Generational Differences and their Impacts on Tech Companies Microsoft and Apple
GenerationalDifferences and their Impacts on Tech Companies Microsoft and Apple
Problem Statement 2
Research Objectives 3
Research Strategy 3
Significance of the Study 3
Population of the Study 4
Sources of Data Collection 4
Primary Sources 4
Secondary Sources 5
Data Analysis and Presentation 5
Limitations of the Methodology Process 6
Understanding the Generations 7
The Veterans/ Silent Generation 7
Baby Boomers 8
Generation X 8
The Millennials 9
Generational Difference at Microsoft and Apple 9
Generational Differences and Team Work 9
Generational Differences and Products 10
Generational Differences and Marketing and Sales 10
Generational Differences and Change 11
Generational Differences and Decision-Making 11
Generational Differences and Challenges 12
Thegenerational difference has been a major discussion for mostorganizations around the globe. The inclusion of individuals from allthe four generations has become a target for both producers andmarketers to ensure that everybody is represented in every step ofthe way. The research analyzed the trends and generational differenceat both Microsoft and Apple Companies. Generational difference is ahuge investment in both entities because of the benefits the firmsenjoy. The elderly and the young have different characteristics andbeliefs that contribute towards the betterment and success of theinstitutions. The common response was that the young are risk takerswhile the veterans are conservative leading to balance in operations.Interviews and surveys offered the necessary information that led tothe analyses, discussions, and conclusions depicted in this report.The involvement of all generations proved to have certain challenges,but the benefits outplayed the risks. The biggest impact ofgenerational difference is progress, balance, and understanding themarkets.
Changeis one of the most complex things that humanity has to deal with inthe modern day world. Researchers and philosophers have confirmedthat people prefer staying in their comfort zones and maintainingstatus quo because people are lazy by nature. They would not like toincorporate new things that would call for more involvement inupdating the information they already have. Nevertheless, humans candelay transformations, but they are inevitable. Change is acompulsory part of the society especially when it is fast growinglike the modern world. The workplace has immensely transformed overthe past half a century. The 1945 regime have a different approach toaffairs compared to the newly graduating individuals who are absorbedby different sectors of the economy (Schullery, 2013). Someresearchers have dealt with the suggestion of having members of agiven generation together to help avoid conflicts and frictions.However, these groups must work together to help achieve societal andorganizational goals. The four generations have to work together inthe same environment in improving the globe. The concern is thecontribution of each towards the development of the firms andindustries. The impact of having multiple groups to the wellbeing oforganizations has become a key topic of discussion in the workingenvironment of the modern day world (Schullery, 2013). The purpose ofthis research is to assess the contribution and development ofgenerational change to two of the world’s greatest technologycompanies, Apple and Microsoft. The research is organized intovarious parts with well-discussed facts to help provide a deeperinsight into generational transformation through the two companies.The data collection methods and analysis procedures are a fundamentalpart of the project with a conclusive part analyzing all the findingsand recommendations for future organizations and progress in the workenvironment.
Mostwork environments around the globe have employees from differentgenerations. In most cases, the established corporations usually haveelderly individuals, aged between fifty to sixty years, in themanagement positions coordinating affairs with the youngerindividuals yet everything run smoothly. Many technological andoperational changes have occurred in the past, yet the leadingcompanies have maintained their spots on the global map. Most peopletend to assume that the big names get the work done without adheringto the contribution of the generational transformations in theinstitutions (Schwalbe, 2015) . Microsoft introduces new versions ofthe windows software regularly while Apple has been keen on upgradingthe iPhone to keep the customers satisfied. Certain advancements inthe new market have ensured that these companies retain their globalstatus. Little acknowledgment and appreciation go to generationaltransformation regarding the improvements. Individuals ought to startfocusing on the source of the changes because generationaldifferences receive minimal attention when it is the reason behindthe advancements that the globe experiences and enjoys today.
Theresearch seeks to establish the coexistence of different generationsin the work environment and how they work together towards achievingorganizational set goals. The approach employees use to handledisagreements and difference in opinions to ensure that the workplaceis a peaceful and fruitful platform.
Anorganizational difference case study of one of the global greateststartup companies, Apple, and the most established and powerfulsoftware entity Microsoft and a reflection of their operations inunderstanding the global influence of different generations in thecountless entities that have become successful and kept up with thechanges.
