The Millennials’ Effect: How Can Their Personal Values Shape the Future Business Environment of Industry 4.0?

Open access


The main purpose of this paper is to assess a possible impact millennials will have on the future business environment of Industry 4.0, based on their personal value orientations. Millennials are taking over important roles in organizations, but their personal values are significantly different from those of older generations. This paper shows that, based on the Schwartz’s value survey with N=371 Slovenian respondents, millennials are in general more inclined toward values connected to personal growth and freedom from anxiety, emphasizing self-transcendence and openness to change, than toward self-protection and anxiety avoidance, understating conservation and self-enhancement values. These cognitions can have significant implications in shaping the future business environment of Industry 4.0, as it can become more open, understanding, collaborative, accepting, and generally more supporting, thus creating the evident millennials’ effect. Even though millennials are in general well prepared for the future business environment, organizations will have to, in order to retain the millennials, reshape their current organizational environment to better reflect the millennials’ views.

If the inline PDF is not rendering correctly, you can download the PDF file here.

  • Ahn M. J. & Ettner L. W. (2014). Are leadership values different across generations?: A comparative leadership analysis of CEOs v. MBAs. Journal of Management Development 33(10) 977-990.

  • Ajzen I. (1991). The theory of planned behavior. Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes 50 179-211.

  • Akers K. L. (2018). Leading after the boom: Developing future leaders from a future leader’s perspective. Journal of Management Developmen 37(1) 2-5.

  • Baer Jr R. A. (1977). Values clarification as indoctrination. The Educational Forum 41(2) 155-165. doi:10.1080/00131727709336229

  • Bonilla S. H. Silva H. R. da Silva M. T. Gonçalves R. F. & Sacomano J. B. (2018). Industry 4.0 and sustainability implications: A scenario-based analysis of the impacts and challenges. Sustainability 10(10) 3740.

  • Bowels M. (2015). Capabilities for leadership and management in the digital age. Melbourne: Working Futures.

  • Bressanelli G. Adrodegari F. Perona M. & Saccani N. (2018). Exploring how usage-focused business models enable circular economy through digital technologies. Sustainability 10(3) 639. doi:10.3390/su10030639

  • Bruno L. F. & Lay E. G. (2008). Personal values and leadership effectiveness. Journal of Business Research 61 678–683.

  • Couper M. P. (2000). Web surveys: A review of issues and approaches. Public Opinion Quarterly 64(4) 464-494.

  • Črešnar R. & Nedelko Z. (2017). The role and importance of employee's productivity in Industry 4.0. In M. Bezpartochnyi (Ed.) Mechanisms of interaction between competitiveness and innovation in modern international economic relations (pp. 120-133). Riga Latvia: ISMA University.

  • Črešnar R. Nedelko Z. & Jevšenak S. (2019). Strategies and tools for knowledge management in innovation and the future industry. In H. Almeida & B. Sequeira (Eds.) The role of knowledge transfer in open innovation (pp. 179-202). Hershey PA: IGI Global. doi:10.4018/978-1-5225-5849-1.ch009

  • Dabic M. Potocan V. & Nedelko Z. (2016). Personal values supporting enterprises’ innovations in the creative economy. Journal of the Knowledge Economy 8(4) 1241-1261. doi:10.1007/s13132-016-0354-z

  • Deloitte. (2018). 2018 Deloitte Millennial Survey: Millennials disappointed in business unprepared for Industry 4.0. Global: Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu Limited.

  • Enke J. Glass R. Kreß A. Hambach M. Tisch M. & Metternich J. (2018). Industrie 4.0 – Competencies for a modern production system: A curriculum for learning factories. Advanced Engineering Education & Training for Manufacturing Innovation”8th CIRP Sponsored Conference on Learning Factories (CLF 2018). 23 pp. 867-272. Partas: Elsevier. doi:10.1016/j.promfg.2018.04.028

  • Erol S. Jäger A. Hold P. Ott K. & Sihn W. (2016). Tangible Industry 4.0: a scenario-based approach to learning for the future of production. Procedia CIRP (pp. 13–18). Gjøvik: Elsevier B.V.

  • Gibson J. W. Greenwood R. A. & Murphy Jr E. F. (2009). Generational differences in the workplace: personal values behaviors and popular beliefs. Journal of Diversity Management 4(3) 1-9.

  • Grojean M. W. Resick C. J. Dickson M. W. & Smith D. B. (2004). Leaders values and organizational climate: Examining leadership strategies for establishing an organizational climate regarding ethics. Journal of Business Ethics 55 223–241.

  • Grzybowska K. & Łupicka A. (2017). Key competencies for Industry 4.0. Economics & Management Innovations 1(1) 250-253.

  • Herold G. (2016). Leadership in the fourth industrial revoulution. Dallas TX: Stanton Chase.

  • Kluckhohn C. (1951). Values and value orientations in the theory of action. In T. Parsons & E. A. Shils (Eds.) Toward a general theory of action (pp. 388–433). New York: Harper.

  • Lancaster L. C. & Stillman D. (2002). When generations collide: Who they are. Why they clash. How to solve the generational puzzle at work. New York: Harper Collins.

  • Lau P. Y. McLean G. N. Lien B. H. & Hsu Y. C. (2016). Self-rated and peer-rated organizational citizenship behavior affective commitment and intention to leave in a Malaysian context. Personnel Review 45(3) 569-592. doi:10.1108/pr-04-2014-0083

  • Lester M. (2011). A study of the innovation creativity and leadership skills associated with the college-level millennial generation. Ann Arbor Michigan: ProQuest LLC.

