Differences in expat generations: Fact or fiction?

The existence of generational differences with regard to various aspects of life has been debated for many years. Likewise, in terms of the workforce, it has been common to distinguish between Traditionalists, Baby Boomers, Generation X and Generation Y. Based on the impact of significant life events and specific world cultural and social changes, it is argued that there are generational differences in the work values, attitudes and beliefs of employees. However, others are less convinced of creating such generation-related distinctions, and contend that employees across generations resemble each other in what they want from their jobs (see e.g. Jurkiewicz & Brown, 1998; Yang & Guy, 2006).

Relating this discussion to the expatriate population, it is interesting to consider whether there are significant differences across expat generations. What do you think?


Further reading:

Jurkiewicz, C. E., & Brown, R.G. (1998). GenXers vs. boomers vs. matures: Generational comparisons of public employee motivation. Review of Public Personnel Administration, 18, 18–37.

Yang. S. M., & Guy, M. E. (2006). GenXers versus boomers: Work motivators and management implications. Public Performance & Management Review, 29, 267–284.

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