Generationaldifferences are the reasons behind the multi-billion globalbusinesses, Microsoft and Apple, in product development andarchitecture to hold all their customers together. Marketing andsales have also immensely improved because of the differentideologies and tactics that these groups present to help blend in thechanging environment and keep up with the transformations.
Theexclusive report entails the incorporation of various parts that wereapproved by the supervisor. The information is a combination ofprevious research and new findings towards understanding the detailsof generational changes in major technology institutions. Additionaldata from interviews and secondary sources help to understand detailsabout key aspects that make the entities unique from theircounterparts and maintain their sales and profits above a billiondollars.
Significanceof the Study
Employment,development, and competition are a major part of every institutionand business around the globe. Most people have a different approachto the incorporation of given age groups in their workingenvironment. The study aims at explaining to the employers andemployees the importance of diversity towards being a global figure.It analyzes the need and danger of having different people under oneroof. Nevertheless, it opens up different individuals’ minds andinstills the necessary knowledge to blend in the ever-changing workenvironment.
Theemployees and job seekers will understand the essence of theexistence of earlier generations in any workplace and learn on thebest way to approach such people and coexist with them. It is onlyafter understanding their importance and their role towards thewellbeing and success of various entities that the youngergenerations will start adhering to the instructions and guidance ofsuch people. Information is key in restricting individuals and thesociety. The findings of the research entailed in this report willeducate people and offer a common ground for operations for all theconcerned stakeholders in any workplaces.
Employerswill equally benefit by understanding the need to have differentindividuals from varying generations. They will also understand howto treat and handle different people so that peace prevails andrespect is at its top to enable proper and effective operations.Moreover, they will learn that every individual from whichevergeneration has a big part to play at work and undermining any one ofthem irrespective of age may be a big blow to operations andorganizational stability and success.
Thefindings of the research may be convincing and a stepping-stone forchange for many institutions because of the choice of environments tohelp offer an enhanced picture that will enable mid-size and othergrowing entities to appreciate the role of generational differencesand use it towards realizing an improved approach to operations inproduction, marketing, and sales.
Thestudy took a deep and structured approach to collecting necessaryinformation as a way of ensuring that no information remainsuncovered. The populations of the study, as well as the samplingstrategies to minimize biases, were a key part in extractingnecessary data from the concerned stakeholders. Every decision was aplanned one with clear guidelines to ensure that the projectedlimitations and failures are all mitigated to ensure that the resultsare positive and as accurate as possible.
Populationof the Study
BothMicrosoft and Apple have many employees around the globe. The hugenumbers at Silicon Valley are just a minute representation of abigger population that make the companies a success. Random samplingwas the best strategy and a fundamental one in identifyinginterviewees from various age groups to communicate the strengths andchallenges of generational differences in the institutions. Limitedtime and resources pushed the groups conducting the research toincorporate minimal numbers to enhance the study process.Nevertheless, the choice of participants was random without any favoror bias. Although it is impossible to win a respondent trust and havethem communicate the truth, anonymity in handling the study proved togive the interviewees courage to communicate to the interviewers.Moreover, the interviews offered the correspondents the freedom todecline to answer some of the questions they felt were inappropriate,or the ones that put them in tight positions. The interviewersoffered an open platform to enable the employees to feel free havingbeen informed that the purpose of the exercise was not to victimizeanyone but make the work environment better and accommodative forall.
Sourcesof Data Collection
Bothprimary and secondary data sources contributed immensely towards thedevelopment of this paper. The documented research within thecompanies, as well as previous interviews, were essential inestablishing the changes that have occurred in the institutions inthe past and the connection to the present and how they may influencethe future. It turned out that many other researchers have also hadan interest in understanding the continued prosperity of thetechnological giants. The great interest in understanding thedevelopments by different individuals have led to multiple resourcesthat are essential in understanding the trends. The informationhelped in commencing and continuing the research because there wasalready a foundation for the establishment.
Interviewsand surveys were the key sources of data collection for theacquisition of the necessary data to understand generationaldifferences in the workplace. The companies were quite cooperative inallowing the interviewers to interact with the employees. Moreover,the access to individuals in managerial positions was quite easy, andthat was a major positive for the research. Individuals in themanagement positions for companies like Microsoft are always busy anddifficult to reach, but the research process had a breakthrough inaccessing the necessary information to find the underlying causes ofthe matter at hand.
