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Importance of diversity

Discuss about the Corporate Performance and Gender Diversity.

Human resource specialists, researchers as well as managers are getting much more interested in relation to managing as well as working with people belonging to different generations within workplace.  Due to influx of Millennial or Generation Y ( Gen Y ) along with simultaneous  rise in the retirement age  the HR departments now have to redesign and rethink their strategies  so as to bring proper talent management  across varied groups of employees  (Stefan & Yazdanifard, 2013). This report will analyse the various issues related to generational diversity in organization as well as its impact on organizational development strategy.

The term diversity quite often describes the demographic differences as well as the various compositions of work groups (Roberson, 2006). The main focus of diversity in relation to  composition of work groups  is around various factors  that help in distinguishing  one individual from another , mainly in relation to observational demographic features for example gender, ethnicity, age or race  or in terms of non-observable  characteristics for example  socio economic status  or education (Kreitz, 2008).

The effect of generational diversity  has been postulated for  critical aspects related to people management  starting from hire  to retirement (Miller, 2014) , that also passes through training and development (Knight, 2014) , retention (McCrindle, 2014), work conflict , rewards (Biro, 2014) and  preferred leadership styles . Generational differences within organizations have been addressed as legitimate diversity issues, because it is suggested that by taking care of and analysing generational diversity as well as providing the employees belonging to different generations what they require for flourishing, the organizations can easily promote increased amount of employee productivity as well as enhance employee retention.

Diversity is beneficial   for the organizations as it helps them to reach out and connect with diverse markets as well as customer groups (Herring, 2009) . It also permits variety of perspectives, superior performance as well as outcomes along with promoting innovativeness within organization. In a study conducted on Fortune 500 organizations it has been found that top 25 percent firms in retain to women at senior management level, yielded better returns to the stockholders which was almost 30 percent more than their peers (Catalyst, 2004). Thus on the basis of empirical evidence it can be said that diversity does benefit organizations.

Each and every organization has different kinds of reasons for adopting diversity, thus the paradigm that helps the organization to see diversity being crucial and shapes the diversity philosophy of organization is very important. The three types of  diversity paradigms are:  Moral paradigm ( according to its discrimination is  immoral, wrong and illegal);  Social need Paradigm (focuses on fulfilling the social needs  of various diverse  people) and  Competitive Advantage paradigm ( diversity is not just about ratios , it’s about finding that women are different  from women’s perspective) (Dixit & Bajpai, 2015).

Types of Diversity

In current organizations generational diversity results in conflicts in workplaces. A Generation can be defined as an “identifiable group that shares birth years, age location and significant life events at critical development stages (Kupperschmidt 2000, p.66). Generational diversity is the diversity that focuses mainly on the differences on the basis of generation within which the employee grew up. Generation Xers are the ones born between 1965 and 1979. Their  levels of organizational commitment as well as  attitude is being impacted by the high price  paid by their parents  by undergoing stress,  health along with family issues (McDonald, 2008) . They give less value to performance-based rewards or compensations as compared to saving plans as well as paid time off. They like more of intrinsic rewards, so the managers need to give them incentives by providing personal growth, development of opportunities that satisfy their accomplishments and skill development instead of better job titles (Eisner, 2005).

Generation Y or Millennial are the ones born between 1979 and 1999 and they represent the youngest lot in the workplace. They are trustworthy and support positive perspective towards hierarchical structures / policies in organizations. Since they are being influenced by Baby-Boomer parents who are education-minded, so they believe that education is very vital for success and are always ready to learn (Martin & Tulgan, 2001) . Education programs or trainings are appreciated by Millennial as they help in motivating them towards work. They do work to live instead of typically living to work (Petroulas, Brown, & Sundin, 2010) . They know very well that by complete ling their objectives/ task they will get rewarded as bonuses in salaries.

Increasing life longevity as well as progressive improvements happening in the quality of life has increased the lives of people and they work till older age . Economic aspects also supports this tendency and affects the western economies as well and has regulated in increased age of retirement. This has made the current workplaces highly diverse and there are several incidences where older workers report to younger managers (Cogin, 2012) . With the retirement fob any Boomers Gen Y is replacing them, thus the HR practitioners need to consider that workforces are currently undergoing generation renewal moment (Agarwal & Helfat, 2009). Although this has been a regular phenomenon in the workplace but the younger generation that is taking place of baby Boomers holds entirely different perspective regarding work in the organizations. Both Gen Y and baby Boomers are  ready to make long-term commitments  towards organizations  and for Gen Y it just means one year whereas for  Baby Boomers it is  way longer (Martin, 2005).

Generational Diversity: Gen X and Gen Y

HR professionals or managers believe that generational differences in case of work attitudes or values cast huge impact on workplace, so they need to manage different generations in different manner  (Twenge, 2010) . More differences have been detected across the various generations in their extrinsic values for example Generation X gives more value to money, prestige as well as status according to the Monitoring The Future study conducted in US, as compared to Baby Boomers and Gen Y and Baby Boomers are very less likely to assign importance to extrinsic rewards amongst the three generations. In cross sectional studies across various generations it has been found that there is declination   on the scale of job satisfaction across success generations  (Benson & Brown, 2011) . It has been found through Hierarchical-age-period-cohort regression model that gen Y shows higher levels of job satisfaction as compared to the older generations (Kowske, Rasch, & Wiley, 2010) . Generation Y is found to be less committed towards the organization.

