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Their subsequent interactions with Millennial coworkers may reflect a level of discomfort, disrespect, or even distrust. It is possible that Boomer generation workers will never completely accept new colleagues who do not share their work ethic. While this might be true for any newcomers with significantly different values, many Millennials may remain somewhat marginalized by their older and more senior coworkers, making it more difficult for Millennials to earn workplace respect and credibility.
This is especially problematic because a lack of informal communication in organizations is negatively related to member satisfaction see Pace and Faulesand low levels of communicative support from supervisors in particular is associated with job turnover Clampitt Of course, Millennials who are astute and realize how their coworkers view them may make concerted efforts to demonstrate their value and willingness to contribute—just as employees who experience concertive control from coworkers in team-based organizations endeavor to conform to team norms and expectations Barker and Cheney At the same time, and as part and parcel of the membership negotiation process Scott and MyersMillennials may be a source of change within their organizations in several ways.
First, engagement with Millennial workers who spend more time with their families and friends, and have diverse personal interests outside the workplace, may cause more senior workers to reconsider their own values. Boomers especially, may find themselves asking whether their extensive sacrifices have brought about lasting happiness and other benefits that they had hoped for Collinson and Collinson Already some Boomers may have had this realization and might have taken cues from Millennials about how to create balance between their personal and work lives; more Boomers may follow.
Some organizations are finding human resource advantages to relaxing normative expectations concerning working over-time. The firm changed its formal policies, as well as the way that overtime work was valued in unofficial organizational discourse.
While those studies gathered data only from college students, and levels of confidence may change considerably once students enter the workplace, other research also supports the conclusion that Millennials are unusually and extraordinarily confident of their abilities George ; Greenfield Greenfield proposes that this confidence has been buoyed by an educational system with inflated grades and standardized tests, in which many Millennials are expert in performing well.
The idea of paying their dues by working hard to demonstrate their worth before they are given significant tasks is likely to be resisted by Millennials, critics in the popular literature contend Marston ; Martin Millennials may surprise their Boomer and Gen X managers when, according to Gallup polls, they seek key roles in significant projects soon after their organizational entry and very early in the membership negotiation process Ott et al.
Popular literature and empirical research indicate that three Millennial preferences are likely to be especially significant for workplace interaction and the development of work relationships. Second, they expect open communication from their supervisors and managers, even about matters normally reserved for more senior employees Gursoy et al.
Third, Millennials prefer to work in teams, in part because they perceive group-based work to be more fun, but also because they like to avoid risk Alsop ; Gursoy et al. Empirical studies have found that Millennials, not unlike employees of previous generations, view strong relationships with supervisors to be foundational for negotiating their roles initially, as well as for their long-term satisfaction in the organization Jokisaari and Nurmi ; Martin What is different is that according to popular literature and empirical research, Millennials expect communication with supervisors to be more frequent, more positive, and more affirming than has been the case with employees of prior generations Deloitte ; Gursoy et al.
Popular literature and academic sources have argued that this need for affirmation derives from the constant flow of supportive messages Millennials have received from parents, teachers, and coaches throughout their childhood Alsop ; Hill A second important communication issue for Millennials entering the workplace is their desire for open communication, and lots of it—again, more so than newcomers from previous generational cohorts, according to some empirical studies Gursoy et al.
Expectations of this sort may be associated with Millennials also not being intimidated by individuals who are more senior, either in age or in status.
Popular literature suggests that as children, they were encouraged to befriend parents and friends of their parents Howe and Strauss As teens, they became comfortable expressing their thoughts and opinions to adults, expecting credibility despite their young age and lack of experiences Tapscott They also have been encouraged by their parents to challenge authority, and to assert themselves, asking for preferential treatment when they believe they can get it Howe and Strauss What Millennials may not fully understand is that increased communication and knowledge is associated with increased responsibility.
Future research should examine whether Millennials learn through interaction with others that they may not be ready for that level of responsibility Pacanowsky Do they learn to moderate their expectations and communicative requests? Another possible outcome that research should examine is whether organizations change their communication policies as a result of Millennial expectations.
