Please ask the writer to focus on synthesizing the journal information into an workplace conflict purpose statement.
Dissertation Proposal and Dissertation Manuscript
Begin writing here…
☐ Briefly introduce the study topic, state the research problem, and describe who or what is impacted by this problem.
☐ Clearly articulate the study purpose and guiding theoretical or conceptual framework of the study.
☐ Provide details about the research methodology, participants, questions, design, procedures, and analysis.
☐ Clearly present the results in relation to the research questions.
☐ State the conclusions to include both the potential implications of the results on and the recommendations for future research and practice.
☐ Do not include citations and abbreviations or acronyms, except those that are noted as exceptions by the American Psychological Association (APA).
☐ Do not exceed 350 words. Strive for one page.
Begin writing here…
Table of Contents
Chapter 1: Introduction.. 1
Statement of the Problem.. 1
Purpose of the Study. 2
Theoretical/Conceptual Framework. 3
Nature of the Study. 3
Research Questions. 4
Hypotheses [If Applicable] 4
Significance of the Study. 5
Definitions of Key Terms. 5
Chapter 2: Literature Review.. 7
Theoretical/Conceptual Framework. 7
Theme or Subtopic [Repeat as Needed] 8
Chapter 3: Research Method. 10
Research Methodology and Design.. 10
Population and Sample. 10
Operational Definitions of Variables 12
Study Procedures. 12
Data Collection and Analysis. 13
Ethical Assurances. 15
Chapter 4: Findings. 16
XXX of the Data. 16
Research Question 1/Hypothesis [Repeat as Needed] 17
Evaluation of the Findings. 18
Chapter 5: Implications, Recommendations, and Conclusions. 19
Recommendations for Practice. 19
Recommendations for Future Research.. 20
Appendix A: XXX.. 23
Appendix B: XXX [Repeat as Needed] 24
List of Tables
Begin list of tables here…
List of Figures
Begin list of figures here…
Chapter 1: Introduction
Generational Workplace Conflict
Chapter 1: Introduction
The modern workplace is becoming increasingly diverse in terms of not only ethnicity, culture, religion, and nationality, but also with regard to age. The age differences among employees within organizations are leading to conflicts. Organizational leaders are unable to resolve these conflicts leading to low productivity. The Traditionalists are the oldest in the workplace, and mostly holding leadership positions. The Traditionalists are those born before 1946. As the Traditionalists exit the workplace, they are replaced by the Millennials (Generation Y). The Millennials comprise of the largest and the fastest growing segment in the workforce. They comprise of the population segment born between 1976 and 1996. The high increase is the result of high number of Millennials joining the workforce, and partly due to migration patterns. The other groups include the Baby Boomers, born between 1945 and 1965, and the Generation X, born between 1964 and 1977.
Each of the generational cohorts has experienced unique social, cultural, and historical events. These events play a critical role in influencing each of the cohort’s experiences, values, attitudes, and workplace expectations. Common experiences by each of the cohort have played a part in inculcating unique beliefs and values that are different from those of other cohort groups (Moore, Grunberg, & Krause, 2015;2014;). Most of the Traditionalists have retired. However, they may still be called upon to offer their expertise. Those in active duty could be serving as managers, partners, or as senior support staff. One of the unique characteristics of the Traditionalists is that they are hardworking. The traditionalists grew up at a time when the country went through dark epochs including the Great Depression and the World War I and II. They are loyal and have great respect for authority. They may have challenges adopting to the modern workplace environment characterized by technological innovations.
The popular press indicates the Baby Boomers hold a strong work ethic (Moore, Grunberg, & Krause, 2015;2014;). They value work more than personal life. The Baby Boomers value formal work structures compared with Generation Y and the Millennials. They also value teamwork. Those in Generation X are the most skeptical with regard to job security. This is because they grew up in an era of rapid technological development, which meant increased job retrenchment. They have less loyalty to the organization but show great commitment to their careers. They are more likely to challenge the status quo. They value autonomy at work. The Millennials show the highest level of confidence and optimism (Moore, Grunberg, & Krause, 2015;2014;). They also prefer teamwork just like the Baby Boomers. They have strong zeal to succeed. However, the Millennials are the least loyal, and often change careers.
