University of Toronto


The notion of “generations” as discrete age-based groupings and the idea of “generational differences” in all sorts of everyday phenomena is ubiquitous. From differences in consumer behavior to broad changes in social attitudes, generations are often the default explanation offered to complex, dynamic social phenomena. These ideas have likewise permeated into discourse about the changing nature of work, however research regarding the role of generations for explaining work-related phenomena is, at best, equivocal. What, then, is the state of the science of generations? In this talk I will review the idea of generations and generational differences at work from a critical perspective, and discuss the challenges associated with studying complex age-related phenomena through a generational lens. I will also discuss the dangers of over-relying on generations as a way of thinking about aging and work and offer some potential solutions to the pitfalls of this way of approaching the study of people in the workplace.

Oct 7, 2021 3:30 PM — 5:00 PM
University of Toronto (Presented Virtually)
Toronto, Ontario, Canada
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Cort W. Rudolph
Associate Professor of Industrial & Organizational Psychology