Directcontact with the employees offered a platform to access a lot ofinformation regarding generational discrepancies. The mood, attitude,and the response of the stakeholders were key in gauging the accuracyand honesty of the information. It enabled the interviewers to createan enabling environment and win both the trust and confidence of theworkers. Nevertheless, it was quite clear that most of the workerswere quite cautious and reluctant to answer some of the questions.Nevertheless, the procedure was a success, and most of theinformation from a similar generation checked out in most of thecases.
Ageneral survey of the work environment was a key part of the datacollection process. All the generations worked under the same roof.Despite the claims of their involvement in operations, it wasnecessary to observe the interaction of various groups and use thefirst-hand information as a verification of the data from theinterview. Despite the tendency to behave differently or pretend inthe presence of outsiders, it was difficult to identify theresearchers and distinguish them from the employees. The big numbersof workers at both Microsoft and Apple made a disguise and blendinginto the environments quite easy making the data collection efficientand a true reflection of the actual operations in the institutions.
Documentedjournals and articles from both within the organizations and otherlibraries were key in accumulating the necessary data for thesuccessful execution of the research. It turns out that theseentities are concerned with managing and controlling their employees.They conduct regular researches and surveys to access the operationsof their workers as well as make necessary adjustments to ensure thatthey remain profitable with minimal friction from different parts ofthe organization. The frequent studies were essential in establishingtrends over the past and understanding the present as well asprojecting the future.
Thestructure of the secondary surveys for the two corporations was quiteunique and one of a kind. In both institutions, there were parallelstudies by companies or individuals who were not aware of theexistence of each other. The employers explained that it was the onlyway to ensure that the studies were never compromised in any possibleway. For instance, in 2013, Microsoft had five parallel studiesconducted by five reputational companies that were never aware of theexistence of each other throughout the process. Moreover, Apple’shuman resource manager argued that the possibility of differentsurveyors getting in touch with the same individuals were minimalowing to the huge number of employees in the corporations. Everyinformation that the research and surveys offered were as accurate aspossible to the knowledge of the survey departments in bothorganizations.
DataAnalysis and Presentation
MicrosoftExcel 2016 was a key tool in the quantitative analysis of theinformation from the field. The researcher first coded every detailfrom the field and analyzed them without the involvement of anysoftware to preempt the reality of the information, and get rid ofany outrageous or over exaggerated statistics before the finalcomputations. Despite the keen analysis, humans always make mistakes,and the initial stages ensured that no outrageous figures found theirway into the final bracket for processing as that would compromisethe entire process. All the descriptive aspects of the informationwere presented via the use of tables and figures to enable theconsumers of the report to establish clear relationships betweenvarying aspects of the study.
Limitationsof the Methodology Process
First,the population that helped with the interviewing was randomlyselected without any adherence to their physical, emotional, andattitude states at the time of the interview. Moreover, the matterunder investigation was quite delicate, and some of the responses mayhave been a result of horrifying experience and hence not areflection of the reality. The limited number of interviewees maylimit the degree of vetting the data and eliminating some. Fear ofmistreatment by other employees and the elderly in the workenvironment proved to be a major concern for the younger generations.Despite the struggle to ensure that everything was in order, keylimitations were in the path of the success of the proceedings.
Mostestablished institutions are always cautious regarding communicationto the outside world. They prefer keeping their internal operationsprivate, and that was evident at both Microsoft and Apple. In mostoccasions, almost every employee declined the responses from certainquestions. However, the earlier generations talked a little about theissues and emphasized that the research could not get any informationon certain aspects. The managers and other elderly individualsfurther emphasized that limited access to certain data was toguarantee safety and not compromise the outcome of the study.
Allthe four generations were present at both Microsoft and Apple, andthey played a great role in running affairs in the various companies.The veterans / silent generation members occupied most managerialpositions. The experience was a key requirement in offering thehigher positions because the owners of the companies believed thatthey needed people who can contain others irrespective of theirsmartness and contributions towards the betterment of the businessand expansion of sales. Most programmers and designers in thecompanies were from the modern generations. At Apple, for instance,96% of the programmers were either Millennials or from generation Y.In the course of the surveys, the workers coordinated affairs andintegrated issues to ensure proper functionalityoperations(techspa,2014).
