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The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine
Board On Behavioral Cognitive and Sensory Sciences
Board On Behavioral Cognitive and Sensory Sciences
Division of Behavioral and Social Sciences and Education
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Consideration of Generational Issues in Workforce
Management and Employment Practices

This consensus study will assess the theoretical approaches and empirical science on generational differences as espoused in the popular literature, to include both an assessment of the research and statistical methods employed as well as conclusions drawn given the nature of the data analyzed. It will examine the conceptual basis for generations generally, as well as the specific generational definitions used in the management and behavioral science literature. The committee will hold two public workshops in 2019 and issue a final consensus report Summer 2020 with its findings, conclusions, and recommendations.

Statement of Task

An ad hoc committee will gather, review, and discuss the business management and the behavioral science literature on generational attitudes and behaviors in workforce management and employment practices. The committee will:

1. Evaluate theory, data and statistical methods used in order to make determinations on the rigor of the empirical work in this literature.

2. Assess whether generational categories (e.g., “boomers,” “millennials”) are meaningful distinctions vis a vis the workforce and its practices. Included issues will be: recruitment, selection, assignment, training, learning, performance management, length of tenure in a job, and retention.

3. Provide conclusions and recommendations in terms of proposing a possible science agenda and/or changes that are warranted to better recruit and retain the best employees.
Upcoming Event

April 23, 2019 - 1:00 - 4:30 pm (EDT):  First committee meeting and public session
Invited presenters will provide their perspective on the study and the relevant scientific literature:

Gerald Goodwin, U.S. Army Research Institute for the Behavioral and Social Sciences
David Costanza, George Washington University
Frederick Oswald, Rice University
William J. Strickland, retired CEO of Human Resources Research Organization (HumRRO),
       and retired colonel of United States Air Force

Register for the public session


Committee Members

Nancy T. Tippins, Chair, The Nancy T. Tippins
  Group, LLC

Eric M. Anderman, The Ohio State University
John Baugh, Washington University in St. Louis

Margaret E. Beier, Rice University
Dana H. Born, Harvard Kennedy School of
Chandra Childers, Institute for Women’s
  Policy Research

Brent Donnellan, Michigan State University
Armando X. Estrada, Temple University
Brian Hoffman, University of Georgia
Arne L. Kalleberg, University of North Carolina
  at Chapel Hill
Ruth Kanfer, Georgia Institute of Technology
Maria Lytell, RAND Corporation
Michael S. North, NYU Stern School of Business
Joanne Spetz, University of California,
  San Francisco
Mo Wang, University of Florida


U.S. Army Research Institute for the Behavioral and
Social Sciences (ARI), Department of the Army


Staff Information


Julie Schuck, Study Director
Thelma Cox, Program Coordinator
Adrienne Stith Butler, Associate Board Director



For more information or to subscribe to project updates, please contact Julie Schuck:

Mailing Address

Keck Center
500 Fifth Street, NW
Washington, DC 20001




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