Sep 11, 2008

Shifting Environments

Generation Y is comparably different to previous Generations. Their beliefs and behaviours are being driven by a different set of macro and micro socio-economic and philosophical contexts. Take for example the Educational system which has shifted from teacher-centric (‘telling truths’) to pupil-centric models (‘discourse and debate’), according to Nick Pollard (Pollard: 2006). Leadership and follower experiences that they are gaining in online technology environments such as ‘massive multi-player online role-playing games’ (MMORPGs) is teaching them a different form of team structure to the command and control compositions still prevalent in many multinational corporate bodies – the legacy of a military culture derived from the Builder generation (1925-1945). This generation is growing up using ‘mash-up’ leadership structures (fast assimilation of teams, in order to achieve a goal and then dissolving the structure and joining with others to form new teams). They are stimulated through goal-oriented objectives, where they receive ‘immediate compensation for successful completion of a project’ (Reeves, Malone and O’Driscoll: 2008). The increase in the uses for, and speed of, Technology has inevitably been a major factor in driving a shift towards a culture of immediacy and heightened expectations. These are the ‘Generation Y’-ers that are coming into global businesses around the world that are being asked to operate under old paradigms. In these situations there can be a distinct mismatch between expectations and reality.

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