The differences in beliefs and values among the different generational cohorts lead to conflicts in the workplace. These conflicts are mostly likely to emerge where there is need to work together to achieve organizational goals. For instance, conflicts may emerge among employees drawn from different generational cohorts and working on the same project. This study attempts to investigate the nature of generational workplace conflicts. The study investigates whether the concerns by popular press have significant impact to nature of conflicts within organizations. This study is significant because it will help in explaining whether the generational differences are the major factors leading to conflicts or whether other variables such as job experience and career maturation play a significant role. In other words, the study will examine how generational differences contribute to conflict in the workplace. The study is also important because it will evaluate the possible strategies that organizational leaders can apply to solve workplace conflicts. Organizational leaders should be equipped with the right skills to resolve conflicts in the workplace.
Previous research on generational workplace conflict has focused in several areas. Some studies have focused on establishing the differences in communication preferences among the generational cohorts (Hall, 2016). Majority of studies examine generational differences with regard to various work-related variables that include personality, leadership, work-values, attitudes, and among others. Some studies have sought to examine whether generational workplace conflict is a legitimate issue in the modern workplace (Becton, Walker, & Jones-Farmer, 2014). This is in response to speculations that workplace conflicts could arise due to other factors such as differences in experience rather than generational differences. A large part of the literature suggests that generational differences play a key role in shaping the attitudes and values of workers (Hall, 2016; Becton, Walker, & Jones-Farmer, 2014; Favero, & Heath, 2012). The practical importance of this study is in informing organizational leaders about whether there is need to unique human resource strategies for each generational cohort, as some scholars have suggested. The study will help in establishing the best way forward for organizational leaders in dealing with a multigenerational workforce.
Statement of the Problem
The problem to be addressed by this study concerns whether general differences in the workplace lead to conflicts and the ways in which organizational leaders can address the conflicts. The study notes that controversy exists over whether generational differences exist or whether other factors such as life stage, experience, position, and others may explain the differences. In most organizations, there are conflicts between employees in different generational groups. This problem arises because of having employees with differing values, views, ambitions, skills, leadership styles, and even attitudes. This has led to wrangles and conflicts among the different generational groups owing to their uniqueness. According to Hillman (2014), the generational differences existing among groups of employees include differences in behaviors, personality traits, mental health, and attitudes. These have led to increased conflicts leading to reduced productivity.
Failure to resolve the growing conflicts among the different generational groups will give rise to a decline in performance. This may hinder the organization from achieving its set production targets. Conflicts within an organization may reduce employee job satisfaction, leading to high employee turnover. This increases operational costs since it is expensive to hire and train new employees. Moreover, the organization may lose the best talent due to low job satisfaction. This may lead to negative consequences. Increased workplace conflicts will curtail the achievement of organizational goals. Conflicts may also result in a bad customer experience. Even worse, there still exists great controversy about the existence of generational differences.
Four generational cohorts characterize the current workplace environment. These generational groups include the Traditionalists, Baby Boomers, Generation X, and the Millennials, the latter being the youngest generation cohort entering the job market. As Baby Boomers retire at an increasing rate, more Millennials are joining the workforce and taking their place (Lyons & Kuron, 2014). This has led to a dynamic shift in the labor force demographics resulting from younger employees with different perspectives joining the workforce. There is need to examine ways in which managers can solve the multigenerational workplace conflicts. This research will provide evidence on the existence of conflicts resulting from generational differences and provide managers with ways of solving these conflicts.
