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Communication skill is very important especially in educational lines. The effectiveness of transaction knowledge and information are based on the communication method that being used. In Kolej Universiti Islam Selangor (KUIS), there have a gap in terms of generation which is the Lecturer mostly from Generation X and student from Generation Y. Therefore, the research is to identify the most prefer communication method in Generation Y at KUIS. The respondent is more focuses on student which is the largest population in Generation Y rather than others. The background of the studies explains the communication method as general and its significance in students. The problem statement, research objective and research question is also presented. Lastly the definition of variables that used in this study also is detailed out.
1.1 Background of the Study
Communication is important tools in social interaction. The term 'communication' is from Latin word that called communicare that means 'to share, to impart, or to commune'. Communications is the transfer of information and understanding from one person to another person. Keith Davis defines communication as the way of reaching others with facts, ideas, thoughts and values.
Communication also can know as exchanging information, sharing ideas and knowledge that involve a two way process between the sender and receiver through words, actions or signs. Good communication means that the information is easily transfer by the suitable method and the people are actively involved. Baird Jr. E John in book, "Effective Technical Communication" states that the communication is the process involving the transmission and reception of symbols eliciting meaning in the minds of the participants by making common their life experiences.
Communication method is the important part in educational level, which ensure the information that be transferred is clearly understand and received by the recipient. If there have a conflict in terms of transferring information, means that there have a problem in terms of communication method that being use. So, with identifying the communication preferences of Generation Y will allow a better communication in KUIS and also avoid the generational gaps as well as minimize the stereotypes between generations.
Besides, although Generation Y sharing a unique characteristic with others Generation, there are certainly stereotypes which are state to the group from mainly older generations. These stereotypes contain something true about the Generation Y however they also carry some negative information about this generation. The negativity in stereotyping Generation Y works against them in communication from others generation (Yuxiang Du, 2011).
1.2 Background of the problem
Table of the preferred communication by each generation is taken from the previous researcher named Sean Douglas, 2009. He studies the potential impact of preferred communication methods on effective communication based on generational differences. But, his study is more focusing in concept of reoccurring personalities or archetypes by Strauss and Howe, 1991. So, this table is used to elaborate the preferred communication method in each of the generation.
The first generation is Veteran which born between years 1922 - 1942 (see Table 1). Veteran generation is also labeled as the Silent Generation, Radios babies, Traditionalist or Traditional Generation. This generation is more prefer in formal communication which emphasizes politeness and manners when interacting. But, the veteran does not exist in KUIS population. So, this generation is not being referred as generation involved in this study.
The second generation is the Boom Generation or can be labeled as Baby Boomers that born between years 1946 - 1964 (see Table 2). This generation is more prefer in person communication (face-to-face) and use the phone to communicate. But, the Baby Boomers are too minimal in KUIS population and this generation also not being referred as generation involved in this study.
The third generation is Generation X or can be labeled as Thirteenth Generation (see Table 3). The birth year ranges is between years 1860 - 1981. This generation is more prefer in direct and immediate communication. They also already introduced to the electronic device but not as fast as next generation. Most of this generation is working as lecturer and staff in KUIS. They are the main link to get information by students. Some of them also are student in KUIS, but not many as compared to their next generation.
Lastly, the fourth generation is Generation Y that also labeled as Millennial Generation and Echo Boomers (see Table 4). The birth year ranges is between years 1982 - 2002. This generation is the most advance generation which is more prefer on using electronic device as well as text messaging rather than using formal ones. This generation is the largest group in KUIS. Almost majority of them are students and some of them become a lecturer.
1.3 Problem Statement
There have gaps between the researcher studies; first the previous research has found that Y is similar in terms of organizational behaviors, communicational styles and organizational values. This defines that there are no issue in terms of communication method in this generations, because Generation Y maybe use the similar prefer communication method. But, in others study states that there have general stereotypes of four generation, Veteran, Baby Boomers, Generation X and Y and this hindered a communication style among generation (Macon and Artley, 2009). Besides, Day (2007) states that stereotypes can harm positive communication practices between generations and this will contribute into stress of different generation. We know that stereotypes are formed when there is lack of information from the other side. So these prove that there have gap in terms of preferred communication methods in Generation Y. So, based on the above issue, the research is to analyze the effective communication method in Generation Y to avoid the generation gap and complex communication interactions between this Generation Y and amongst others generation.
