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research paper about generation z

On the Cusp of Adulthood and Facing an Uncertain Future: What We Know About Gen Z So Far

One-in-ten eligible voters in the 2020 electorate will be part of a new generation of Americans – Generation Z. Born after 1996 , most members of this generation are not yet old enough to vote, but as the oldest among them turn 23 this year, roughly 24 million will have the opportunity to cast a ballot in November. And their political clout will continue to grow steadily in the coming years, as more and more of them reach voting age.

The generations defined

Unlike the Millennials – who came of age during the Great Recession – this new generation was in line to inherit a strong economy with record-low unemployment . That has all changed now, as COVID-19 has reshaped the country’s social, political and economic landscape. Instead of looking ahead to a world of opportunities, Gen Z now peers into an uncertain future.

There are already signs that the oldest Gen Zers have been particularly hard hit in the early weeks and months of the coronavirus crisis. In a March 2020 Pew Research Center survey , half of the oldest Gen Zers (ages 18 to 23) reported that they or someone in their household had lost a job or taken a cut in pay because of the outbreak. This was significantly higher than the shares of Millennials (40%), Gen Xers (36%) and Baby Boomers (25%) who said the same. In addition, an analysis of jobs data showed that young workers were particularly vulnerable to job loss before the coronavirus outbreak, as they were overrepresented in high-risk service sector industries.

research paper about generation z

Aside from the unique set of circumstances in which Gen Z is approaching adulthood, what do we know about this new generation? We know it’s different from previous generations in some important ways, but similar in many ways to the Millennial generation that came before it. Members of Gen Z are more racially and ethnically diverse than any previous generation, and they are on track to be the most well-educated generation yet. They are also digital natives who have little or no memory of the world as it existed before smartphones.

A look at how Gen Z voters view the Trump presidency provides further insight into their political beliefs. A Pew Research Center survey conducted in January of this year found that about a quarter of registered voters ages 18 to 23 (22%) approved of how Donald Trump is handling his job as president, while about three-quarters disapproved (77%). Millennial voters were only slightly more likely to approve of Trump (32%) while 42% of Gen X voters, 48% of Baby Boomers and 57% of those in the Silent Generation approved of the job he’s doing as president.

Gen Z is more racially and ethnically diverse than previous generations

Generation Z represents the leading edge of the country’s changing racial and ethnic makeup. A bare majority (52%) are non-Hispanic white – significantly smaller than the share of Millennials who were non-Hispanic white in 2002 (61%). One-in-four Gen Zers are Hispanic, 14% are black, 6% are Asian and 5% are some other race or two or more races.

One-in-four members of Gen Z are Hispanic

Gen Zers are slightly less likely than Millennials to be immigrants: 6% were born outside of the U.S., compared with 7% of Millennials at the same age. But they are more likely to be the children of immigrants: 22% of Gen Zers have at least one immigrant parent (compared with 14% of Millennials). Even as immigration flows into the U.S. have diminished in recent years , new immigrants will join the ranks of Gen Z in the years to come. As a result, this generation is projected to become majority nonwhite by 2026, according to Census Bureau projections .

In some regions of the U.S., Gen Z has already crossed this threshold. In the West, only 40% of Gen Zers are non-Hispanic white. Just as many are Hispanic, while 4% are black, 10% are Asian and 6% are some other race. In the South, 46% of Gen Zers are non-Hispanic white. Minority representation is lowest in the Midwest, where more than two-thirds of Gen Zers (68%) are non-Hispanic white.

Gen Z on track to be the best-educated generation yet

A look at older members of Generation Z suggests they are on a somewhat different educational trajectory than the generations that came before them. They are less likely to drop out of high school and more likely to be enrolled in college. Among 18- to 21-year-olds no longer in high school in 2018, 57% were enrolled in a two-year or four-year college. This compares with 52% among Millennials in 2003 and 43% among members of Gen X in 1987.

Gen Zers more likely to be enrolled in college and to have a college-educated parent than Millennials, Gen Xers at a comparable age

These changing educational patterns are tied to changes in immigration especially among Hispanics. Gen Z Hispanics are less likely than Millennial Hispanics to be immigrants, and previous research has shown that second-generation Hispanic youth are less likely to drop out of high school and more likely to attend college than foreign-born Hispanic youth.

Gen Zers are also more likely to have a college-educated parent than are previous generations of young people. In 2019, 44% of Gen Zers ages 7 to 17 were living with a parent who had a bachelor’s degree or more education, compared with 33% of Millennials when they were the same age. Both of these trends reflect the overall trend toward more Americans pursuing higher education .

Perhaps because they are more likely to be engaged in educational endeavors , Gen Zers are less likely to be working than previous generations when they were teens and young adults. Only 18% of Gen Z teens (ages 15 to 17) were employed in 2018, compared with 27% of Millennial teens in 2002 and 41% of Gen Xers in 1986. And among young adults ages 18 to 22, while 62% of Gen Zers were employed in 2018, higher shares of Millennials (71%) and Gen Xers (79%) were working when they were a comparable age.

research paper about generation z

Gen Zers and Millennials have similar viewpoints on many major issues of the day

Gen Z more likely than other generations to want an activist government

The views of Gen Z mirror those of Millennials in many ways. Still, survey data collected in 2018 (well before the coronavirus outbreak) shows that there are places where this younger generation stands out as having a somewhat different outlook.

For example, members of Gen Z are more likely than older generations to look to government to solve problems, rather than businesses and individuals. Fully seven-in-ten Gen Zers say the government should do more to solve problems, while 29% say government is doing too many things better left to businesses and individuals. A somewhat smaller share of Millennials (64%) say government should do more to solve problems, and this view is even less prevalent among older generations (53% of Gen Xers, 49% of Boomers and 39% of Silents).

Gen Z, Millennials, most likely to say climate change is due to human activity

For the most part, however, Gen Zers and Millennials share similar views on issues facing the country. These younger generations are more likely than their older counterparts to say the earth is getting warmer due to human activity: 54% of Gen Z and 56% of Millennials say this, compared with smaller shares of Gen Xers, Boomers and Silents (48%, 45% and 38%, respectively).

