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What Are the Benefits of Focusing on Generation-Based Differences and at What Cost?

  • David M. Cadiz (a1), Donald M. Truxillo (a2) and Franco Fraccaroli (a3)


We agree with and expand on the points made by Costanza and Finkelstein (2015) regarding the definition of “generation” and its measurement, the lack of theory in this area; the harmful effects of propagating generationally based differences to organizations, society, and individuals; and the future directions to make this line of research more applicable to organizations and the workplace. Examining age differences at work through the lens of well-established within-person changes in physical ability (e.g., Maertens, Putter, Chen, Diehl, & Huang, 2012), cognition (e.g., Schaie, 1994), motivation (e.g., Kooij, De Lange, Jansen, Kanfer, & Dikkers, 2011), personality (e.g., Roberts, Walton, & Viechtbauer, 2006), and lifespan development theories (e.g., Baltes & Baltes, 1990; Carstensen, Isaacowitz, & Charles, 1999) would likely be more productive than using loose, relatively atheoretical generational stereotypes to understand age differences at work.


Corresponding author

Correspondence concerning this article should be addressed to David M. Cadiz, Oregon Nurses Foundation, 18765 SW Boones Ferry Road, Suite 200 Tualatin, Oregon 97062. E-mail:


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What Are the Benefits of Focusing on Generation-Based Differences and at What Cost?

  • David M. Cadiz (a1), Donald M. Truxillo (a2) and Franco Fraccaroli (a3)


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