GenerationX and Y members were the most active in the companies and weredifficult to contain. The companies hire the best programmers and thebest brains the world has to offer. Most of the employees were eitherhackers or exquisite at what they do. From the interviews, mostmanagers attested to the fact that the business would not befunctional with the individuals. They had the most lucrative ideasand modern approach to handling technological affairs. Nevertheless,they could not function properly without the input of the oldergenerations. Most managers believed that the programmers felt proudand did not listen to any guidance and instructions from the veteransbecause they thought they had little to offer.
Mostprojects and advanced features that have entered the market were theresults of the relentless effort of the younger generations. They aremore aggressive and interact with the world at different levels.Moreover, they understood the youths in the society and previsualizedthe changes they needed to better their lives. Upon the completion ofthe research, the veterans and baby boomers had to analyze thepresentations and authenticate the work before converting it from aconcept into a reality.
70%of disagreements in the corporations resulted from misunderstandingsthat accrued from generational discrepancies. The veterans believedthat they were more experienced in handling corporate issues. At thevery time, the younger generations believed that many opportunitieswere going to waste because of laxity to implement potentialprojects.
90%of the younger generation employees in both companies felt that theveterans were stalling progress. On the contrary, the latter believedthat the former were the reasons for the advancements and progressthat the company enjoyed for a long time. The veterans had no majorissues with the younger employees.
Allgenerations agreed that the corporations would not operate withoutany part of the four groups. They believed that despite thedifficulties, they needed each other to function. In the course ofthe interviews, every respondent highlighted that despite thedifficulty in operating with some individuals, they all played animportant role in ensuring that everything went on smoothly.
Allthe generations had an equal contribution, of about 25%, to everyoperation in both corporations. Everything from production to salesand marketing depended on the expertise of the generations because ofthe knowledge of the market and the changing trends over the years.Every interviewee presented cases when they had received help frommembers of other generations to help save the day.
Theveterans spent most of their time in containing the youngerindividuals because they needed them every step of the way. Thelatter tried to operate within instructions and sometimes violatedthe prevailing conditions. Sometimes the operations that were aviolation of the corporations’ rules led to the development of newsystems that improved the profits of the entities. The veterans didnot consider a violation of the law as part of societal values, andthat has been a plus for the corporations in employing the servicesof the generations X and Y. Nevertheless, the interview processproved that in some cases a violation of the laws cost thecorporations fortunes.
Agreat percentage of employees in both corporations were fromgenerations X and Y. 70% were from the younger generations with only30% from the baby boomers and veterans category. The same trend wasevident in various departments. Production, sales, and marketingemployed the trend with younger individuals than the elderly group.
Diversityhas been an important part of social, economic, and politicalestablishments around the globe. In the course of the research,generational diversity proved an important part in the development ofboth Apple and Microsoft corporations. Decision-making, research anddevelopment, and sales and marketing were all integrated intooperations. Each generation had its unicity and contributions to theoverall success of the corporations. Eliminating any one of themwould create a void that would make the institutions vulnerable andexpose them to failure. The managements were open to outline andbreak down the contribution of each group to the operations invarious sectors. The four generations of concerns were the veterans,baby boomers, generation X, and the millennials.
Understandingvarious generations is key to comprehending their role andcontributions to the modern day industry. First, the people under thesame roof today consist of individuals that had the telephone and atypewriter as the only equipment and others that have never lived aday in their lives without accessing the internet and engaging thecomputer. A deep understanding of such individuals is necessary toenhance their handling and ensure that they can coexist and workeffectively without any prejudice. The proceeding discussion handlesthe various generations and their relation to improving the twotechnology companies under study.
TheVeterans/ Silent Generation
Theseare individuals born before 1945. These are the most experiencedpeople in any work environment. They witnessed the establishment ofany company and watched them grow along the way. They are conversantwith all the mistakes and changes that such institutions have made inthe past and make all their decisions based on things they have seenwork and fail to better the present. They value loyalty andtraditional structures. They never oppose hierarchies and followinstructions to the letter (Becton, Walker, & Jones‐Farmer,2014). Economic frugality is a key characteristic of theseindividuals. They will hold back, and stall processes that theysuspect may cost institutions resources or lead to losses. Most ofthem are at the managerial level to ensure that all projects areunder control and those decision-making processes are not shoddy(Schwalbe, 2015). Both Apple and Microsoft have these individuals aseither advisors or employees to handle the sensitive aspect ofoperations (Ton, 2014).