When it comes to race relations, Gen Zers and Millennials are about equally likely to say that blacks are treated less fairly than whites in this country. Roughly two-thirds of Gen Zers and Millennials say this, compared with about half of Gen Xers and Boomers and smaller shares among the Silent Generation.

Younger generations also share a different view of the U.S. relative to other countries in the world. Gen Zers (14%) and Millennials (13%) are less likely than Gen Xers (20%), Boomers (30%) or Silents (45%) to say the U.S. is better than  all  other countries. Still, pluralities of every generation except the Silent Generation say the U.S. is one of the best countries in the world along with some others.

Within the GOP, Gen Zers have sharp differences with their elders

Among Republicans and those who lean to the Republican Party, there are striking differences between Generation Z and older generations on social and political issues. In their views on race, Gen Z Republicans are more likely than older generations of Republicans to say blacks are treated less fairly than whites in the U.S. today. Fully 43% of Republican Gen Zers say this, compared with 30% of Millennial Republicans and roughly two-in-ten Gen X, Boomer and Silent Generation Republicans. Views are much more consistent across generations among Democrats and Democratic leaners.

Gen Z Republicans are more likely than Republicans in older generations to say blacks are treated less fairly

Similarly, the youngest Republicans stand out in their views on the role of government and the causes of climate change. Gen Z Republicans are much more likely than older generations of Republicans to desire an increased government role in solving problems. About half (52%) of Republican Gen Zers say government should do more, compared with 38% of Millennials, 29% of Gen Xers and even smaller shares among older generations. And the youngest Republicans are less likely than their older counterparts to attribute the earth’s warming temperatures to natural patterns, as opposed to human activity (18% of Gen Z Republicans say this, compared with three-in-ten or more among older generations of Republicans).

Overall, members of Gen Z look similar to Millennials in their political preferences, particularly when it comes to the upcoming 2020 election. Among registered voters, a January Pew Research Center survey found that 61% of Gen Z voters (ages 18 to 23) said they were definitely or probably going to vote for the Democratic candidate for president in the 2020 election, while about a quarter (22%) said they were planning to vote for Trump. Millennial voters, similarly, were much more likely to say they plan to support a Democrat in November than Trump (58% vs. 25%). Larger shares of Gen X voters (37%), Boomers (44%) and Silents (53%) said they plan to support President Trump.

research paper about generation z

Younger generations see family, societal change as a good thing

About half of Gen Z, Millennials say same-sex marriage is good for society

Across a number of measures, Gen Zers and Millennials stand out from older generations in their views of family and societal change. Roughly half of Gen Zers (48%) and Millennials (47%) say gay and lesbian couples being allowed to marry is a good thing for our society. By comparison, only one-third of Gen Xers and about one-quarter of Boomers (27%) say this is a good thing. Pluralities of Boomers and Gen Xers say it doesn’t make a difference. Members of the Silent Generation are the most likely to view this as a bad thing for society.

There is a similar pattern in views of people of different races marrying each other, with larger shares of Millennials and Gen Zers saying this is a good thing for our society, compared with older generations. Very few across generations say this is a bad thing for society.

Gen Zers and Millennials are less likely than older generations to say that single women raising children on their own is a bad thing for society. Still, relatively few in both generations say this is a good thing for society, while about half say it doesn’t make much difference (roughly similar to the shares among older generations).

When it comes to their own home life, the experiences of Gen Z reflect, in part, broad trends that have reshaped the American family in recent decades. According to a Pew Research Center analysis of Census Bureau data, about three-in-ten (29%) live in a household with an unmarried parent while 66% live with two married parents. A roughly comparable share of Millennials (69%) lived with two married parents at a similar age, but the shares among Gen Xers and Boomers were significantly larger (72% and 86%). Of those Gen Zers who are living with two married parents, in most cases both of those parents are in the labor force (64%). This compares with a slightly higher share of Millennials who were living with two parents at a comparable age (66% had two parents in the labor force) and a slightly lower share of Gen Xers (61%).

Generations differ in their familiarity and comfort with using gender-neutral pronouns

Ideas about gender identity are rapidly changing in the U.S., and Gen Z is at the front end of those changes. Gen Zers are much more likely than those in older generations to say they personally know someone who prefers to go by gender-neutral pronouns, with 35% saying so, compared with 25% of Millennials, 16% of Gen Xers, 12% of Boomers and just 7% of Silents. This generational pattern is evident among both Democrats and Republicans.

There are also stark generational differences in views of how gender options are presented on official documents. Gen Z is by far the most likely to say that when a form or online profile asks about a person’s gender it should include options other than “man” and “woman.” About six-in-ten Gen Zers (59%) say forms or online profiles should include additional gender options, compared with half of Millennials, about four-in-ten Gen Xers and Boomers (40% and 37%, respectively) and roughly a third of those in the Silent Generation (32%).

Gen Zers are more likely to know someone using gender-neutral pronouns and more likely to say forms should offer gender options other than ‘man’ and ‘woman’

These views vary widely along partisan lines, and there are generational differences within each party coalition. But those differences are sharpest among Republicans: About four-in-ten Republican Gen Zers (41%) think forms should include additional gender options, compared with 27% of Republican Millennials, 17% of Gen Xers and Boomers and 16% of Silents. Among Democrats, half or more in all generations say this.

Gen Zers are similar to Millennials in their comfort with using gender-neutral pronouns. Both groups express somewhat higher levels of comfort than other generations, though generational differences on this question are fairly modest. Majorities of Gen Zers and Millennials say they would feel “very” or “somewhat” comfortable using a gender-neutral pronoun to refer to someone if asked to do so. By comparison, Gen Xers and Boomers are about evenly divided: About as many say they would feel at least somewhat comfortable (49% and 50%, respectively) as say they would be uncomfortable.

Members of Gen Z are also similar to Millennials in their views on society’s acceptance of those who do not identify as a man or a woman. Roughly half of Gen Zers (50%) and Millennials (47%) think that society is not accepting enough of these individuals. Smaller shares of Gen Xers (39%), Boomers (36%) and those in the Silent Generation (32%) say the same.