Purpose of the Study
The purpose of this quantitative correlational (factor-relating) study is to establish whether generational differences contribute to conflicts among workers using three key variables, which include willingness to work for longer hours, work ethics and compliance, willingness to work overtime, and job mobility. By examining how generational workplace conflicts in the four areas, it will be possible to identify whether generational differences are the key factors leading to conflicts and the role that other variables play. The key point is to establish whether there is existence of significant differences among the generational cohort groups, and to understand how these differences contribute to development of workplace conflicts. The study will test stereotypes propagated by the popular press regarding each generational cohort, and identify how the stereotypes contribute to conflicts with other generational cohort groups. The participants will include employees from three different leading banks in the region. The participants are drawn from all states where each bank operates subsidiaries. The study targets 1500 participants, drawn from different age segments. The participants will fill out an online questionnaire within a period of one week and submit the filled forms via email. This will help in saving time and resources.
The theoretical foundation guiding this study is based on Strauss – Howe generational theory developed in 1991. According to the duo, a generation refers to a group of people born within a span of about 22 years (Coomes & DeBard, 2004). Strauss and Howe assert that generational cohorts develop peer personality, or a set of similar behaviors, attitudes, and beliefs. A generational cohort can encompass the period coinciding with one phase of life. One phase of life spans about 22 years of an individual’s life during which one develops key social roles (Coomes & DeBard, 2004). Strauss and Howe argue that each generation has a unique biography that describes how the personality of each generation forms and the way in which this personality affects subsequent generations. The generational theory outlines peer personality as a fundamental aspect in the development of generational cohorts or groups (Coomes & DeBard, 2004). Peer personality is the persona of a particular generation, which identifies it from the rest of the generations.
The development of a peer personality is premised on three key factors. The first relates to sharing of a common age (about 22 years). The second factor is the sharing of similar beliefs and behavior. The third factor is membership perceptions of a particular group (Coomes & DeBard, 2004). In the last factor, individuals perceive themselves as belonging to a particular peer group. In other words, the individuals in a particular generation perceive themselves as being distinct from those in other generations. This is the result of the interaction of members from the different generations. During interactions, members of the same generation experience what Strauss and Howe identify as “social moments” (p. 12). Strauss and Howe define social moments as an era spanning about 10 years and during which certain historical events shape the social environment.
Strauss and Howe propound the idea that generations are dynamic – moving through time and under the influence of key historical events (Coomes & DeBard, 2004). The influence of historical events on generations and the interactions between them results in a generational diagonal. The generational diagonal lays the foundation in which different generations move through time and interact with one another. As a generation rises, the members reach the young-adult stage. In this period, their style does not conform or match that of the older generation (Coomes & DeBard, 2004). The younger generation is likely to make corrections of what is perceives as wrong with the older generation. For instance, the Millennials are likely to value authority and rather than distance themselves, which is common with Generation X. The younger generation also begins taking up the social roles formerly held by the elder generation.
Nature of the Study
This study adopts a quantitative research method. According to Wirtz and Strohmer (2016), quantitative research methods involve applying systematic methods of analyzing a particular phenomenon. The emphasis is on the use of numbers rather than a descriptive research to examine how particular variable react to changes. This study will examine how various generational cohorts relate to particular variables such as technology. Quantitative research methods enable the research to examine phenomena and the particular relationships relating to the phenomena. In the study, the researcher will attempt to identify whether there are relationships between various generational cohorts and generational conflicts. The quantitative approach applies in research situations whereby the variables are measurable. In this study, all the variables are measurable. The aim of the researcher is to predict, explain, and control phenomena. Bansal and Corley (2012) assert that quantitative research can enable the researcher to assess the extent to which each of the generations holds particular values, attitudes, behaviors, and work ethics without necessarily offering descriptions. Quantitative research method is the best because it will provide an empirical analysis of the relationship between various variable and the phenomena.
This study adopts a correlational design. This design will help in analyzing the correlations among various variables. Correlational research applies in situations where the researcher cannot apply experimental research. This could be due to ethical reasons or conceptual challenges. Matta et al. (2017) employs a correlational analysis to examine the relationship between justice variability and employee stress. Correlational research design will allow the examination of various variable without altering the variables. The correlational design allows the researcher to identify key variables and test how they affect a group or individuals. Correlational design enables the researcher to evaluate the effect of two or more variables in the group. This is also known as multivariate analysis. This is the key reason why a correlational design was adopted for this study. There is no random assignment of participants in this study.