Theseare individuals born between 1946 and 1964. They are a great part ofthe labor markets around the globe and are approximately 80 millionin the United States alone (gursoy,2013). These are the optimisticand idealistic individuals in the society (Shi, Fernandes, &Chumnumpan, 2014). They have a reputation for accepting andchallenging the authorities depending on the nature of the situationat hand. They are open to ideas and give anything consideration andare more flexible compared to the veterans. They are risk takers andalways analyze situations before reaching a verdict. They are drivenby results and are always working towards becoming established andretaining their job for as long as possible eying promotions andchange in the institutions. Most of them occupied senior positions atboth Apple and Microsoft and were the reasons behind various projectsand changes that made the institutions successful.
Theadvantage of having baby boomers in any work environment is that theyare competitive and keep a great focus on personal accomplishments.They work longer than the predefined hours and never have a problemwith it. They are obsessed with having things in line and being thechange that they want to witness in the globe (Sull, Homkes, &Sull, 2015). They get carried away by the need to achieve and bringchange, and that has been a big advantage and merit for the companiesthey work for because, in the end, their efforts transform to profitsand immense incomes. Moreover, they are experienced and neverhesitate to involve teams should need arise. Their characteristicsare in between those of veterans and generations X and Y. They havean extensive network around the country and the globe and neverhesitate to consult with individuals from different companies, andthat makes their work easier and manageable. The baby boomers willalways get the job done. It may take long, but in the end, theyalways deliver, either as a group or at individual levels.
Theseindividuals have some problems that every employer must acknowledgeto help understand them while incorporating their services. Thesepeople never like sharing praises and rewards when they believe thatpersonal input that got things in order. They are always obsessedwith achievement, and that may compromise the bigger good for theentity concerned (Thomas, 2014). It is the responsibility of themanagement to ensure that these people are under control. The babyboomers may forego their families to ensure that a project sailsthrough so that they get the acknowledgment and praise. Mostinstitutions tend to benefit from these people because in the endthey develop and offer their consumers what they need the most.
Thisgroup consists of individuals born between 1965 and 1980. Most ofthese people are skeptical about everything in life and individualismis a big part of their operations. They are sleek with computers andtechnology and are always open to new ideas and change (Lain &Loretto, 2016). The saying that time is money is not a mere statementfor the members of this group. They value time and give it moreattention than relationships. Despite their determination to make achange, these individuals advocate for work/ life balance. They arethe best at whatever they do and the most creative in any workenvironment. They grew up with technology, and video games and thoseopened them to ideas and complex ways of thinking to meet certainsocietal demands. They have carried that on to the modern world andtheir work environment. Research has established that these are themost difficult people to work with. They perceive the worlddifferently and always have reasons to demand a cut in anything theydo. When the moment calls for change and unicity, the generation Xerswill always offer it. Moreover, when working with this group,punctuality is never a concern as they always deliver when it mattersthe most.
Themembers of generation X will always have problems with theauthorities (Oh & Reeves, 2014). Whereas most people are in thework environment to earn a living, most of these individuals alwaysengage in what they love and enjoy doing. Most of them tend to havefun at the workplace because to them it is never all about money butachieving bigger goals by doing something they enjoy and offeringdifferent approaches to handling routine duties. Their levels ofcreativity always push them to be independent (Nichols, 2015). Theydo not care about being first but rather being the best at whateverthey do. They may not follow all the rules and instructions to theletter, but they are always loyal and dedicated to both their workand the individuals in their teams. Challenging status quo is a bigpart of their lifestyles. They advocate for things to be donedifferently. Most of them do not approve of the prevailing trendsclaiming that they are too old and the reasons behind failure andslow development in most institutions. They work at best when giventhe freedom. However, their superiors must be keen on monitoringtheir activities because they tend to be overambitious and may causemajor damage given a chance to operate on absolute freedom.