Besides that, the prefer communication methods are often cited as a barrier or resistance to effective communication across generations in the education level. There also have limited studies about the preferred communication methods among Generation Y in terms of education level. So, this research is focusing more in KUIS because most of the previous research (Dennis & Thomas, 2007; Galinsky, 2007; Hughes, 2009; Lancaster & Stillman, 2002; Nyce, 2007; Pitt-Catsouphes, 2007; Raines, 2003; and Smola & Sutton, 2002) was more focusing on effectiveness communication method in organization, but it is limited studies about this issue in High Institutional Education Level. Besides, the average age of Generation Y is between 1982 and 2000 (Hammill, 2005) which is around 30s and 20s that mostly still studies in KUIS.
There are several methods in communication that stated by Sean Douglas, 2009 which is one on one meeting, group meetings, telephone, email, intranet (Shared computer server files) and memorandum but, this research is only focus on three methods which is email, telephone, and social network. This is because most of the Generation Y is preferred to use electronic device (Gravett & Throckmorton, 2007; Hammill, 2005; Jopling, 2004; Lancaster & Stillman, 2002; Pentilla, 2009). Besides, these three methods are studies by the previous researcher which is email (Cherly Gordon, 2007), telephone (Subrahmanya et al, 2000) and social network (Jones, 2010). So, the purpose of this study is to analyze the most prefer communication method in the Kolej Universiti Islam Selangor (KUIS) by comparing the standard generational (Generation Y) and communication methods such as email, telephone and social network.
1.4 Research Questions
The overall aim of this study is to identify the most preferred communication method in Generation Y at Kolej Universiti Islam Selangor (KUIS) so that the communication conflict can be avoided.
The research questions that guided this study are:
What are the preferred communication methods for KUIS student in term of Generation Y?
What communication method preferences should exist in KUIS based on standard Generation Y?
1.5 Research Objectives
Therefore, the objectives of this study are:
To identified the most preferred communication methods in Generation Y (Student) in KUIS.
To examine the communication method preferences that should be exist in KUIS based on Generation Y.
1.6 Significance of the study
Identifying communication preferences of the Generation Y in the KUIS will improve the effectiveness communication among generation. Effective communication will reduce the conflict and generational gaps in providing information and knowledge. Besides, this study helps to understand the Generation Y preferred communication method that can minimize the stereotypes in others generation. This significance can positively affect in using the effectiveness communication method among student in KUIS.
1.7 Scope of the study
This study is to identify the preferred communication method in Generation Y at KUIS. The communication method is focuses more on electronic device which include email, telephone, or social network. The respondent and participants involving the full time students that picked randomly from each of faculty. So, this study is to explore the most preferred communication method in student based on standard Generation Y on electronic device at KUIS.
1.8 Definition of Variables
1.8.1 Generation Y
Generation Y are those born from years 1981 - 2000 (Hammill, 2005), 1981 - now (Jopling, 2004) and between 1983 and 2001 (Carlwood, 2008). Hudson (2006) states that Generation Y are individuals that born between 1980 - later and there are more than 84.5 million members of Generation Y in the world (United States Census, 2000). The Generation Y is grown up with advance technology changes rather than older generation that had to adapt into their lives. Generation Y also shaped by parental excesses computer (Niemiec, 2000) and technology advances as well as comfort with technology (Kersten, 2002). Randstand Work Solution, 2007 also states that Generation Y are more prefer on using computer than Traditionals, Boomers and Generation X, that more prefer a people who listen well (Deal, 2007).
1.8.2 Communication Method
In books 'Qualitative Method Interpretations in Communication Studies', Faules and Alexander define the "communication as the method most often used to exchange or collect information, because people rely on symbols to link themselves with other people". This clears proof that those who gain a clear understanding on concept of the communication will using an effective communication method. Corner and Hawthorn, 1993 explain the aim of communication as changes in knowledge, attitude or behavior and sharing the understanding of the message as well as essential to social affair. This shows that a clear communication method will ensure the understanding of the message and also create the better relationship.
Silent Generation Birth Year Ranges and Communication
Birth Year Range
1922 - 1945
Formal memo, rotary phones
Mailed letters or face-to-face contacts
1922 - 1943
Write a memo than shout across a room.
The Depression Generation
1930 - 1945
Face-to-face, direct mail
Boom Generation Birth Year Ranges and Communication
Birth Year Range
1946 - 1964
1946 - 1964
Prefer phones and answering machines.
1943 - 1960
Cell phones and face-to-face
McLeod E, 2009
1946 - 1964
Thirteenth Generation Birth Year Ranges and Communication
Birth Year Range
Gravett & Throckmorton, 2007
1965 - 1976
Rely heavily on technology
1965 - 1980
1965 - 1980
Use cell phones
1961 - 1981
Email and cell phones