In some cases, workers could become privy to strategic and other information that could make them more informed, more competent, and thus better partners with their organizations. Management may find that investing Millennials with more responsibility concerning broader issues fosters feelings of involvement, which is a necessary component for organizational attachment Myers and Oetzel More involvement also may help keep Millennials from feeling bored by their work, a primary reason for their premature turnover, according to popular literature Alsop Increased organizational openness also might provide additional and important opportunities for frank communication and problem solving between Millennial workers and their supervisors.
Some empirical research indicates that Millennials do not develop organizational commitment as more senior workers have Pasieka ; Patalano Instead, some popular literature claims that, more than other generations, Millennials develop commitment to individuals, especially supervisors with whom they develop meaningful relationships Marston Empirical studies and polls have found that Millennials are impatient about becoming recognized as valuable contributors Gursoy et al.
Millennials, much like Generation X employees, have a much shorter time horizon than Boomers who typically occupy positions of organizational power. Popular literature claims that more so than in previous generations, they multitask, and view time as a valuable resource that should not be squandered Deloitte Based on frequent praise from their parents and teachers, they have come to expect evaluation of their work to be based on the outcomes they produce, not based on the age, experience, or tenure of the person who produced them Alsop ; Hill However, more senior workers may not share this perspective, which can spark conflict and distrust.
Did they demonstrate a willingness to listen and display deference to their seniors? In general, as organizational members interact over time and across a variety of circumstances, they develop deeper work relationships and, typically, an ability and willingness to trust each other Haas Over time, Generation X and Boomer workers will likely come to value the contributions that Millennials can make Smola and Sutton Related, as Millennials themselves are promoted and are given more responsibility, they too may come to understand the importance of developing confidence in workers prior to delegating significant tasks and responsibilities.
Thus, through ongoing interactions, Millennials may begin to realize the value of time for forging trust among coworkers and, concomitantly, may develop a shared sense of temporality unique to their team and organization Ballard and Seiboldwith coworkers from other generational cohorts. A third communication-related consideration for workplace interactions with Millennials is their comfort and ease in working in teams. Millennials report that working and interacting with other members of a team makes work more pleasurable Alsopin part, a consequence of group-based learning and project groups throughout their years in school, and perhaps in part because more than previous generations, Millennials often socialize in groups as well Howe and Strauss Millennial workers are likely to be actively involved, fully committed, and contribute their best efforts to the organization when their work is performed in a collaborative workgroup or team.
Organizations have noted a downside to teams, however, and for several reasons they are beginning to encourage Millennials to accomplish part of their work outside workgroup boundaries Alsop First, as Alsop describes, Millennials find excessive comfort in team-based direction, oversight, and decision making.
If they can work as members of a team, they can avoid the risk associated with independent thinking and decisions. While it is true some types of decision making can be improved in group contexts Shawa group-reliant mentality does not foster individual decision-making confidence, nor does it enable individuals to demonstrate their own creativity and ability.
Another problem is that teamwork and group meetings take time. Concertive control emerges when team members collectively develop their own control system Barker Group members come to believe that they are empowered to gain compliance from other members, causing workers to conform to mutually agreed upon norms Barker Future investigations could examine how Millennials respond to this type of group-based control when the team is composed of heterogeneous members with regard to age, seniority, and influence.
Popular literature suggests that Millennials are rule followers Howe and Strauss If this claim holds, they are more susceptible to this type of pressure. However, Millennials also are described as self-assured and individualistic Pew Research Center ; Twenge and thus perhaps less prone to, even more verbally resistant to, these communicative forms of control in their workgroups.
Management will need to assess how these characteristics translate into workgroup conformity and performance. Future studies may find that over time Millennials no longer require the comfort of the group setting and distributed decision-making, choosing instead to work more independently.
Popular press and literature indicate that they are more comfortable with new interactive and networked media than are older generations Deloitte ; Gorman et al.
Whether Millennials will be productive in these time- and space-flexible working arrangements is unclear. Millennials are argued to have some attitudes that are compatible, and some attitudes that seem incompatible, with virtual organizing and telework.