Theseare the best individuals to employ. They are obsessed with technologyand never have time for appreciating relationships. According to mostmembers of this group, technology and work are all that matters. Theynever have time to incorporate humans in their endeavors, and evenwhen they do, it is always a discussion towards solving an existingproblem at work with their projects or sections of codes that arecausing them sleepless nights. Like their generation X counterparts,they are independent and have the greatest dedication to instantgratification (Rokka, Karlsson, & Tienari, 2014). These areindividuals new to the workplace, and most managements tend toglorify them because they have a reputation for overhauling andreinventing the workplace. They never settle for status quo and willalways do everything possible to have change in place. They areoptimistic and can multitask, and that make them the ideal group fora technological environment. Moreover, they have witnessed the pastand modern technologies. They are hence in a better position toprevisualize the future and develop concepts for implementation.Their optimism and determination have led to the introduction of newproducts at both Microsoft and Apple leading to the continuedprosperity.
Mostpsychologists and researchers have argued that despite the greatcontribution of these individuals to work environments, theirsupervision is non-negotiable. They like to test anything they feelcan work out and that may lead to more destruction than development.Nevertheless, smart employers never restrict their activities andallow room for their mischief. Some of their fun moments may lead tothe betterment of products that may attract greater markets hencecontinued production and development for the concerned entities.
GenerationalDifference at Microsoft and AppleGenerationalDifferences and Team Work
Generationaldifferences have been a key reason for the development of teamwork inmost technological companies. At Apple, most young people feelobliged to work with the older generations. Despite being fresh andup to date with the latest challenges, the generations X individualsnever know when their endeavors are at their best (Berkup, 2014).From time to time, they seek approval from the experiencedcounterparts. The latter may not have the detailed knowledgeregarding the situation at hand. Nevertheless, they know a littleabout everything, and that has been key in inspiring the youngemployees to remain humble and work in unison. Sometimes teamworkfaces major challenges because most individuals in the latestgenerations prefer having all the credit for themselves (Perry,Golom, & McCarthy, 2015). Sometimes the help they get, despitebeing verbal, help them to change their perception of individualismand start appreciating working together because of the merits accruedfrom the exercise. If every worker at Microsoft or Apple was of asingle generation, that would hamper both teamwork and development.Individuals from the older generations are quite skeptical and feartaking risks. Those are characteristics that the younger generationsnever have, and that is the reason most employers want them on boardto help push for developments. On the other hand, having youngergenerations only would push for everyone striving for individualglory as opposed to organizational success. Without teams, workenvironments would be disastrous.
GenerationalDifferences and Products
Generationaldifferences have been key in enhancing product quality andfunctionality at both Microsoft and Apple without succumbing theentities to losses. The older generations have been keen on ensuringthe companies do not spend too much to affect them negativelyeconomically whereas the younger generations have been keen toimprove customer experience. The research revealed that mostprogrammers and product architecture are from the generations X, Y.Programming is a key part of both companies, and the oldergenerations may not be up to date with the changes that have takenplace recently. Nevertheless, they know what it takes to satisfycustomers without making losses. The groups have to work together toensure that everything is smooth and organizational objectives areachieved.
Thegreatest impact of organizational differences for technologycompanies is continuity and keeping up with transformations.Moreover, the young generations make up the biggest part of thepotential market ((Gursoy, Chi, & Karadag, 2013). Involvingmembers from that category in the production process will enable thecompany to offer products that such individuals identify with.Microsoft has been busy recruiting young individuals from around theglobe and organizing expos in major institutions around the globe toenable it to have some of the brightest and best minds to help themwith production (Chao et al. 2017). Bill Gates highlighted in one ofthe technology conferences that the young people have so muchpotential and research into their lifestyles is not enough. The oldergenerations should give them the space to do what they are best atwhile coaching and guiding them accordingly.
GenerationalDifferences and Marketing and Sales
Theyounger generations are quite influential in sales and marketing forthe technological companies. The data from Microsoft and Appleindicated that 97% of the marketers, both on the ground and on theinternet, were below 48 years old. These individuals are active andvibrant. Moreover, the need for personal glory is a pushing factorfor them to work relentlessly and surpass the organizational setstandards. They never give up, and when the available avenues are noteffective, they improvise new avenues to expand sales and ensure thatthey meet their targets.