The research question seeks to establish the source of conflicts in the workplace. The study seeks to establish whether generational differences play a role in contributing to workplace conflicts and establishing possible solutions to this problem. This is in light of the realization of the current generational gap in the modern workplace, spanning roughly four generations. The study will identify whether these generational differences result to conflict or whether workplace conflicts are the result of other factors within organizations. It is worth noting that by examining whether generational differences contribute to conflicts in the workplace, the researcher will prove the validity of the generational stereotypes propagated in the popular media.
Popular press indicates that Baby Boomers show strong moral principles at work. Baby Boomers are likely to exude conformity in the workplace (Moore, Grunberg, & Krause, 2015;2014;). On the other hand, the Millennials have little regard for traditional values as well as conformance. Those in generation X are more skeptical about job security. Generation X is also more concerned with establishing work-life balance. The Traditionalists value the traditional work practices and are the last when it comes to technology adoption. They are few in the workplace. This analysis leads to the development of the following research questions.
RQ1. To what extent do those in Generation X report willingness to engage in overtime compared with other generational groups?
RQ2. How does the work ethics and compliance levels of Baby Boomers compare with those of Millennials and the Generation Xers?
RQ3. To what extent do the Millennials exhibit job mobility behaviors compared with other groups?
H10. Employees in Generation X are equally willing to engage in overtime compared to Traditionalists, Baby Boomers, and the Millennials.
H1a. Employees in Generation X exhibit higher tendency to engage in overtime compared with Traditionalists, Baby Boomers, and the Millennials.
H20. Baby Boomers will record equal incidences of good work ethics and compliance with organizational rules compared with Generation Xers and the Millennials.
H2a. Baby Boomers will record higher incidences of good work ethics and compliance with organizational rules compared with Generation Xers and the Millennials.
H20. The Millennials will record equal incidences of job mobility compared with Baby Boomers and Generation Xers.
H2a. The Millennials will exhibit higher incidences of job mobility compared with Baby Boomers and Generation Xers.
Significance of the Study
Few studies have examines the nature of conflicts in the modern workplace, especially in light of the changing generational composition patterns. With the emergence of a globalized workplace, the nature of conflicts has become increasingly complex. Organizational leaders and human resource managers must identify the sources of conflicts and implement measures aiming at establishing cooperation. This study will contributes to the knowledge on human resource management in various ways. First, the study adds to the existing literature on generational differences and their impact on organizational conflict. The study takes a quantitative approach. Majority of studies on generational conflicts in the workplace take a qualitative approach. As such, this study will provide quality findings by using a new approach. Second, the study adds to the literature on work-related values and how their influence in workplace conflicts. The study notes that employees from the same generational cohort share similar behaviors and values, which significantly differs from those of other generational groups. These differences contribute to conflicts.
Third, the study provides organizational leaders and human resource managers with knowledge on how they can effectively manage conflicts in the workplace. The study will provide empirical findings on the factors contributing to workplace conflicts. This will enable organizational leaders to handle conflicts using science-backed approaches. Fourth, this study is significant in that it integrates two different sets of factors: generational differences and workplace conflict. Fifth, the study will enable organizational leaders to anticipate particular behaviors from different generational groups represented in the workplace. In this way, the organizational leaders can be able to adapt a flexible leadership approach that caters to individual difference of the employees in different generational groups.
Definitions of Key Terms
Generation. A generation refers to a group of people born around the same period in a particular location and who share similar historical and life experiences (Becton, Walker, & Jones-Farmer, 2014). The historical and life events greatly shape the behavior and values of the immediate generation. A generation evolves to become distinct from another generation owing to the different historical and life experiences.
Generational gap. A generational gap refers to a difference of opinions among individuals in various generational groups (Kelly, Elizabeth, Bharat, & Jitendra, 2016).