Here again there are large partisan gaps, and Gen Z Republicans stand apart from other generations of Republicans in their views. About three-in-ten Republican Gen Zers (28%) say that society is not accepting enough of people who don’t identify as a man or woman, compared with two-in-ten Millennials, 15% of Gen Xers, 13% of Boomers and 11% of Silents. Democrats’ views are nearly uniform across generations in saying that society is not accepting enough of people who don’t identify as a man or a woman.

Teens and technology

Many teens say they are online almost constantly; YouTube is their top social media platform

Looking at the relationship American teens have with technology provides a window into the experiences of a significant segment of Generation Z. According to a 2018 Pew Research Center survey, 95% of 13- to 17-year-olds have access to a smartphone, and a similar share (97%) use at least one of seven major online platforms.

YouTube, Instagram and Snapchat are among teens’ favorite online destinations. Some 85% say they use YouTube, 72% use Instagram and 69% use Snapchat. Facebook is less popular with teens – 51% say they use this social media site. Some 45% of teens say they are online “almost constantly,” and an additional 44% say they’re online several times a day.

Some researchers have suggested that the growing amount of time teens are spending on their mobile devices, and specifically on social media, is contributing to the growth in anxiety and depression among this group. Teens have mixed views on whether social media has had a positive or negative effect on their generation. About three-in-ten (31%) say the effect on people their own age has been mostly positive, 24% say it’s been mostly negative, and 45% say it’s been neither positive nor negative.

Many teens who say social media has had a positive effect say a major reason they feel this way is because it helps them stay connected with friends and family (40% of teens who say social media has a mostly positive effect say this). For those who see the effect of social media as negative, the most common reason cited is that it leads to bullying and rumor spreading (27% of teens who say social media has a mostly negative effect say this).

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About Pew Research Center Pew Research Center is a nonpartisan fact tank that informs the public about the issues, attitudes and trends shaping the world. It conducts public opinion polling, demographic research, media content analysis and other empirical social science research. Pew Research Center does not take policy positions. It is a subsidiary of The Pew Charitable Trusts .

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Review article, generation z within the workforce and in the workplace: a bibliometric analysis.

research paper about generation z

This article aims to improve the knowledge on Generation Z as employees within workforce and in the workplace, as well as on the main thematic trends that drive the research on the topic. To this end, and using bibliometric techniques, a sample of 102 publications on this subject from Web of Science between 2009 and 2020 is analyzed. Research discusses the most published and most cited authors and journals to have a broad view of the context of the subject. Later, through a longitudinal view, the study mainly focuses on analyzing the evolution of thematic clusters, to assess the progress of the themes, as well as the network around the principal motor cluster of each period. The obtained results suggest a hardly developed topic, which started to draw attention in 2018, while still having a wide margin for growth. The core of research on the topic has evolved around “Generation-Z” “generations,” “workplace,” “management” and “attitudes,” “leadership,” “career,” or “learning-teaching-education,” although a low keyword stability among periods was noted. There is a need for further development on a variety of aspects regarding this generation and the labor market, as the study shows a clear orientation toward management and generational diversity within the workplace.


A number of recent studies examine the characteristics of Generation Z (Gen Z) individuals (Gen Zers), their values ( Maloni et al., 2019 ; Cresnar and Nedelko, 2020 ), their attitudes toward work and organizations ( Barhate and Dirani, 2021 ), the way they adapt to the workplace ( Chillakuri, 2020 ), and even distinguishing intragenerational variants within this cohort ( Scholz, 2019 ; Leslie et al., 2021 ), as well as its similarities and differences with other generations ( Hernaus and Poloski Vokic, 2014 ; Klopotan et al., 2020 ; Mahmoud et al., 2021 ), but mostly with Generation Y ( Raslie and Ting, 2021 ). Given the need to adapt in the workplace not only for the latest generation, but for the cohesion and cooperation between generations, this adds extra difficulty to the human resources management (HRM), and to an efficient workflow and environment in the workplace.

The purpose of this article is to disclose the thematic research trends on the aforementioned topic, through a review of the existing literature on Gen Z as employees within the workforce and in the workplace. This article delivers a pioneering topic to which no research has specifically focused before. The contribution of this research will allow a further understanding and an increased knowledge on how Gen Z is related to the workforce and in the workplace. In addition, the study will create supporting material for future research, as well as helping the HRM to better address the needs of Gen Zers and bring higher value to the organization. Thus, a bibliometric assessment has been elaborated to highlight the number of publications, the most notorious authors, and the most impactful journals. Additionally, quantitative research was elaborated, a longitudinal analysis was developed, as well as a visualization of the data on the most relevant themes of research is disclosed for the different periods considered.

The contextualization of the study is described consequently, including the characteristics of Gen Z and their general expectations of jobs and employers, and the current trends and adaptation practices of HRM and organizations. The third part will be focused on the methods used for the bibliometric analysis, including the search strategy, sample, and software. Thereafter, the results of the analysis are stated on the activity related to the topic, the evolution of the keywords, a thematic longitudinal analysis, and eventually, a period-by-period strategic map analysis. It will discuss the implications, future research suggestions, and limitations of the paper, and finally, conclusions will be described.

Contextualization of the Study

Generation z.

Generation Z is the generation born from mid-1990s to early 2010s, where the exact dates vary depending on the chosen author, but most commonly is the 1995–2010. Gen Z is known to be the first true “digital native” generation ( Lanier, 2017 ), as they have been born and have been grown in a digital and technological environment, learning how to use technology, and interacting in social networks since the very young age, and even tend to be seen as addicted to technology. The members of this generation have also been called “Gen Zers,” “post-Millennials,” or “iGen” ( Magano et al., 2020 ).

