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Negative Impacts Of Generational Differences In The Workplace Of China

850 words - 4 pages

Negative impacts of generational differences in the workplace of China
The past decades have witnessed a dramatic transformation in China. With the development of modern society, the generational differences are becoming growingly deep and complex. Although it is normal that people have diverse personalities and lifestyles, the disparity between generations is quite evident. Working age Chinese fell into two main generations, “a generation being defined as an identifiable group that shares birth years, age, location, and significant life events at critical developmental stages”(Kupperschmidt, 2000, p.65), divided by the year when the reform and opening up was implemented. As an increasing ...view middle of the document...

The possible miscommunications may prevent work teams from high quality cooperation, and the team work could be quite time consuming since explanations are necessary when there is misunderstanding. As a result, the working efficiency decline.
Another area of concern may be the conflicts between different generation in the workplace, which are attributed to attitude gaps towards work, respect and loyalty held by workers of various ages, to a large extend. A recent research conducted by Tolbize (2008) shows that young employees emphasize the outcomes much whereas elder staff pays more attention to procedure. It has also been observed by Smola and Sutton (2002) that young generation, who appears to be self-centered, show less respect to colleagues and their loyalty towards employer is relatively low, compared to traditional generation. Consequently, conflicts seem to be unavoidable which generate negative effect on personnel’s emotion and the relationship among them. If the situation deteriorates, these conflicts may even moderate staff morale and weaken corporate culture, leading to a diminishing productivity.
Raising awareness of generational differences and accommodate them may be a solution to address the communication problem. This is indicated by the finding of Kersten’s (2002) large-scale study of generational differences, which revealed that being aware of generational difference can effectively reduce miscommunication since it enables people to anticipate potential misunderstanding and modify message for maximum outcome. Workers ought to spare some efforts to comprehend the culture and value of the other generation to promote communication.
One of the possible solutions to alleviate the second problem might be effective communication and respect. In their evaluation of solutions to generational conflicts, Zemke, Raines and Filipczak (1999) present evidence to show that sufficient...

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