The Impact Of Generation Y On Work Dynamics Business Essay


A new generation is entering into the workplace and causing remarkable changes in workplace dynamics (Tulgan, 2009). Twenge (2006) states that "socio-cultural changes in recent decades, such as the rise of the culture of self-worth, declines in social connectedness and increases in perceptions of threat, have coalesced to create a relatively unique generation of young people" (cited in Trzesniewski and Donnellan, 2009:1). According to Ernst and Young (2010:2), generation Y people are the vital key to efficiency, competitive differentiation and success in the economic recovery. Amble (2003) added that generation Y workers "bring a challenge to the 'status quo', are refreshing acting as 'catalysts for change', forward thinking and a manifestation of the faith the organisation has in its long-term viability".

However, Nayar, Chef Executive of HCL Technologies (2011) pointed out that most organisations have lost touch with how to effectively manage and motivate their increasingly younger workforces. Kvassay(2012), manager at KPMG(cited in Snowdon,2012), suggests that today, in times of the credit crunch, employers should start forcing themselves to engage with generation Y who can bring real benefits in terms of performance, loyalty and business growth. Kvassay (2012, cited in Snowdon, 2012) admitted: "No one has been doing much thinking about how we can manage them differently".

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Austin et al. (2005) further suggested that that to maximise current and future employee talents and to keep these employees engaged managers will have to continually revisit and revise their workplace strategies. Amble (2003) added to this that the only way to give generation workers what they crave is to understand what that is in the first place; what motivates them.

In this dissertation, I will examine the unique characteristics of generation Y and critically analyse how this young generation may affect work dynamics; I will identify and evaluate the main policies and procedures which are used by employers to motivate and develop young workers and in order to gain a competitive advantage. The main focus will be to ascertain what further strategies an organisation could implement and manage to retain a highly technical generation Y, as this "will only grow in the work force" (Tulgan, 2009). Practical and strategic recommendations of the best way to improve HR strategies for motivating and developing young people in the workplace in order to support high performance within an organisation will be given, along with a summary in the conclusions. Furthermore, analyses on the possible steps taken by organisations are also discussed.

It is expected that this study may be beneficial to the managers as they would be able to look at different views of researches on how generation Y affect the work dynamics. This would enable a comparison to be made with their own motivating and developing strategies which have been used to attract and retain young employees in their organisation and how effective they are. Furthermore, the recommendations within this dissertation may be beneficial to improve their HR strategies and effectively manage young people in the workplace.

Significance of the dissertation:

The analysis presented in this dissertation should give a realisation that young people play a crucial role in organisational performance and by developing effective talent retention strategies organisations could accomplish a competitive advantage. I hope that managers will consider changing or improving their HR and management practices once they have seen the value of generation Y in creating a competitive advantage and establishing a profitable and sustainable position against the forces that determine their industry competition. By learning how best to motivate and develop generation Y now, companies could be better prepared and would be more competitive in the labour market to meet the peak of generation Y intake. Moreover, managing young workers can be a useful learning experience for managers, making it a two way process enabling learning to take place.

I hope my dissertation will show managers how important it is to stay loyal to their people. Furthermore, a message to managers may be to make sure your employees come to work every day feeling motivated and engaged; stay true to your values and focus on what you do best and results will not make you wait for long.


Investigating the impact of generation Y on work dynamics and identifying effective HR strategies in a variety of industries that may be utilised to create an effective working environment, have been the main concerns of this dissertation. The broader aims of this study would be achieved with the help of the enumerated research objectives below:

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Distinguish and compare differences and similarities of generations in the workplace

Investigate the impact of generation Y on work dynamics

Evaluate how engaging generation Y workers matter

Explore what motivates generation Y employees

Conduct research in the form of interviews and/or questionnaires of managers in order to closely identify and evaluate main motivational policies used by employers to motivate and develop generation Y employees

Analyse and present the findings from the interviews/questionnaires

Propose recommendations on how organisations may improve motivating and developing strategies for generation Y workers in workplaces


Research methods for this dissertation have been chosen to investigate the impact of generation Y on work dynamics, to acquire information about strategies for motivating and developing young people in workforces and, as result, to achieve the aims of the dissertation. The study will be based on qualitative and quantitative research methods, integrating both primary and secondary research. Primary research will consist of several semi-structured interviews with managers of the leisure organisation. These points will be raised and elaborated on throughout the dissertation to help analyse the impact of generation Y on work dynamics and the importance of HR strategies to create an effective working environment. Participants will be asked to expose how they think generation Y affect work dynamics in their organisation and comment on the learning environment for all staff, on HR strategies of motivating and developing young workers.