As its main characteristics, Gen Zers are defined as highly ambitious and self-confident ( Pataki-Bittó and Kapusy, 2021 ). At the same time, they are said to be realistic and accept whatever is given ( Scholz, 2019 ). Gen Z is entrepreneurial ( Magano et al., 2020 ), even more than Generation Y ( Lanier, 2017 ). This generation seems to be motivated by finding their dream job and opportunities to expand their skills ( Magano et al., 2020 ), leading to believe they will switch jobs more frequently than other generations before them, and if they do not like something, they are ready to change immediately ( Csiszárik-Kocsír and Garia-Fodor, 2018 ). Other motivation drivers for this cohort are roots on advancement opportunities, increased salary, a meaningful work, and a good team ( PR Newswire, 2014 ; Csiszárik-Kocsír and Garia-Fodor, 2018 ).

When looking at how Gen Z is said to think and act, it is highlighted that they are not only more aware and informed about what is going on in the world than previous generations, but they have shown to be financially conscious ( Sladek and Grabinger, 2014 ). Moreover, their consumption is more ethical, and they have “greater freedom of expression and greater openness to understanding different kinds of people” ( Francis and Hoefel, 2018 , p. 2), having shown to be oriented to others ( Magano et al., 2020 ). This broad view of life gives Gen Z a unique perspective on understanding others, while trying to stay true to themselves, their values, and their goals.

While there is a prototype of this generation with mostly common characteristics and attitudes, among approximately 15 different age groups, it is evident that “one size does not fit all.” Moreover, the earliest works on Gen Z had been conducted almost only in the United States, leading to a biased perception of this generation ( Scholz, 2019 ). There exist supporting studies on intragenerational differences. These revealed how the visions, preferences, and features of Gen Zers vary by regions ( Scholz, 2019 ), or even by their workplace perceptions ( Leslie et al., 2021 ), depending on external situational factors such as events, crises, technology, or trends of their youth.

This generation cohort has been surrounded by a global financial crisis, times of terrorism, political uncertainty, and an almost irreversible climate crisis. At the same time, Gen Z has lived in an increasingly globalized world, with the ease of a same currency around the EU and free mobility through its member states in the case of Europe. All these factors have influenced how Gen Z has forged their personality, their vision, and has made them highly adaptable to the global world ( Magano et al., 2020 ).

It must be taken into account that part of Gen Z is already working, some are currently entering the workforce—more than what is expected because of the pandemic—and others are still on formation. Mainly, Gen Zers have started entering the labor market in the last years. Their introduction to the workforce has been challenging, being disturbed by a pandemic, its economic downturn, and its social and labor implications. There are only a couple of studies that address the impacts of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) on Gen Z in the labor market ( Sakdiyakorn et al., 2021 ), but the number of articles relating the pandemic and Gen Z is expected to increase when the real effects are known after the return of most of the employees to the workplace and once the pandemic has ended. These downturns have not prevented the cohort of having high expectations about their work ( Snieska et al., 2020 ), as well as having a well-defined career development plans ( Barhate and Dirani, 2021 ).

According to a Deloitte report ( O’Boyle et al., 2017 , p. 10), Gen Z, with eyes on the workplace, is expected to introduce high technology skills, while some researchers are not completely sure about their interpersonal communication and relationship skills. These researchers also found out that the majority of “Gen Z professionals prefer a multidisciplinary and global focus to their work.” Additionally, it is said that Gen Zers are affected by the belief that companies usually use and care about employees only when they are needed ( Scholz, 2019 ).

Generation Z is said to change jobs more frequently; thus, HR does not only have to worry about how to attract the new generation, but how to focus their efforts on giving Gen Zers what they need to stay in the company. Considering the scant research done in terms of what attracts Gen Zers toward companies, it is said that Gen Z is enticed by the work flexibility and a balance with their life outside the workplace. They seek direct contribution to the company, they desire to have an impact on the outcomes, they are driven by an entrepreneurial mindset, and an already established and known company is a plus ( Randstad Canada, 2014 ).

Furthermore, in terms of employee retention, there are some common aspects to this generation ( PR Newswire, 2014 ; Randstad Canada, 2014 ): they value honesty over anything else in their leaders, they prefer face-to-face communication with their superiors, they enjoy open dialog, as well as they have a strong desire to be listened to their ideas and to be valued for their opinions by their managers, and additionally, they expect social responsibility. Now the question is, are companies delivering these qualities to their employees? If not, why is it taking so long to adapt to the newest generation? Are firms considering organizational change to address the desires of the Gen Z?

Generation Z Within the Workforce and the Workplace

Throughout the years, the workforce has been evolving, and has been affected by multiple events, such as the Great Recession and more recently, the COVID-19 pandemic. Similarly, the workplace has developed new dynamics, from separated spaces according to the department, to current open spaces where different departments share resources and knowledge in a faster and more efficient way, or even the co-working spaces shared with other companies or independent professionals. The driving force that selects the employees of a firm and manages most workplace initiatives, procedures, and even the culture of the firm is the HRM. This specific part of the firm creates the essence of the company, attracts new talent for the firm, implements training, and intends to assure the most effective and efficient working environment to achieve the goals of the organization, among other functions.

To address the current situation on HR practices, Table 1 showcases Forbes’ annual Top 10 HR trends for 2020 ( Meister, 2020 ). In the year 2020, most trends move toward a better working environment, work-life balance, and skills. More and more firms are comprising resources to take care and to motivate their internal clients, their employees.

Table 1. Top HR talent attraction and retention trends 2020.

As the new generation enters the labor market, HRM needs to take into consideration, and adapt to the previously mentioned characteristics of this cohort. This does not only mean attracting the Gen Z employees in a different way and offer them a variety of work-related benefits to draw them to and keep them in the organization, but also to redefine entry-level jobs ( O’Boyle et al., 2017 ). There are only few research papers on how the labor market adapts to the needs and expectations of the Gen Z cohort, existing the need of further research. This may be because the majority of Gen Z individuals have been studying until lately and is only now starting to enter into the labor market.

Some articles studied the relationship between of employees, and companies or positions. The first one would be a person-organization fit model, so that the characteristics of the companies are congruent with the needs and wants of their employees ( Graczyk-Kucharska and Erickson, 2020 ). The second would be an employee-job fit, with the aim of attaining a job satisfaction, as well as the work engagement and performance ( Truxillo et al., 2012 ).

