Date on Master's Thesis/Doctoral Dissertation


Document Type

Doctoral Dissertation

Degree Name

Ph. D.


Educational Leadership, Evaluation and Organizational Development

Degree Program

Educational Leadership and Organizational Development, PhD

Committee Chair

Herd, Ann

Committee Co-Chair (if applicable)

Immekus, Jason

Committee Member

Alagaraja, Meera

Committee Member

Hurtienne, Matthew

Author's Keywords

Generation; boomer; generation x; millennial; homelander


Generational differences are a popular topic, and attention to them is heightened each time a new generational cohort comes of age. This trend continues with increasing interest in the Homelander generation that is now entering the workforce. Differences in values are often blamed for tensions in generationally diverse organizations. Past generational research has reported mixed results and acquired many critics. This study aimed to address common challenges with generational research and assist in distinguishing between truly valid and simply popular information. This study’s purpose was to identify differences in values between members of major generational cohorts and individuals in microgenerations overlapping them. The present study examined values of members of various generations by first separating them into traditional generational cohorts and then by excluding members of the microgenerations. An ex-post facto design applying a time-lag framework with data from 2,327 participants was used. Interviewees of the World Values Survey who answered eight values questions comprised the study’s sample. Two variables – honesty and autonomy - were identified through exploratory factor analysis. Kruskal–Wallis H tests were used to analyze the two variables for the study’s three research questions. Significant differences in honesty and autonomy were revealed using the three traditional generational cohorts for analysis and when members of microgenerations between them were removed. When the sample was divided into five generational cohorts to include the microgenerations, significant differences were found between traditional generational cohorts; however, microgenerations were not found to be significantly different than some of the traditional generational cohorts. Findings suggest that differences in generational values are more than simply the punchline of a generational joke or casual stereotype and that including microgenerations in traditional generational cohorts may have clouded past research results. Members of microgenerations, with their ability to relate to members of multiple major generational cohorts, may be a key in bridging the generation gap in today’s workplace. This study provides a strong foundation for additional research into the concept of microgenerations.