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Pragmatism: Conflicts at Work

The dialog in the article is timely and one that needs through ventilation of scholarly works and pragmatism. In practise, these conflicts at work place are real and hereby attest to what these authors’ are stating. In reality the generational hole at work place is playing out in all facets, and in my view it portends no harm to the commercial enterprise when manage properly.
Child Boomers are motivated by power and fabric possessions unlike Generation X and Z, I do not entirely agree with such. In fact, this should the complete opposite of the reality in most corporate. The senior management, a majority of who are child boomers values their influence and impact at work. This is a group that wields substantial wealth and power, so in Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, these are no longer motivational. They say that Generation X is captivated and motivated by technology, therefore they are easily managed through adoption of latest technologies in the market, and I say this is factual.

Namita (2012), Iden (2016) Legas, Matthew, Cynthia Howard Sims (2012) and Klaffke (2015) observes that proper management of generational gaps within work environment could catalyst growth in corporate performance. I agree with them on this because, a lot of resources time and personnel, are expended in solving or managing generational differences instead of work-related roles. There is, however, a point by Klaffke (2015 which is not obvious and maybe the cause for all the chaos in inter-generational work place. That trainings, in-house or otherwise can be effective is managing differences among the various cadres of employees in the company. Training for technical and operational skills is okay, but to train for smooth inter-generational work relation is not a solution. Fresh out of colleges and universities, generation X and Z could be the most knowledgeable in theories, but their application of the theories is fails them. In life, unlike in theoretical perspective, certain principles are hard to live by every day. In Europe, especially the United Kingdom, for instance work place ethics require formal attire; a pair of suit, matching neck-tie and proper leather shoes, and essentially, this is how it should be. However most of generations X and Z are comfortable with informal dress code of a jeans, sweat pants and tee shirt with sneakers. These are fundamental differences expected at modern work place.

In my view, the above differences are conceptual and only arise out of perception. Baby boomers have a different set of believes in regards to formality and work place and generation X and Y have their own perspective to the same issue. In order to successfully manage these ideological differences; management must not be rigid to the realities of generation X and Y while not abandoning their belief in formality. For one, I appreciate formality, order and decency at work place; however it must not transcend personal freedom and comfort. In my opinion therefore, management should adopt a laissez faire approach, so that each individual concentrate on their job rather than sideshows of generational differences.

Bursch, D, & Kip (2014).Managing the Multigenerational Workplace. University of North Carolina Executive Department.

Klaffke, M (2015). Managing the Multigenerational Workforce: Lessons German Companies Can Learn from Silicon Valley. The University of California, Berkeley, 2015.

Namita R (2012). Engaging Generations at Workplace. Society for Human Resource Management, vol. 1, no. 1, 2012, pp. 1-8.

October 07, 2021

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