According to Bielen and Kubiczek (2020) , the most common way the businesses respond to the demands of Gen Zers are friendly working atmosphere, keeping up with the latest technologies, ambassador programs, internships, benefits, and corporate social responsibility activities. Similar ideas are reported by Randstad Canada (2014). However, to be able to do so, organizations need to have the courage to break traditional approaches by using the existing tools in different ways, accepting that even individuals from the same generation and their needs may differ from their cohort prototype ( O’Boyle et al., 2017 ), like what many firms have done with the on-line recruitment as their initial step ( Tato-Jimenez et al., 2019 ). Additionally, HR departments should be preparing to introduce or to change workplace values and culture among other aspects ( Graczyk-Kucharska and Erickson, 2020 ), rather than expecting Gen Z to adapt to the company.

Now that Gen Zers enter into the workforce, some organizations will have four or even five different generations working together. As Urick (2019 , p. 78) states, generational differences in the workplace can lead to “intergenerational biases, stereotypes, and misperceptions,” and create conflict situations. This said, it is safe to assure that different generational cohorts with their own work preferences should have distinguishing job characteristics ( Hernaus and Poloski Vokic, 2014 ). As previously done with Generation Y, companies need to modify their dynamics in order to manage the intergenerational diversity faced. To tackle these challenges, HRM has to explore new ways of satisfying the newcomers at the same time as trying not to neglect the employees of older generations, and learning how to manage multigenerational teams.

This article pretends to bring to light the research trends involving Gen Z, the workplace, and the professional relations of this generation. For this purpose, a bibliometric review has been elaborated by collecting data from the Clarivate Analytics Web of Science (WoS), which has later been analyzed using the SciMAT open-source science mapping software tool.

Search Strategy

The documents collected for this review have been retrieved from the WoS database as of October 14, 2021. When conducting the search for the three variants of Gen Z keywords, as well as “workplace,” “workforce,” and “employee” were used within the topic field, creating the advanced search algorithm in WoS: TS = (“Generation Z” OR “Gen Z” OR “Z Generation”) AND TS = (“workforce*” OR “workplace*” OR “employee*”).

To obtain the widest range of results due to the early stages of research on Gen Z, all the years (1900–2020) and the languages were accounted for, and the document type was not limited, thus, including reviews and conference proceeding papers among others. Additionally, the citation indexes selected were as follows: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Social Sciences Citation Index (SSCI), Arts & Humanities Citation Index (A&HCI), Conference Proceedings Citation Index- Science (CPCI-S), Conference Proceedings Citation Index- Social Science & Humanities (CPCI-SSH), Book Citation Index– Science (BKCI-S), Book Citation Index– Social Sciences & Humanities (BKCI-SSH), and Emerging Sources Citation Index (ESCI).

The search completed on WoS obtained a total of 102 results. The analysis covers a 12-year time period from 2009 to 2020, and even if the WoS search was conducted from 1900, Gen Z is a much more recent term. Hence, to develop a longitudinal analysis, the literature has been divided into three periods. The expanse of these periods and their segmentation has been defined following a quantitative criterion of the number of the documents published, trying to find the most homogeneous stages possible ( Table 2 ).

Table 2. Periods and documents per period.

The first stage covers documents from 2009 to 2017, the second corresponds with 2018, the third refers to 2019, and the last and fourth is 2020. Thus, considering the scant research until 2017 included, the first period has less manuscripts than the latter three, including only 19 publications in WoS from 2009 to 2017, from which five correspond to the last year of the stage. On the other hand, the 2018 period englobes a total of 22 papers, the third period, 2019, includes 32 articles, and, finally, 2020 addresses 29 registered documents in the database.

To be able to elaborate and to detangle the bibliometric analysis, SciMAT, an open-source science mapping software tool has been utilized. The reasons behind the decision to use this tool lie in the benefits it supplies the researcher. The SciMAT, created by Cobo et al. (2012) , offers methods, measures, and algorithms for the whole general science mapping workflow, for which researchers usually need to apply various software tools. On this note, the SciMAT software allows the pre-processing of the data retrieved from WoS, Scopus, PubMed, or similar, for a posterior network extraction, the application of different normalization measures, mapping, and analysis, and the graphical visualization of the results ( Cobo et al., 2012 ). The wizard analysis of the software allows to see a longitudinal map, which is one of the principal objectives of this article, as well as strategic maps and thematic networks.

Within the longitudinal view, the evolution map ( Figure 1A , left) shows on columns the different periods of the sample, showing the most relevant in clusters. These clusters are connected throughout the periods by lines, which represent the timely evolution of the themes. If two clusters are linked by a continuous line, these share the main item; but, if between two clusters, there is a discontinuous link meaning that they share elements but not the main item. Some may not be connected by lines, and in that case and if not appearing in the next period, the cluster has disappeared; if it suddenly appeared in a later period, the cluster is considered a new one. The size of each cluster depends on the selected performance measures. In the case of our study, we are considering the number of documents, the number of citations and the average citations, as well as the h-index, all with respect to the period and cluster chosen.

Figure 1. Evolution view and period view. Source: Cobo et al. (2012) .

Additionally, an overlapping map ( Figure 1B , right) represents the periods, and the number of keywords, in our case, each period is associated to. The upper outgoing arrow represents the keywords that have disappeared from one period to the next one, and the upper incoming arrows indicate the keywords added to the new period. The arrows connecting the periods offer the number of keywords shared among them, including the Stability Index between them.

The period view allows the user to decide which period is shown in the strategic diagram, and to choose the theme displayed in the cluster’s network. The SciMAT software wizard provides by defect the Callon’s density ( Callon et al., 1991 ) and centrality measures. A strategic map ( Figure 1C , left) showcases the most important themes of a given period, distributes in the figure according to their density and centrality ranges. This two-dimensional map divides the clusters into the following: motor clusters, being the ones with highest density and centrality; highly developed and isolated clusters or peripheral themes, with high density but low centrality; basic and transversal clusters when they have a high centrality but a low density; and emerging or declining clusters with both low density and centrality. For each cluster represented in the strategic map, a cluster network ( Figure 1D , right) is provided with the related themes.