Mostorganizations have settled for research regarding the consumptionpatterns of the youth and incorporated the outcomes of suchinvestments in their sales (Chao et al. 2017). It is quite difficultto manage the younger individuals, and most entities invest inresearch and use the old guards to help execute the plans. However,it is not the same thing to have the individuals as part of thecompanies and to use research as an avenue to fill the existing gaps.
Generationaldifferences are important in capturing the market and knowing thedemands of every group. Each generation help in offering theinformation that may help boost sales and meet the demands andexpectations of such individuals. Sales and marketing are some of thegreatest impacts and benefits of having different age groups in techcorporations. Microsoft, for instance, indulged the young generationsto help with the development, marketing, and sale of the new gamingconsole, Xbox 1. As a result, the company managed to raise 200% morethan the target it had projected before the release (Engel, Lyons, &Pannese, 2017). The young people are effective, but only when theywork under the spotlight of the older generations to offer adviseswhenever necessary.
GenerationalDifferences and Change
Generationaldifferences help in enhancing and implementing changes towardsgearing the institutions to achieve the set objectives. It wasevident that the veterans at both Microsoft and Apple were quiteresistant to change. Although they could not admit it, the youngeremployees highlighted that as one of the obstacles limiting progressand development in the tech corporates. Humans are lazy by nature,and they prefer maintaining status quo. Most people tend to opposechange because it will force them to either attend classes or learnnew tactics, and that may be quite strenuous. The elderly employeesdo not like experimenting new things and are always contented withthe available structures (Lu & Gursoy, 2016). The youngindividuals, on the other hand, are often curious and enthusiastic tolearn and experiment new things. Although this has been a majorsource of conflict of interest among the employees, a small windowfor incorporating change into the institutions exists.
Modificationof the Microsoft’s operating system to involve mobile phones andacquire Nokia to be part of the corporation met certain rejection andobstacles from the veterans. However, the younger programmers feltthat they had enough time at their disposal and facilitated themodification of the Windows software and today millions ofindividuals around the globe are using the mobile phones operatingMicrosoft Windows. The same thing is also evident with the Microsoftgaming consoles. Apple has been busy improving the operating systemto enable the company’s devices to communicate with othermanufacturers’ gadgets to help motivate most people around theglobe to consider buying the product. The change is a result of theresearch that a team of generation X members conducted to help expandthe market for Apple products from the United States to incorporatethe rest of the world.
Theyoung generations never give up, and neither do they lose battlesinvolving supremacy of corporations. The urge to achieve and themotivation to change the world usually push them towards workingharder and making a difference. Whereas the veterans may be afraid ofchange because it is too involving, the vibrant individuals arealways willing to give up their personal lives to ensure that a newconcept becomes a reality. Companies like Microsoft, Apple, andGoogle know the benefit of the change in an industry that is everdynamic (Gursoy, Chi, & Karadag, 2013). For instance, aninterview with two product architectures from both Microsoft andApple outlined that the release of a new software or hardware isalways the beginning of the next big thing. Competition and demandfor advancements are what keep clients glued to the companies. Anyslight laxity may lead to a deviation and a fall in customer base.Generational differences have been the backbones of change in thetech companies.
GenerationalDifferences and Decision-Making
Theexistence of different age groups under the same roof is essentialfor decision-making for the entire market. Incorporating everybody inmajor decisions ensures that the needs and demands of the market arecatered for without any alienation (Alexander, Havercome, &Mujtaba, 2015). Moreover, the employees may reach common grounds andknow the things that they can compromise and the factors that must bepart of the production process. For instance, an interviewee from theApple Company explained that the managers agreed to make more than50% of the applications that were initially being sold to be free(McDowell, 2014). Some of the young individuals highlighted that thesale of applications was a major reason the teenagers preferred theandroid devices to the Apple phones. The decision witnessed anexponential increase in sales. Today, Apple is doing well regardingthe sale of the phones to the young generations. During thedevelopment of major plans, generational differences ensure thateveryone in the society is represented (Oldham & Da Silva, 2015).When the company releases the product, despite some features oraspects missing, everybody gets something unique attributed to theage group or social status. Sometimes the decision-making stagedetermines whether a project will be successful or not. BothMicrosoft and Apple have been quite keen on ensuring that they dotheir best to incorporate and represent every target customer in thecompanies’ development stages. The managements of both companiesconformed that the companies have enjoyed tremendous profits from theexercise.
