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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
 Generational Workforce hero
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.

Upcoming Events

January 23 -24, 2020 (Irvine, California)
This fifth meeting of the committee is closed and has no public sessions

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.
Past Events

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

May, 29, 2019 - Public Workshop: Trends in Workforce Management: Are Generational Labels Meaningful?
There is growing characterizations of employees by their generation of birth in the media. Are labels such as Baby Boomers, Generation X, and Millennials meaningful in terms of informing employment practices? This workshop explored recent and predicted societal and demographic trends in the U.S. with implications for the workplace. It examined how employers, with special attention to the military, have responded to these trends and to any evidence of generational differences in the workplace Agenda

July, 30, 2019 – Public Workshop:
Changes in the Work Environment: Societal Trends and Workforce Management
The structure, content, and process of work has changed in recent decades. What trends are driving these changes? How are these trends affecting skill demands and human resource practices? In this public session, researchers from sociology, economics, and business management will examine the evidence for changes in the workplace and the resulting challenges and opportunities for workforce management Agenda

October 3-4, 2019 – Fourth Meeting of Committee
The committee will hold a public session on the afternoon of October 3 to gather additional information on research that examines generations at work as well as to learn more about personnel selection and management from two different perspectives: DOD personnel and employment law Agenda


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
Dana H. Born, Harvard Kennedy
   School of Government
Chandra Childers, Institute for
   Women’s Policy Research

Brent Donnellan, Michigan
   State University
Armando X. Estrada, Temple 
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
Anthony Mann, Program Associate
Adrienne Stith Butler, Associate Board Director



For more information or to subscribe to project updates contact Julie Schuck at

Mailing Address

The Keck Center of the National Academies

500 Fifth Street, NW
Washington, DC 20001




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