Generational communication preferences and their effects on the sending and receiving of information in teams

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This research study presents results from the identification of personal generational communication preferences, generational communication preferences in the team setting, and satisfaction with the sending and receiving of information across generations in teams. With the growing presence of multiple generations in the work force, the literature surrounding communication preferences of each generations has grown; however, this is the first empirical study to look at generational communication preferences in the team setting. A research model was created using Team Variables and Communication Variables to process the Information Processing Variables to yield the output variables (1) Generational Team Communication Preference and (2) Satisfaction with Information processing. The population utilized for this study consisted of employees working within various corporations. Survey administration was utilized as the method for data collection and was completed by 371 participants. Of these participants, representation was seen by Baby Boomers, Generation X, and Generation Y. In order to analyze the respective data and test the hypotheses MANOVA’s, paired t-test, and linear regressions were employed.
Results suggest that there were no differences in personal communication preferences between different generations. However, within the team setting a relationship was seen between Generation Y and other generations. Generation Y was seen utilizing Face to Face to communicate with other Generation Y members more than Baby Boomers and Generation X. Results also indicate that participants did not to maintain their Affinity Personal Written Preference when Interacting with Baby Boomers, their Affinity Personal Electronic Preference when interacting with Traditionalist and Baby Boomers, and their Affinity Personal Virtual Preference when interacting with Traditionalist, Baby Boomers, Generation X, and Generation Z. A major finding is seen such that Generation Y receives more information from, is more satisfied with the amount of information they are receiving, sends more information to, and are more satisfied with the amount of information they are sending to other members belonging to Generation Y than they do from Generation X and the Baby Boomer Generation. There is also a correlation seen such that when the personal choice for use of Electronic is reduced to interact with Traditionalist team members, Satisfaction in receiving information is affected. With the relatively new nature of this topic and non-existence of other empirical examinations, there is a need to further examine generational communication preferences in the team setting as well as the satisfaction with sending and receiving of information. Given the various limitations in regards to existence of research in this area, adaptation of the survey instrumentation, lack of control variables, and imbalance of ethnicity, there is a need for future research. Future Research suggestions include replication of the present research study and direct testing of the control variables to include Organization Industry, Ethnicity, Team Purposes, and Team Outcome.

Teams, Generational gap, Communication, Communication, Generational subgroups