This week’s featured article, “Multigenerational perceptions of the academic work environment in higher education in the United States,” was written by professors Kelly A. Kleinhans, Kala Chakradhar, Susan Muller (former faculty member), and Paula Waddill. The article appeared in the July 2015 issue of Higher Education: the International Journal of Higher Education Research.
The current workforce composition of the academy is comprised of multiple generational cohorts, Traditionalists, Leading Edge Boomers, Trailing Edge Boomers, Generation Xers and Millennials. Despite the plethora of research identifying a myriad of differences in the way these generational cohorts approach work and social activities little attention has been paid to their perceptions of the psychosocial aspects of the academic work environment. The present study used the Copenhagen Psychosocial Questionnaire II to assess job perceptions of 434 academic personnel across four generational cohorts. A direct discriminant function analysis revealed Trailing Edge Boomers perceived a greater effort-reward imbalance than Traditionalists/Leading Edge Boomers and Generation Xers, and Millennials perceive less imbalance than all other generations. There were also generational group differences in perceived stress and health. These results draw attention to the value of knowing the generational composition of a higher education institution in order to take into account the unique needs of each generational cohort when planning ways to improve recruitment, retention, and productivity of administrators, faculty and staff.
Multigenerational perceptions of the academic work environment in higher education in the United States
By: Kelly A. Kleinhans, Kala Chakradhar,
Susan Muller & Paula Waddill
Higher Education, July 2015, vol. 70 (1), pgs. 89-103