  • Mohelska H. & Sokolova M. (2018). Management approaches for Industry 4.0: The organizational culture perspective. Technological and Economic Development of Economy 24(6) 2225-2240. doi:10.3846/tede.2018.6397

  • Müller J. M. Kiel D. & Voigt K.-I. (2018). What drives the implementation of Industry 4.0? The role of opportunities and challenges in the context of sustainability. Sustainability 10(1) 247. doi:10.3390/su10010247

  • Nedelko Z. (2015). Ethics of managers in Slovenian public administration. Management 20(2) 23-47.

  • Nedelko Z. & Potočan V. (2019). Personal values as drivers of managerial innovation: Emerging research and opportunities. Hershey: IGI Global.

  • Nedelko Z. Mulej M. & Potočan V. (2017). How to requisitely holistically consider internal gaps of business ethics. Kybernetes 46(6) 914-932.

  • Ng E. W. Schweitzer L. & Lyons S. T. (2010). New generation great expectations: A field study of the millennial generation. Journal of Business Psychology 25 281-292.

  • Perrow C. (1991). A society of organizations. Theory and Society 20(6) 725-762. doi:10.1007/BF00678095

  • Piccarozzi M. Aquilani B. & Gatti C. (2018). Industry 4.0 in management studies: A systematic literature review. Sustainability 10(10) 3821. doi:10.3390/su10103821

  • Piciga D. Musek J. Kovačev J. & Peklaj C. (1992). Values of slovene in transitional period (in slovene). Ljubljana: Pedagoški inštitut pri Univerzi v Ljubljani.

  • Potocan V. Nedelko Z. Peleckienė V. & Peleckis K. (2016). Values environmental concern and economic concern as predictors of enterprise environmental responsiveness. Journal of Business Economics and Management 17(5) 685-700. Retrieved from

  • Prifti L. Knigge M. Kienegger H. & Krcmar H. (2017). A competency model for “Industrie 4.0” employees. Proceedings der 13. Internationalen Tagung Wirtschaftsinformatik (pp. 46-60). St. Gallen: WI 2017.

  • Roblek V. Meško M. & Krapež A. (2016). A complex view of Industry 4.0. SAGE Open 6(2) 1-11.

  • Roccas S. & Sagiv L. (2010). Personal values and behavior: Taking the cultural context into account. Social and Personality Psychology Compass 4(1) 30–41.

  • Rokeach M. (1973). The nature of human values. New York: The Free Press.

  • Rokeach M. (1979). Understanding human values: individual and societal. New York: The Free Press.

  • Sagiv L. Roccas S. Cieciuch J. & Schwartz S. H. (2017). Personal values in human life. Nature Human Behaviour 1 630-639.

  • Schneider P. (2018). Managerial challenges of Industry 4.0: an empirically backed research agenda for a nascent field. Review of Managerial Science 12(3) 803-848. doi:10.1007/s11846-018-0283-2

  • Scholz R. W. Bartelsman E. J. Diefenbach S. Franke L. Grunwald A. Helbing D. . . . Pereira G. V. (2018). Unintended side effects of the digital transition:european scientists’ messages from a proposition-based expert round table. Sustainability 10(6) 1-48.

  • Schwartz S. (2012). An overview of the Schwartz theory of basic values. Online Readings in Psychology and Culture 2(1) 1-20.

  • Schwartz S. H. (1992). Universals in the content and structure of values – theoretical advances and empirical tests in 20 countries. Advances in Experimental Social Psychology 25 1-65.

  • Schwartz S. H. (1994). Are there universal aspects in the structure and contents of human-values? Journal of Social Issues 50(4) 19-45.

  • Schwartz S. H. Cieciuch J. Vecchione M. Davidov E. Fischer R. Beierlein C. . . . Konty M. (2012). Refining the theory of basic individual values. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology 103(4) 663–688.

  • Sessa V. Kabacoff R. I. Deal J. & Brown H. (2007). Generational differences in leader values and leadership behaviors. The Psyhologist-Manager Journal 10(1) 47–74.

  • Spath D. Ganschar O. Gerlach S. & Hämmerle T. (2013). Produktionsarbeit der Zukunft – Industrie 4.0. Munich: Fraunhofer IAO. Spranger E. (1928). Types of men. Halle: Max Neimeyer Verlag.

  • Takács-Sánta A. (2004). The major transitions in the history of human transformation of the biosphere. Human Ecology Review 11(1) 51-66.

  • Twenge J. M. (2010). A Review of the empirical evidence on generational differences in work attitudes. Journal of Business and Psychology 25 201-210.

  • Twenge J. M. Freeman E. C. & Campbell W. K. (2012). Generational differences in young adults’ life goals concern for others and civic orientation 1966–2009. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology 102(5) 1045-162.

  • Verplanken B. (2004). Value congruence and job satisfaction among nurses: A human relations perspective. International Journal of Nursing Studies 41 599-605.

  • Wang S. Wan J. Zhang D. Li D. & Zhang C. (2016). Towards smart factory for industry 4.0: a self-organized multi-agent system with big data based feedback and coordination. Computer Networks 101 158–168.

  • Weber J. (2017). Discovering the Millennials’ Personal Values Orientation: A Comparison to Two Managerial Populations. Journal of Business Ethics 143 517–529.

Journal information
Cited By
All Time Past Year Past 30 Days
Abstract Views 0 0 0
Full Text Views 603 603 54
PDF Downloads 1138 1138 278