 Managing the generational diversity while developing an inclusive work culture is very cortical for organization for doing effective talent management. Since every generation has a unique set of attitudes, values, beliefs as well as work ethics, so it is very important that the organization should focus on leveraging this diversity by taking steps to build a cohesive work culture within the organization? The distinct cohorts should get a new environment where they can co-exist as well as work together in productive as well as effective manner, while maintaining their unique identities. Thus it is imperative that the organizations should adopt structured talent management strategies, so that tensions arising between generations can be easily avoided and the benefits coming from the differences can be maximised. This can be done best by adopting two major initiatives that are:

Every worker should have knowledge about the competencies as well as assets of their generation and that of the other generation also and this can be best done through diversity training. This will help in enhancing every individual’s strengths as well as working on their weaknesses.

This is another very crucial imitative that HR practitioners or managers can adopt as it helps in opening effective channels of communication between the junior employees and the   senior employees of organization. Mentoring conducted on an organised platform there is continuous process of interaction as the junior employee gets an opportunity to learn from the senior employee’s work approach and senior one gets to know the working styles along with the career aspirations of junior ones.

Problems in Managing Generational Diversity


Diversity can be called as the various perspectives as well as approaches towards the work members of the varied identity groups that they bring in. A diverse workforce   has been found to increase the firm’s performance and has turned out to be highly imperative which cannot be any longer ignored by organizations. Each of the generations that form the generational diversity be its Baby Boomers , Gen X or gen Y  have different approach towards life. If one finds good to follow orders and being loyal another one likes rewards that are materialistic and productivity. So managers and HR practitioners need to use skills of knowledge transfer, trust, inclusion and open communications for finding out methods of effective conflict resolutions.    Generational diversity can be best managed through diversity training and mentorship. Therefore through Diversity Training, the one culture of firm should be inculcated in every employee through development of mutual respect and creating a collaborative work environment. Thus Mentoring appears as quite enriching as well as informative experience for both the cohorts that get involved in the process.

Agarwal, R., & Helfat, C. E. (2009). Strategic renewal of organizations. Organization Science , 281-293.

Benson, J., & Brown, M. (2011). Generations at work: Are there differences and do they matter? The International Journal of Human Resource Management , 1843-1865.

Biro, M. M. (2014). Recognize, reward and engage your multi-generational workforc. Forbes .

Catalyst. (2004). The bottom line: Connecting corporate performance and gender diversity. New York: Catalyst.

Cogin, J. (2012). Are generational differences in work values fact or fiction? Multi-country evidence and implications. The International Journal of Human Resource Management , 2268-2294.

Dixit, P., & Bajpai, B. (2015). Managing Workforce Diversity in Competitive Environment. International Journal of Business and Management Invention , 1-11.

Eisner, S. (2005). Managing Generation Ys’. A.M. Advanced Management Journal , 4-15.

Herring, C. (2009). Does diversity pay? Race, gender, and the business case for diversity. American Sociological Review , 208-224.

Knight, R. (2014). Managing people from 5 generations. Harvard Business Review .

Kowske, B. J., Rasch, R., & Wiley, J. (2010). Millennials’ (lack of) attitude problem: An empirical examination of generational effects on work attitudes. Journal of Business and Psychology , 265-279.

Kreitz, P. (2008). Best practices for managing organizational diversity. The Journal of Academic Librarianship , 101-120.

Kupperschmidt, B. (2000). Multigenerational employees: strategies for effective management. The Health Care Manager , 65-76.

Martin, C. A. (n.d.). From high maintenance to high productivity: What managers need to know about Generation Y. Industrial and Commercial Training , 2005.

Martin, C., & Tulgan, B. (2001). Managing Generation Y. HRD Press. Harvard.

McCrindle, M. (2014). The ABC of XYZ: Understanding the global generations. Bella Vista, Australia: McCrindle Research.

McDonald, P. (2008). The Multi-generational Workforce. interna;l AUditor , 60-67.

Miller, S. (2014). Generations view different retirement paths: Varying expectations among Baby Boomers, Generation X and Millennials. . Society for Human Resource Management .

Petroulas, E., Brown, D., & Sundin, H. (2010). Generational Characteristics and Their Impact on Preference for Management Control Systems. Australian Accounting Review , 221-240.

Roberson, Q. (2006). Disentangling the meanings of diversity and inclusion in organizations. group & Organization Management , 212-236.

Stefan, F., & Yazdanifard, R. (2013). The Issues of Generational COnflicts in Workplace and Solutions for it. ReserachGate .

Twenge, J. M. (2010). A review of the empirical evidence on generational differences in work attitudes. Journal of Business and Psychology , 201-210.

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