Generation Me and the Changing World of Work

Jean M. Twenge and Stacy M. Campbell

in Oxford Handbook of Positive Psychology and Work

Published in print November 2009 | ISBN: 9780195335446
Published online September 2012 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Library of Psychology

Generation Me and the Changing World of Work

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  • Psychology
  • Organizational Psychology
  • Social Psychology



For many organizations, the upcoming retirement of the Baby Boomers and the influx of the younger generations to the workplace will prove to be challenging. In this chapter, we review empirical data on generational differences and provide descriptions of how the average member of the young generation (labeled Generation Me) compares in personality traits and attitudes with the average member of earlier generations. Most changes in generations have occurred gradually over time, in a linear fashion. With increases in self-esteem, narcissism, and the importance of leisure time, expectations for work—life balance, salary, and fulfillment have also increased among the younger generation. The result—a widening gap between what Generation Me expects from the workplace and reality—may explain why there has also been an increase in anxiety and depression over the generations. Implications of these generational differences and suggestions to assist in the management of today's multi-generational workforce are discussed.

Keywords: generations; work—life balance; expectations

Article.  8312 words. 

Subjects: Psychology ; Organizational Psychology ; Social Psychology

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