A study will be built on the work of Maslow (1943), Zemke et. al. (2000), Tapscott (2009), Sujansky and Ferri-Reed (2009), Tulgan (2004, 2009) and many other researchers. The theories that will be introduced and compared in the dissertation include Adams (1963) Equity Theory and McGregor's (1960) Theory X and Y. The traditionalists, the baby boomers and generation X are not included in the study because the importance of the research is placed on the generation Y, the fastest-growing segment of the workforce (Tulgan, 2009).


A large amount of literature exists on how to recognise the four generations, as well as how to motivate and develop generation Y employees. Arguably, in the 21st century higher competitive business world, motivation theories are required to be revisited in order to determine whether the theories continues to meet the needs of managers endeavouring to motivate generation Y. Hammill (2005) states that motivational theories and their application to leadership need to be studied to better prepare for the generation Y workforce.  Therefore, I will intend to clearly define my understanding of how to improve motivating and development strategies to effectively manage generation Y in the workplace.

This dissertation is centred around the investigation of materials in text on how generation Y impact on work dynamics , the motivation factors, the strategies, trends and obstacles that the managers face in motivating and retaining young employees in organisations. The reference materials will comprise of books, journal articles and reports from the library at university and an internet.

According to Evans (2012), tourism is a vital source of local employment and revenue for Blackpool; for example one of the leisure organisations represents 80% of generation Y employees. This organisation was chosen for primary research as it was very interesting to examine what motivates young people every tourist season when the company operate, to come back to this employer.

Primary data will consist of five un-structured interviews with managers of different departments in the leisure organisation. The interviews supporting this dissertation will be face-to-face semi-structured, three of these were conducted in January 2012 and two in October 2012 as a part of the research. The respondents for these interviews will be a managing director and line managers from different departments of the organisation. Research will be mainly depended on individuals' commitments, permission and support from individual managers. The interviews will take place at a time and place nominated by the participants, each lasting between 30 and 45 minutes.

Theoretical framework:

While defining the theoretical framework of my research, I will attempt to investigate previous research done on the issue of generational studies and particularly concentrating on generation Y at the workplace.

The theoretical framework will consist of three different parts. In the first part I will describe the common characteristics of generation Y and preceding generations by comparing them, which are mostly based on articles.

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In second part in order to conduct a comparative analysis, I will examine two content motivation theories: Adams (1963) Equity Theory and McGregor's (1960) Theory X and Y, based both on text-book literature and articles, and how they can be applied to generation Y. This part also includes suggestions on how to modify the theories to suit the needs of generation Y in 21st century workplace.

Having completed thorough examination of motivation theories, I will then analyse the strategies used by managers in different organisations.


Well begun is half done.


The methodology that will be applied by the research has been chosen in order to acquire information about the impact of generation Y on work dynamics and the importance of HR strategies to create an effective working environment. For the purpose of this dissertation and in order to achieve the objectives I will use both primary and secondary data. The literature review will be opened by defining the different characteristics of generations in workplaces.

The dissertation will be written with combining understandings of the prevalent motivation theories, Adams (1963) Equity Theory and McGregor's (1960) Theory X and Y and previous researches with the results of the interviews. I will present those theories and concepts that are, in my opinion, most interesting and valuable for the purpose of this research. Suggestions on how to modify the theories to suit the needs of generation Y in 21st century workplace will be given as well.

Qualitative research interviews with managers from the leisure organisation will be adopted for primary data collection. This method is chosen because unlike with other methods, the interviewer has the opportunity to probe or ask follow up questions. The qualitative interviews will be used to understand the opinions and values of the managers on the impact of generation Y in the workplace and gain knowledge about strategies used for motivating and developing young workers. The interviews supporting this report will be face-to-face semi-structured. Face to face interviews are chosen because it offers a greater degree of flexibility in comparison to other methods of data collection such as telephone or web interviewing. Doing face-to-face interview with managers of the leisure organisation will make it possible to explain the purpose of the interview and encourage the respondent to co-operate and clarify questions, also it will be easy to correct misunderstandings and follow up on new ideas in a way that was just not possible with other methods. Moreover, interviews are one way to collect data and to gain knowledge from individuals. The general strategy for the interviews is to start off with broad questions and follow up on the interviewee's responses, to summarise his/her meanings and to avoid forcing my meanings on the interviewee. Research will be mainly depended on individuals' commitments, permission and support from individual managers.

Afterwards, I will analyse the primary data in order to refine the conclusions.