Popular literature indicates that Millennials have an affinity for CITs and computer mediated communication CMC ; they see work in flexible terms especially where and when work is done ; and they desire flexible work schedules to accommodate their desire for work-life balance Randstad Work Solutions ; SHRM, ; Simmons These attitudes and aptitudes should make virtual organizing and telework attractive to Millennials.
At the same time, Millennials desire high levels of supportive supervision and structure at work Ondeckboth of which may be difficult to obtain in geographically distributed and technologically mediated settings. As globalization and the prevalence of virtual organizations increase StohlMillennials are especially likely to take advantage and extend the use of CITs, and CMC specifically, to interact with other organizational members, customers, and suppliers.
Despite these potential outcomes, when social cues are reduced, messages can be distorted or less clear Schulman CMC also does not eliminate all social and normative restraints Postmes et al. Amantp. Since there are important differences in values and attitudes between generations Smola and Suttonmany of which have been detailed in our discussion thus far, it is possible that CMC may intensify some generational differences.
Future research should explore under what circumstances this happens, since the amplification of generational differences through CMC could be a significant problem for organizations as CMC becomes increasingly prevalent in the workplace. Uncertainty is inherent in the diffusion and implementation of technologies in organizations, and organizational members typically look to reduce their uncertainties about these processes by consulting with influential others, or lead users Rogers This is a role in which Millennials may proffer significant contributions to their organizations and coworkers.
In effect, Millennials could become resident experts concerning CITs, offering their more senior coworkers opinions about what works, what can work, and how the organization can utilize CITs to improve operations and marketing. It is unclear to what extent older employees perceive Millennials as lead users of CITs in the workplace, and to what extent Millennials are able to advise, even mentor, older employees about CIT uses—prior to and during CIT implementation processes.
Such interactions have the potential to influence intergenerational relations and the communicative attitudes and behaviors of organizational members McCann and Giles They may become aware of the limitations of CITs, such as reduced social cues in mediated communication which can negatively affect outcomes Daft and Lengel Older cohorts, specifically Boomers and older generations, still make up the majority of workers.
Millennials may discover that newer technology is not always the most efficient, nor the best media for developing and maintaining workplace relationships compared with face-to-face interactions with coworkers and customers. Empirical research demonstrates that these efforts have produced a generational cohort that is high on self-efficacy and is unusually self-assured Twenge ; Twenge and Campbell George adds that these efforts to instill self-esteem coincided with a consumer shift in the marketplace toward a focus on the individual.
Marketers targeted young people more intensely than ever before, riding the self-esteem movement to offer these youth products ranging from cell phones and iPods with personalized accessories, to designer fashions complete with designer price tags. Save for the dot-com bust, many Millennials have lived in times of relative prosperity and economic expansion Marston —until the global recession that began in What remains to be seen is whether years of protection and nurturing by well-meaning parents have left Millennials unable to cope with economic hardship, and whether coming of age during the current economic recession will affect them and their expectations as they enter the workplace.
Will it make them grateful for a job, thus causing them to develop a stronger work ethic to retain it? Will they feel the need to work harder in order to excel in a more competitive economy? Or, will it have the opposite effects? Will the uncertainty related to their jobs cause them to be even less committed to their organizations and less hard working? Management experts note that, while money is important, Millennials do not see money as their only source of happiness. Like Generation X workers, they feel rewarded by work arrangements that offer them more flexibility and new technology Martin However, empirical studies indicate that, more like Boomers, Millennials thrive on recognition and promotions, but they also expect to become involved in projects that have a major impact on the organization, soon after their organizational entry Bosco and Bianco ; Gursoy et al.
In addition, many Millennials are using this time of fewer jobs for added career exploration, such as assuming internships that offer opportunities to dabble in various career options.
How to Create Productive Partnerships With Universities
Another path for many Millennials who are not yet driven by pressure to support themselves or families is to treat the first years beyond their graduation from college as a time to extend their education with advanced degrees.