GenerationalDifferences and Challenges
Thepreceding discussion highlights the strengths and importance ofgenerational differences in the technology corporations, Microsoftand Apple. Many advancements, sustainability, and progress in thecompanies result from the contribution of the four differentgenerations working together to ensure that the customers aresatisfied and the companies make reasonable profits. The benefitscome with major challenges. The generations may be effective inensuring that the multi-billion tech companies retain their positionin the global platform but the factor has many challenges asdiscussed below.
Generationalconflict is a major challenge of having individuals of different agegroups working together. These individuals think differently and havevarying priorities. Moreover, the plan that the veterans prefer maylead to the same place generation X is headed but still, the groupswill not agree on using the same path (Espinoza & Ukleja, 2016).Whereas the former work based on experience, the latter usuallybelieve in curiosity, taking risks, and trying new things. Ondifferent occasions, every group has made mistakes or led to abreakthrough. Whenever the individuals from generation X want to havetheir way, they refer to the instances when the veterans were wrongwhile they were right. The latter have a tendency of using the samestrategy to argue their case. The disagreements and need to appearsuperior lead to generational conflicts and those maim operations andstall progress (Lyons & Kuron, 2014). Sometimes the battles getworse, and the companies may lose important employees to ensurecontinued peace and sustainability.
Teamworkis another issue that is greatly threatened by multiple generationsunder the same roof. The veterans never have a problem with teamwork,colluding either with the younger individuals or with their elderlycounterparts. However, the same is not true for the vibrant andenthusiastic group. They care less about the organizationaldevelopment and are obsessed with the achievement of personal glory.The different paths of professional lives led by the two groups are amajor challenge to reaching consensus on many issues. For instance,Microsoft experienced major challenges with the employees indetermining the shape of their latest console (Sawhney et al. 2017).The veterans thought differently from the generation X, and neithergroup was willing to let go the line of thought that each groupthought was the best for the development of the gaming machine. Thedisagreement was never about facts, but ego in establishing who wasright and wrong. Quite often, members from the different generationswant to prove their might, and that is a major threat to togethernessand unity.
Exchangeof ideas is another challenge facing generational differences in thetechnology corporations. The individuals from generation X like doingthings on their own and that has always hampered their effortstowards changing the world. The general belief in technology is thathowever lucrative an idea is, one individual can always hold only onepart of the puzzle (Robson et al. 2016). The pride and unwillingnessof the younger employees to pass the information to other people hasbeen a major effect on improving products and customers experience.The veterans may not have issues regarding the sharing of major factsat work. However, working with individuals that operate individuallymaim success and continuity in major companies.
Generationaldifference is the way to ensure organizational prosperity.Nevertheless, institutions must be keen because many challenges comealong with the employment of young individuals. However, the greatergood surpasses the threats and institutions should not hesitate tohave workers from all four generations. Different age groups enhancethe decision-making process towards the design and implementation ofproducts that will satisfy everybody in the market (Costas &Karreman, 2013). The young individuals are risk takers who can makedifferences while the older generations can keep watch and monitoreverything. Microsoft owes the improvements in its gaming console toa generational difference. Apple must appreciate the input of theyoung employees in developing strategies to ensure that they captureteenagers as a big part of its mobile phones market. The greatestbenefit of having a mixture of generations is that it uniquelyinfluences ideas and offer an enabling environment for therepresentations of all people in the society making products andservices fit for everyone. Employers and investors are aware of this,and that is why most institutions are investing heavily inmaintaining generational balance. Microsoft and Apple have maintainedtheir shape in the global map because they never compromise ongenerational difference implementation and management.
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Figure1.00. The average age of employees in multimillion corporationscompared to those of Microsoft and Apple. Retrieved from:http://www.payscale.com/top-tech-employers-compared-2012/employee-demographics
How old are you?
How many young and old individuals do you work with?
What are the challenges of working with individuals of your age?
What are the benefits accrued from working with your age-mates?
What are the benefits and challenges of working with the elderly individuals?
What would you like changed to better your work in the company?
Do you have any additional concerns regarding the research?
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