

Committee Members

Cecil N. Blankenship, Terrence A. Tollefson

Abstract

The purpose of this study was to help the reader hear and begin to understand each of the 4 generations, resulting in an awareness of how each generation perceived the world in general, and specifically its perception of work in an academic setting.

The researcher studied 4 participants currently or formerly involved in the higher education environment; each represented one of the 4 generations examined and was studied through stories, autobiography, notes, conversations, interviews, family stories, and life experiences. Today's American workforce is unique in that never before has there been such a diverse group of individuals working together. Research suggests that the mixing of race, gender, ethnicity, and generation in the workforce of today is remarkable. First, the 4 generations in this qualitative study were identified. For this study, the generations were known as The Veterans or Traditionalists born approximately between 1922 and 1945, The Baby Boomers born approximately between 1946 and 1964, Generation X born approximately between 1965 and 1980, and Generation Y born approximately between 1981 and 2000.

After the collection and analysis of the 3 sets of data (interactive interviewing, written descriptions, and descriptive observations), the researcher created a coding and catalog content analysis. Much of the researcher's work consisted of a process method of analysis to discover characteristics and patterns similar to the 4 generations represented in the qualitative Narrative Inquiry methodology.

Through the narrative inquiry method of this qualitative study, the examination of multiple generations within the workforce produced more similarities than differences. Common ground spanning over 80 years was evident more often than not. All 4 generations ultimately wanted the same thing with regard to their jobs: an enjoyable job, fulfillment and purpose, good benefits and pay, a perspective on what is important, respect, stability in the company and job, validation, and appreciation (Gibson, 2009).

Document Type

Dissertation - Open Access

Copyright

Copyright by the authors.

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