Document Type


First Faculty Advisor

Michael Roberto

Second Faculty Advisor

Lori Coakley


generational differences; management; perceptions


Bryant University

Rights Management



With three different generations in the workforce (Gen X, Millennials, and Gen Z), it is important for managers to understand what each generation expects in the workplace. This is especially important when managing intergenerational teams. As the only true digital natives enter the workforce, employers must select managers who can manage the conflict that arises from differences, actual or perceived, that often stem from poor communication and a lack of understanding. This study, grounded in Generational Cohort Theory and replicating the Lester et al. study conducted in 2012 with Baby Boomers, Gen X, and Millennials, aims to examine whether participants’ perceptions of others can be traced to generational stereotypes and in what ways this relates to the findings of the previous study. The primary objective of this research determined there are more perceived differences than actual ones between generations in terms of the workplace concepts they value most. "Perception is reality" perfectly summarizes the implications this research has on managers of intergenerational teams trying to limit conflict and promote cooperation.