Boomer versus Millennial

Part 1. Review the excerpt on “Boomer versus Millennial” (The article below) and give me your opinion on the assertions made. Are they true? Do you see them differently?

Based on “Preparing for the future workforce” in Contract Management Magazine under the fair use exemption.

“Millennials are so entitled.” 

“Boomers are so inflexible.”

As more Boomers retire, organizations need to preserve their institutional knowledge and culture—i.e., how the organization does things. Organizations also need to be open to improvements and new ways to complete these same tasks and duties as the work world changes and advances.

Generations, Defined

Though some sources disagree slightly on the specific periods that encapsulate various generations, the differences are generally only a few years. The Purdue University Center defines Boomer, Generation X, and Millennial generations as follows:

· Boomers—Persons born between 1946 and 1964

· Gen Xers—Persons born between 1965 and 1980

· Millennials—Persons born between 1981 and 1996

The last members of the Millennial generation who pursued a college degree have now graduated and entered the workforce. This can be both a blessing and a curse, as the explosion of youth in a workplace can present a host of potential problem areas.


According to Pew Research Center, younger colleagues see Boomers as materialistic, greedy, and ambitious. Boomers tend to hold the belief that the only road to career success is through hard work. They tend to value the amount of money they are paid and other forms of tangible compensation. Boomers tie self-worth to career successes, and they frequently worry whether they take too much time off they will lose their spots in the organization.

On the positive side, Boomers typically handle crises well and know how to “weather a storm.” They focus on career growth, they do challenge authority, but not so much as to appear as disloyal to the organization that has promoted them to their current positions.


Some view Millennials as entitled because their parents taught them to believe they “can be anything” and they “can do anything.” They grew up in the “participation award” era and they enjoy and expect instant gratification and advancement. Millennials grew up in a very structured and scheduled environment, with many activities. Perhaps this is why they tend to work in the moment, focusing mainly on the immediate next step. They feel at ease when working in teams but are more loyal to close peers and their own “climbs up the ladder” than to the organization itself.

As a group, Millennials value work/life balance and tend to view work as a means to fuel their hobbies, such as travel or weekend and social activities—as opposed to a goal in and of itself. They typically work very effectively until five o’clock “on the dot,” and “leave their work in the office” to enjoy their evenings. They are generally very social, passionately committed to their interests, and ambitious.

Millennials also value technology and, with the growing acceptance of telework, crave the ability to work flexibly. They are great multitaskers. Passion drives them to work for a cause in lieu of a paycheck, but, most important, they desire the ability to choose. They look for meaningful work in which everyone can make a difference.

Part 2: Short answer on the following questions:

1. Describe culture?

2. Identify and describe three organizational structures.

3. Describe the difference between a group and a team.

4. What is span of control?

5. Why would a firm implement a lagging pay policy?

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