The topic of generational differences in the workplace has been immensely popular over the past decade, spawning a large number of academic publications and a far greater number of consulting reports, popular press books, magazine articles, media reports, blogs, and infographics. Indeed, a new industry of consultants and public speakers seems to have emerged primarily to capitalize on the popularity of this topic. As Costanza and Finkelstein (2015) note, the research on this “hot topic” has often seemed opportunistic, lacking rigor and depth. The relative ease of cutting existing cross-sectional data by age and calling it a generation study has tempted researchers to hop on the bandwagon, resulting in a large number of empirical studies with nearly identical literature reviews that overrely on popular press and opinion-based literature. There has been a lamentable tendency toward blind empiricism with little or no connection to theory, as has been stated elsewhere (Lyons & Kuron, 2014; Parry & Urwin, 2011).

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Journal Industrial and Organizational Psychology
Lyons, S. (Sean), Urick, M. (Michael), Kuron, L. (Lisa), & Schweitzer, L. (2015). Generational differences in the workplace: There is complexity beyond the stereotypes. Industrial and Organizational Psychology, 8(3), 346–356. doi:10.1017/iop.2015.48