Secondary data will be used from accredited and non-accredited journals, the World Wide Web (www), textbooks, newspaper publications and surveys such as Deloitte, 2007 and Robert Half International, 2008.

Ethical Considerations:

Mishna et al. (2004) suggests that more ethical issues arise when the research is more qualitative such as an interview as opposed to a standard questionnaire (cited in Barnard, 2011:149). According to Fisher (2007: 63-64), one of the main principles that should be followed is the "right to privacy": no one potential participant has to feel forced to answer a question or in general to participate in research. This is the reason why, in the introduction of my interview I will assert that I am only asking for cooperation, that nothing is mandatory. I will try to avoid putting pressure on potential participants.

Furthermore, introducing the purpose of my dissertation at the beginning of the interview will show my desire to inform potential participants on my meaning to be sure that I get the participant's permission for their responses to be used in the research. However, personal details such as the personal data about the age or the socio-professional status will not be used in the research.

Moreover, participants will be informed that it is possible not to answer the personal questions if seen as lacking in discretion.

I will ensure that the exchange of true information by the participant will not harm him/her in any form.


Limitations of the study will emanate from the challenges that I may face while conducting the research.

Time is the major limitation that I will have. Time constraints of the semester require less time for writing this dissertation and it may be a barrier for an ideal research study.

The primary research requires a number of face-to-face interviews from the managers of the leisure organisation. I understand that some managers are fairly busy due to their nature of work and that will make it difficult to contact them. By contacting participants in good time, it will allow arrangements to be made.

A lack of time and resources will limit an interview group and available respondents to mostly only baby boomers and generations X manager's interviews. With increased time, resources could be drawn to enable a greater sample size such as interviews with young employees of the leisure companies, which may be more representative of the real population.

If the interview takes place in a public place with some distractions, this could prevent good detailed responses, whereas a quiet room such as meeting room may provide better responses.

Additionally, there is the potential that not all managers who will be asked to take part in the interview, will be willing to participate, this may result in reducing the amount of information to analyse and may have an impact on the overall conclusions. If I provide alternative ways of doing the interview, it may increase the chances of them taking part. For example, the potential participants are busy people with time constraints; therefore if I offer them the option of breaking the interview in to small parts, this may be more appropriate for them.

Other limitations include some possible subjectivism from the research if the conclusions that are planned to be made in the dissertation, are made only from the findings and analysis. This dissertation will base its findings on the answers from the interviews of managers of leisure industries and not any other managers, for example, retail or transport organisations managers. This may also be a source of subjectivism for the dissertation.


The prevalent motivation theories that I will introduce and compare in the dissertation are Adams (1963) Equity Theory and McGregor's (1960) Theory X and Y. I will present those theories and concepts that are, in my opinion, most interesting and valuable for the purpose of this research.

Additionally, the traditionalists, the baby boomers and generation X are not included in the study as the importance of the research is placed on the generation Y, according to Tulgan (2009), the fastest-growing segment of the workforce. However, I would like to refer to those generations to point out the differences and possible similarities as it plays an important role in how generation Y affect work dynamics.

In the qualitative research I will not use structured interviews in order to minimise my influence and my obtrusiveness on the participants.

Structure of the dissertation:

The dissertation will be written in report format and include a cover page with a title, name of the writer, contest page, acknowledgement, executive summary, introduction, the literature review, methodology, data analysis and findings, conclusion and recommendations, references and appendices.


This part of the dissertation includes the introduction, the research topic, the aims and objectives of the study, and the significance of the dissertation.

Literature review:

This part in dissertation reviews the research topic of the impact of generation Y on work dynamics. This part will highlight the impact of generation Y and their role in organisational performance, motivation factors, theories of motivation, strategies that are used by organisations to motivate and retain generation Y workers, the obstacles and the benefits that organisations and employees gain from utilising the motivation strategies. The literature review concludes by giving a conceptual framework of the study.


In the methodology section consideration will be given to an explanation of the objectives of the dissertation, the methods taken by the research, the strategies and the data collection methods used (interviews).

Interviews Analysis and Interpretation:

This part of the dissertation will give a detailed analysis of the findings of the study. The responses from the interviews will be analysed in details.

Conclusion and Recommendations:

The conclusions and recommendations section will highlight the result of research on the impact of generation Y on work dynamics and discuss the strategies for motivating generation Y which could be adopted or improved on by organisations, in order to create an effective environment. The strategies will be discussed in relation to the factors that contribute to employees' decision to stay or quit a job. This part of the dissertation will give the findings and recommendations for further studies.


I will ensure that all work is completed and submitted on time in accordance with dissertation timetable (see Appendix 1).