The WoS sample was composed by 102 documents published between 2009 and 2020 ( Figure 2 ). It can be noticed that there are two distinct trends according to the rate of annual publications. In the time frame from 2009 to 2017, there is little research on Gen Z per se , and even less on their preparation, perceptions, and implications on the labor market, possibly because Gen Zers were mostly 22 years old and only a minority was working, while most of them were studying and other were just being born in 2009 and 2010. A second trend can be appreciated since 2018, from which Gen Z has been gaining relevance in research, as not only this generation starts working, but begins to have a perfect age for investigators to get an insight about their characteristics, preferences, values, and attitudes.

Figure 2. Number of publication per year. Source: Own elaboration from SciMAT data.

The 102 documents forming the analysis sample were written by a total of 234 published authors. From these authors, only Goh stands out from the rest, having written four articles. The low number of works on the topic is accompanied by the scarce research on Gen Z and the workforce, as well as the workplace of each author.

The most cited article is the work of Goh. It focuses on the hospitality sector and on Gen Z based on the theory of the planned behavior ( Goh and Kong, 2018 ; Goh and Lee, 2018 ). Besides, the Gen Z motivations of the employees in the hospitality industry toward the food waste ( Goh and Jie, 2019 ), the talent management and the recruitment strategies ( Goh and Okumus, 2020 ) are the next more cited articles. The rest of authors have been involved in 1 or 2 papers each, suggesting that this topic is not their main line of research. We can also highlight the citations received in WoS by each analyzed author. Displayed in Table 3 are the authors with more than 20 citations.

Table 3. Authors with more than 20 citations ordered by authors.

It can be seen how Goh has paved the way again with 92 citations from his three articles, each with the collaboration of one other author: Lee, Okumus, and Kong, were all included in Table 3 . Within the publications of Goh, A workforce to be reckoned with: The emerging pivotal Generation Z hospitality workforce ( Goh and Lee, 2018 ) is worth mentioning, as the article has received a significant number of citations within WoS, making Lee the second most cited author. Additionally, Bejtkovsky (2013 , 2016) has contributed on two documents, dated in 2013 and 2016. However, 17 received citations corresponds only to one of his articles, The Employees of Baby Boomers Generation, Generation X, Generation Y, and Generation Z in Selected Czech Corporations as Conceivers of Development and Competitiveness in their Corporation ( Bejtkovsky, 2016 ), which was dedicated to multiple generations within the workplace, generation gaps, and human resources.

The rest of the authors on the list have only one paper each, but as observed, have higher citations (more than 20 citations) than most top writers on our sample Table 3 . Both Ozkan and Solmaz (2015) have received the third best citation number on their participation in the 4th World Conference On Business, Economics, And Management with The Changing Face of the Employees— Generation Z and Their Perceptions of Work (A Study Applied to University Students) . Apart from the abovementioned authors, Schroth wrote about the readiness of the workplace to receive Gen Z ( Schroth, 2019 ), while both Lazanyi and Bilan (2017) collaborated to create an article on the trust of Gen Zers toward others within the workplace.

Additionally, the whole 102 document sample is associated with 91 journals. Table 4 shows the most influential journals according to the 2020 journal impact factor (JIF) provided in WoS, the corresponding quartile on the Journal Citation Report (JCR), the number of documents published on the topic, and the number of citations. Table 4 only includes those journals with more than 20 citations. The JIF is the ratio obtained by dividing the number of citations of a journal on the previous two years by the number of articles published by the journal over the same time period. In the case of this study, the 2019 JIF has been used, being the number of citations of the specific journal in 2018 and 2017 divided by the total of the published documents in it.

Table 4. Journals with most impact.

Concerning the WoS categories, the three most frequent category is Management ; followed by Hospitality and Tourism, Business , and Economics . During the analyzed period (2009–2020) there are 15 different management journals, five hospitality and tourism journals, and four business and economics. The journals with major impact—considering the articles with more than 20 citations—are the International Journal of Hospitality Management , the California Management Review , the Journal of Competitiveness , and the Tourism and Management Perspectives . Only the former journal is in the first quartile and has a JIF that is remarkably higher than the rest.

However, in general terms, the highest number of articles concerning this theme (5) have been published by the journal Sustainability in the years 2018 (JIF 2.592), 2019 (JIF 2.576), and 2020 (JIF 3.251). This was followed by the Journal of Competitiveness in the year 2016 (JIF 3.649), and International Journal of Hospitality Management (2) in the years 2018 (4.465) and 2019 (JIF 6.701).

Evolution of Keywords

Now, the evolution of the keywords along the different periods will be addressed ( Figure 3 ). The first period (2009–2017), although aggregating an eight-year time period, is characterized by a lower number of keywords than the rest of periods, which actually have a very similar amount. In the first period, there were 33 keywords, from which, nine were no longer used in the following ones. More than half of the words used (0.5) in this period were also transferred to the second one. For the second period, 15 additional words were introduced, summing up to 39 total keywords. Again, eight keywords disappeared and 31 transitioned to the next period, representing almost three fourths (0.61) of the total word count in 2019, being higher than the common keyword proportion of the change from period 1 to period 2. In the third period, 12 keywords were included in the topic research, adding up to 43 total keywords. Then, 32 keywords were included in the last period and 11 keywords were lost and will not be used in the following period. In the last period 13 words were included in the research of the topic, totaling of 45 keywords. The difference between the number of keywords between the first and the last periods is relatively low but can be justified by the scarce research on the topic. These results suggest that there is a wide development margin in the literature relating to Gen Z within the workforce and the workplace.

Figure 3. Keywords between periods. Source: Own elaboration with SciMAT.

Longitudinal Analysis

By means of the longitudinal diagram ( Figure 4 ) provided by SciMAT, the current evolution of the research related to the topic of this article will be analyzed. Some clusters have been maintained during two periods or have disappeared and then reappeared in a later period. It should be reminded, that each cluster was selected to have a maximum of 10 items and a minimum of 2.

