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Abstract

Diversity, sustainability and change are words nowadays commonly encountered in business practice and theory. Businesses face multiple challenges in regards to complexity, innovation, creativity, digitalization and out of the box thinking. However, what underlies these challenges is dealing with a very diverse workforce comprised of multiple generations with very different takes in regards to employment, career development, team work, authority and many other organizational aspects. Basically, business continuity nowadays depends in a large degree on the ability to manage the workforce comprised of employees belonging to the Silents, the Baby Boomers, Generation X and Generation Y, and to prepare for the entrance on the labor market of Generation Z, the first generation that grew up in the digital world. Classification into generations is not without its contestations, but it continues nonetheless to be an important determinant of the way in which businesses design their human resources strategies. Based on a quantitative survey of the opinions of employees from various backgrounds in regards to intergenerational dynamics and conflicts, the present research uncovers the relevancy of the classification into generations for the human resources practices. The research also provides an insight into the main challenges that arise from the existence of differences in the points of view of these four main generations and concludes with a series of recommendations for human resources managers and leaders in general. The article’s innovativeness lies in the fact that it emphasizes the need for the development of human resources strategies which take in consideration all the generations in an equal manner, thus criticizing the current trends in human resources practice which rely on the development of programs specifically targeted to certain generations.

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