Some Millennials view their early adulthood as a time to make a difference in the world and in their community. If the right job is not available, many are volunteering for organizations such as the Peace Corps or AmeriCorps Jacobson ; Stone Indeed, while the number of volunteers in the U.
Some Millennials appear to be content to volunteer, or work in low-paying jobs, as long as they can continue to live with their parents, or as long as their parents are able to subsidize their standard of living Alsop What remains to be seen is whether these values will change over time as Millennials marry, have children of their own, and when, or if, the wellspring represented by their parents dries up.
First, as a result of these experiences, Millennials may develop greater awareness of the world around them. During these experiences they are likely to have had exposure to cultural diversity, to have developed greater empathy for lower socioeconomic populations, and to become advocates for pressing societal issues Pew Research Center When Millennials eventually enter organizations, as a result of these experiences they are likely to arrive with a wealth of experiences that may serve them well in their organizational roles.
They may be more accepting of people from diverse ethnicities and backgrounds, and potentially more comfortable and more skilled in interacting with them. Second, as a result of the alternatives to full-time employment and especially internships, they probably will be more aware of career paths and options when they do enter organizations as full-fledged employees. The result could be that Millennials carefully select the career and job that will most please them now and in the long run.
Task-oriented and relationship-oriented leadership
Although this may sound like a contradiction—that Millennials are willing to volunteer their services and they feel rewarded by recognition—it is not.
Millennials want to be valued either as volunteers or in their work. They have relied on financial freedoms and material goods provided by their parents, but eventually will require salaries to maintain their high standards of living Pew Research Center Thus, many parents of Millennials mostly Boomers are preparing their children for financially rewarding career paths.
In particular, many parents place pressure on Millennials to succeed Howe and Strauss Some empirical sources indicate that these parents have high standards for their Millennial children, insisting they take advanced college prep classes, helping them to prepare for college placement exams, and encouraging them to apply to prestigious colleges Luthar and Becker Many parents continue their close supervision and pressure as their children enter the job market.
For instance, employers cite increasing parental involvement during job recruitment Gardner As previously mentioned, Millennials are eager to develop close relationships with their supervisors whom many consider to be their workplace parents, according to the popular literature Alsop Particularly high leverage ratios can be achieved if projects are pursued in consortia with other firms from the same sector. An additional potential advantage of open programs is a drastic reduction in transaction costs arising from lengthy negotiations with universities.
We would like the universities to open up again. Open programs sometimes pitch academic scientists against their own universities if the latter focus on capturing returns from intellectual property while the scientists would rather proceed with their research. Open, long-term grand challenges need to be carefully governed. Some successful initiatives were built with special-purpose vehicles to take on both strategy and day-to-day management.
When GlaxoSmithKline helped start the Structural Genomics Consortium, the partners set up the consortium as an independent entity — a not-for-profit company headquartered in Toronto, governed by a board of directors composed of members of the participating pharmaceutical companies and other funders, including the Wellcome Trust.
Aled Edwards, a life sciences professor who is also the founder of a biotech company and hence commanded respect in both the academic and commercial realms, was recruited as CEO. Led by a CEO with a wide-ranging mandate, special-purpose vehicles can be an effective way to overcome the paralysis that often afflicts bilateral or multilateral committees.
Large sponsored programs are sometimes perceived by academics as just another resource pool for pursuing their narrowly defined pet projects.
Therefore, company sponsors not only need to be present at a strategic level but also need to be involved on a technical level.
Successful programs often have a two-level governance structure, with a high-level board setting the general direction and a technical or scientific committee defining individual project objectives and monitoring them on an ongoing basis.
Company sponsors should be involved in both these bodies. An additional benefit of being closely involved on a technical level is being better able to absorb the outcomes of the research. Each program is also staffed with up to four Intel researchers in residence who collaborate on a technical level. Moreover, large, open collaborations do not preclude the launch of more specific point projects that can follow other models, if necessary.