Figure 4. Theme evolution of primary documents. Source: Elaborated with SciMAT.

With eyes on the first period, from 2009 to 2017, it can be seen how there are only four clusters: “Generation-Z,” “management,” “attitudes,” and “leadership.” The reason for the scarce number of clusters in this period is due to two facts: the keywords of the sample are focused on those concrete clusters—there is a larger number of keywords, but were not grouped in clusters due to the minimum requisite of two items and there is a small number of publications. For our study, clustering through an algorithm of the simple center with a minimum network size of 2 is important, because otherwise there would be an excessively large number of clusters. This is due to the high number of keywords of different thematic, as the research on this area was not developed enough during this period.

For the second period, year 2018, there are six clusters: “Generation-Z,” “Generation-Y,” “career,” “consumers,” “teams,” and “organizational.” The “Generation-Z” cluster is the only one maintained from the 2009–2017 period, gaining relevance within the research made during 2018 because it is placed in a better location in the strategic diagram, with higher centrality and density values, being the motor theme of this period. This was materialized in articles such as “ A workforce to be reckoned with: The emerging pivotal Generation Z hospitality workforce ” ( Goh and Lee, 2018 ), or “ Generation Z’s Sustainable Volunteering: Motivations, Attitudes and Job Performance ” ( Cho et al., 2018 ). The “Generation-Y” cluster has a linkage with the previous “management” and “leadership” clusters. Additionally, the leadership cluster (2018) has also a strong and direct relationship with the cluster “teams” from the first period. The “career” cluster is the most relevant by grouping documents based on the number of citations. However, since the density and the centrality of the career do not have a defined role in this theme yet, its evolution in the following periods remains uncertain.

In the 2019 period all the clusters are new. Outstanding for the number of citations are “outcomes,” followed by “Theory of planned behavior,” which is connected to the previous period through “career.” Likewise, “generations” is directly related to the “Generation-Z” cluster. An example of how the intergenerational view gains strength is the article Critical elements for multigenerational teams: a systematic review ( Burton et al., 2019 ). Other clusters in this period are “learning-teaching-education” and “personality” which has a linkage with the second period cluster “career.”

In the 2020 period, various clusters from the previous period are consolidated. The case of “generations,” “learning-peaching-education” or “outcomes” have a very strong linkage with the same clusters of the previous period. “Organizational change” is the weakest cluster. While “workplace” appears strongly as it is placed as the driving theme of the last period and has a direct linkage with the most important clusters of the rest of the periods. The article entitled Understanding Future Leaders: How Are Personal Values of Generations Y and Z Tailored to Leadership in Industry 4.0? ( Cresnar and Nedelko, 2020 ) is an example.

Following the analysis of the longitudinal diagram and considering the aforementioned remarks on the evolution of the words, a quantitative comparison has been elaborated from the data provided by SciMAT. Table 5 shows the clusters of each period of the sample, the centrality and density of each, as well as the number of documents, the number of citations, and the average citations within the theme, ending with the h-index provided by SciMAT. Within the first period (2009–2017), the cluster “Generation-Z” needs to be highlighted due to its high impact in terms of number of citations (171 citations), as well as the documents published (13 documents). Accordingly, “attitudes” stands out as the cluster with the highest average number of citations (15 citations) achieved with a single document. Also, “management” is one of the clusters with less centrality than “Generation-Z” but has a higher density, and, therefore, has a prominent position among the driving themes of this period ( Table 5 ).

Table 5. Quantitative factors of the themes and their evolution.

When considering the second period (2018), “career” is the highlighted cluster of the year. Similarly, to “Generation-Z” in the first period, this cluster manages to draw the attention for the highest number of citations (105 citations), being the higher on average citations (26.25 cites). The second with most cited in this period is “Generation-Z” with 73 citations. Also, “Generation-y” has 23 citations and an average citation of 3.29 per article. The cluster “teams” with only one published article involves a relevant impact as it reaches 14 citations in comparison with clusters of “innovations” and “consumers” with two and cero citations, respectively.

The third period (2019) concentrates the clusters of current trends. Nowadays, the most researched themes are, in descending order of citations: “outcomes” with 43 citations, “theory of planned behavior” with 38 citations, “generations” with 33 citations, “learning-teaching-education” with 15 citations, and “personality” cluster has no citation.

The fourth and last period (2020) is a continuation of the previous period in terms of clusters highlighted by number of citations. “Generations” and “learning-teaching-education” stood out by the cited papers, with 38 and 22 citations, respectively, followed by “workplace” with eight citations. Although this last cluster has a lower number of citations, it should be noted that only four articles have been cited, so the average number of citations is very close to the first two clusters.

From a general perspective, there are some observations to consider. (a) The clusters created in the first period (“Generation-Z,” “management,” “attitudes,” and “leadership”) have served as a base for the research of the forthcoming years, have been a major impact, particularly “Generation-Z” as they have transitioned to another period. (b) The number of total documents of the clusters seem to increase with time. (c) Notably, the clusters with most impact during the whole timeframe of the analysis, which are from higher to lower number of citations, are as follows: “Generation-Z” (171 citations), “career” (105 citations), “outcomes” (43 citations), and “generations” (38 citations).

Period-by-Period Strategy Map Analysis

Once the longitudinal map has been explained, and the evolution of the clusters is known, the paper will proceed analyzing the importance of each cluster in terms of Callon’s density and centrality measures through a strategic map, which values are represented and already mentioned in Table 5 . Centrality measure of Callon represents the interaction among networks, whereas the density measure indicates the internal strength of the network. After the analysis of a strategic diagram of the period, the main cluster in the motor themes is addressed, meaning, the theme that has the highest combination of density and centrality is the one cluster that is in the most upper-right position in the map. The analysis of the network surrounding the motor theme of each period is then explained.