Cohort. A cohort refers to a group of people who share certain characteristics. The term is used in this research to indicate group of individuals who belong to the same generational group (Becton, Walker, & Jones-Farmer, 2014).
Generational diagonal. This refers to the interplay that arises from two different generational groups and the influence of social factors between the groups (Coomes & DeBard, 2004). A generational diagonal is the recognition of the dynamic nature of organizations – they are influenced by time as well as historical and life events.
Peer personality. This refers to the unique characteristic of a generation that arises due to three factors: sharing the same geographical location, having similar beliefs, and developing perceptions of belonging to a particular generational group (Coomes & DeBard, 2004).
Job satisfaction. This refers to contentment with one’s job. It also reflects high motivation levels among the employee. Job satisfaction is an important factor in ensuring high employee productivity and overall performance of the organization.
Managing the modern workplace is becoming increasingly complex owing to the generational differences among employees. The most contentious issue regards the presence of workplace conflicts and their negative impacts on productivity. There is no consensus on the causes of workplace conflict, with a faction attributing the situation to generational differences. Others argue that certain factors such as work experience could be the major factors influencing workplace conflicts. There is increased pressure on human resource managers to resolve workplace conflicts. However, there is little empirical research investigating workplace conflicts. This leaves most workforce managers with no way of applying scientific evidence in resolving workplace conflicts. This study applies a quantitative methodology in evaluating the influence of generational differences on workplace conflicts. The study emphasizes much on three generational cohorts dominant in the current workplace: Baby Boomers, Generation X, and the Millennials. The study also looks to an extent the Traditionalists, who are currently exiting the workplace for retirement. Majority of the Traditionalists have already exited the workplace. Nevertheless, some still hold vital positions within organizations. As such, their influence is still present in the workplace.
Bansal, K., & Corley, P. (2012). Publishing in AMJ-Part 7: What’s different about qualitative research? Academy of Management Journal, 55, 509-513. doi:10.5465/amj.2012.4003
Becton, J. B., Walker, H. J., & Jones-Farmer, A. (2014). Generational differences in workplace behaviour. Journal of Applied social Psychology, 44(3): 175-189.
Coomes, M. D., & DeBard, R. (2004). Serving the millennial generation. San Francisco: Jossey- Bass.
Favero, L. W., & Heath, R. G. (2012). Generational perspectives in the workplace: Interpreting the discourses that constitute Women’s struggle to balance work and life. Journal of Business Communication, 49(4), 332-356. doi:10.1177/0021943612456037
Hall, A. (2016). Exploring the workplace communication preferences of millennials. Journal of Organizational Culture, Communications and Conflict, 20, 35.
Hillman, D. R. (2014). Understanding multigenerational work-value conflict resolution. Journal of Workplace Behavioural Health, 29(3), 240-257. doi:10.1080/15555240.2014.933961
Kelly, C., Elizabeth, F., Bharat, M., & Jitendra, M. (2016). Generation gaps: Changes in the workplace due to differing generational values. Advances in Management, 9(5), 1.
Lyons, S., & Kuron, L. (2014). Generational differences in the workplace: A review of the evidence and directions for future research. Journal of Organizational Behaviour, 35(S1), S139-S157. doi:10.1002/job.1913
Matta, F. K., Scott, B. A., Coluquitt, J. A, Koopman, J., Passantino, L. (2017). Is consistently unfair better than sporadically fair? An investigation of justice variability and stress. Academy of Management Journal, 60(2): 743–770. DOI: https://doi.org/10.5465/amj.2014.0455
Moore, S., Grunberg, L., & Krause, A. J. (2015;2014;). Generational differences in workplace expectations: A comparison of production and professional workers. Current Psychology, 34(2), 346-362. doi:10.1007/s12144-014-9261-2
Wirtz, M. A., & Strohmer, J. (2016). Application and integration of qualitative and quantitative research methods in intervention studies in rehabilitation research. Die Rehabilitation, 55(3), 191.