Even when an initiative is open, companies need to be careful that proprietary information is not released into the public domain. Extended Workbench University researchers can be particularly capable partners for non-routine problems because they have access to the brainpower of highly specialized research groups and bring a different perspective than that in corporate environments. They usually are also less vested in commercial interests compared to suppliers, vendors and consultants, who may have their preferred solutions to problems.
Task-oriented and relationship-oriented leadership - Wikipedia
For example, an international engine manufacturer we studied experienced some unexpected problems with an innovative prototype engine. The engine performed wonderfully in most aspects, but occasionally it blew up. For the company, this was a burning short-term problem that required highly developed analytical capabilities.The psychology of self-motivation - Scott Geller - TEDxVirginiaTech
The university researchers took on the challenge and were able to find the underlying reason within six weeks. Managers need to overcome two concerns to create successful short-term, protected collaborations with universities.
For academics, such projects are often relatively unattractive. They provide little or no opportunity for publication and force them to shift their work from their research efforts toward short-term goals. From their point of view, the opportunity cost can be high.
In addition, these projects are usually highly confidential, and the business needs to protect the problem and the solution. The trick is to make these projects more attractive to academics by making them part of a longer-term relationship. Short-term, confidential arrangements are often best pursued when a wider collaboration is already in place. This changed when he started a company-wide university partnership program that weeded out nonproductive relationships and put the successful ones on a stronger footing.
Relationships forged on the anvil of a pressing problem may generate the trust to enable richer and deeper future research collaborations. Academics may also find that such projects provide a stimulus to their own research questions, framing an interesting problem for them to later investigate with greater theoretical and empirical precision.
The benefit of these types of projects for companies is that they can set objectives for collaboration and expect delivery on these objectives as they would from a commercial organization.
Such projects allow companies to quickly expand their existing stock of expertise and skills and produce tangible outcomes, focused around a live problem or issue in the company. They also allow the business to keep the nature and solution to its problems confidential, excluding others from the potential solution.
Nondisclosure agreements, embedded in a trusted relationship, are usually sufficient to maintain confidentiality. Some companies have developed a university engagement database, similar to a customer relationship management database, to track, assess and value different university contacts. Businesses may want to put selected academics on consulting retainers so that they are well positioned to attend to problems as they emerge rather than arriving after the problem has already taken hold.
While it is important to seek out and maintain relationships with individual academics, they are bound by university policies, and it is a good idea to ensure that all activities are aligned with the relevant outreach entity.
For instance, many universities have consultancy service offices that are experienced in drawing up contracts and offer professional indemnity insurance coverage.
For larger projects, most universities have business partnership units or industry liaison programs that take care of the contractual and administrative side of collaborations, help recruit sponsors and liaise with academics and departments, acting as a centralized point of contact for the university and its industrial partners.
These outreach offices have helped to professionalize the nature of university engagement with companies, often facilitating and catalyzing connections.
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In many cases, such activities are pursued from within the technology transfer offices 18 that will also be responsible for dealing with any intellectual property arising from their projects. Universities can also be overly optimistic about the value of the intellectual property that may arise from the collaboration, even though only a minority of collaborative university-industry projects results in patentable output.
One approach that can help avoid protracted negotiations is to invest in framework agreements with key university partners. These agreements offer a set of model contracts and a rapid-fire system for launching contract research agreements.
To address a related challenge, Intel has recently been working with a nonprofit entity called University-Industry Research Corp. This allows the company to provide a more scalable approach to adding new sponsors and universities to its large institutes, while enforcing a consistent governance model and avoiding an undue administrative burden for its partner universities.
Deep Exploration Long-term, deep and protected collaborations with universities enable companies to not only create new knowledge, but also to gain competitive advantage from the outputs of these research efforts. Such efforts usually involve major investments in labs or centers, where the industrial sponsor has the right of first refusal to an exclusive license to patentable ideas emerging from the lab.
This approach allows the researchers to do the long-term work they do best, and the company to preempt its competitors from accessing the downstream application of these ideas. The Rolls-Royce University Technology Centres allow Rolls-Royce to maintain centers of excellence that are more resourceful and specialized than it would be able to justify internally.