First Period 2009–2017

The strategic map ( Figure 5 ) visually shows how the clusters of the 2009–2017 period are scattered according to their density and centrality measures (previous Table 5 ). The cluster “Generation-Z” is a relevant cluster which, although has the higher number of articles, the early stages of the topic in this period makes its average citation lower than would be expected. “Generation-Z” stands with a centrality of 103.69 and a density of 52.48. On this note, “Generation-Z” is an important topic in the research, but this needs additional development. The “management” cluster is a driving theme due to its measures on centrality (55.9) and density (87.5). Thus, the “management” network has high interaction and internal strength and was at the center of the research in this period.

Figure 5. Period 2009–2017 strategic diagram (A) and the motor cluster’s network (B) . Source: Elaborated with SciMAT.

On the other hand, we have “leadership,” which is between an emergent or a decadent theme and a motor theme, with 15.85 and 50 centrality and density values, respectively. As the topic of this study is quite recent and does not amount to excessive research, a focus on the “leadership” in so early stages makes it highly interesting as the same time than the specialized theme. Changing quadrant, the cluster “attitudes” is clearly peripheral theme, with a centrality of 0 and a density of 0.25. This last cluster will disappear on the rest of periods (2018, 2019, and 2020).

Now, the thematic network of the motor theme ( Figure 5 , right) of the period will be analyzed, driving the internal analysis of the “management” cluster. In order to disclose insights on the most relevant links, the weight of the internal links is displayed in Table 6 .

Table 6. “Generation-Z” and Management cluster network 2009–2017.

The network around the main themes of the period is composed by the following internal links: (a) “experiences” is linked with “competence,” and (b) “conflict” with “personality.” To a lesser extent, latter clusters are also connected with “Generation-Y” and “Generation-X,” the “experiences” cluster with “labor market,” and the latter with “Competence.” The different models to be adopted in terms of conflict and the personality of workers are also part of the network of this main theme.

Second Period 2018

Likewise, strategic map of the 2018 period ( Figure 6 , left) visually shows how the clusters of the period are distributed according to density and centrality measures ( Table 5 ), increasing the number of clusters by one with respect to the previous period.

Figure 6. Period 2018 strategic diagram (A) and motor cluster’s network (B) . Source: Elaborated with SciMAT.

In this case, there are two motor clusters that define the thematic of the period, “Generation-Z” and “Generation-Y.” Both clusters attract publications and have high average citations. The “Generation-Z” cluster is characterized by a high interaction (145.61) and by internal strength (54.06). In the Figure 6 , it is closer to the top right corner of the strategic diagram, meaning, it is the most influential thematic in the period. The “Generation-Y” cluster is also a motor theme but to a lesser extent, with centrality of 51.85 and a density of 51.94.

There are two groups of clusters on the border of the basic topics-emergent and decadent themes and on the border of basic topics-motor themes. On the one hand, “career” is the cluster that receives the highest number of citations, but due to its density, it is on the borderline between the emerging or decadent themes and the basic themes. In turn, the “organizational” cluster, due to its centrality, is on the borderline between basic and driving themes. We will have to check their evolution to see if they will finally fall into one of the surrounding quadrants.

Within the peripheral themes, “consumers” is a new cluster. Finally, the “teams” cluster can classify as an emergent or decadent theme, not very developed, with a centrality of 11.75, and the lowest density within the sample (50).

Regarding the internal thematic analysis of the main motor theme network ( Figure 6 , right and Table 7 ), “Generation-Z” maintains the most important links as follows: “Baby-boomers” with “Generation-X”; “models” with “behavior”; and “organizational commitment” with “Entrepreneurship.” Moreover, to a lesser extent, “culture and values” with “Generation-X,” “behavior,” “models,” and “baby-boomers.”

Table 7. “Generation-Z” Cluster Network 2018.

Third Period 2019

The strategic map in Figure 7 (left) shows how the cluster of 2019 period stands according to density and centrality measures of Callon (previous Table 5 ). There are two driving themes that define the thematic of the period and attract publications, “outcomes” and “Generation-Z,” which define the current tendency of the published articles. Both are characterized by the highest internal strength of their networks, being 82.90 and 81.21, respectively. One of the main differences between these two motor themes is that “Generation-Z” has attracted far more publications (22) and citations (46 cites) than “impact” (numbers 6 and 7). The “Generation-Z” cluster appeared in the first period (2009–2017), losing importance in the second (2019) as it did not even appear in the longitudinal map, and reappearing even more strongly in the last one (2020–2021). In this new appearance of “Generation-Z”, its centrality increased at over 50% and its density at over 60%.

Figure 7. Period 2019 strategic diagram (A) and motor cluster’s network (B) . Source: elaborated with SciMAT.

The cluster “personality” enters into play as an emergent theme due to a low centrality and “learning-teaching-education” as a basic theme with a higher centrality being its internal consistency more important in comparison to “personality” ( Figure 7 , left).

Additionally, there is one peripheral theme, “theory of planned behaviour” which has evolved from the second period (2018) from the cluster’s “career” and “consumers.”

With regards to the internal thematic analysis of “generations” as the main driving theme network of the period ( Figure 7 , right), the internal links are shown in Table 8 . In this specific period, the relations with the highest density are: “workplace” with “Generation-Z”; and “baby-boomers” with “Generation-X.” To a lesser extent is observed the linkage of “Generation-Y” with “Generation-Z,” and “baby-boomers” with “Generation-X.” All clusters share links to other themes with lower weights.

Table 8. “Generations” cluster network 2019.

Fourth Period 2020

In this last period, the “workplace” cluster appears as a driving theme, leading the research in the last year 2020. If we consider the evolution of the themes in the longitudinal analysis ( Figure 8 ), the “workplace” cluster is linked to the “Generation-Z” and “generations” clusters of previous periods. In this last period, it reaches the necessary internal consistency to be the leading researching theme. On the other hand, the “generations” cluster remains as a basic theme without evolving with respect to 2019, although it receives 22 citations in 2020. The peripheral themes are “organizational change” and “outcomes,” losing its relevance from 2019, although it receives 22 citations in 2020. The peripheral themes are “organizational change” and “Outcomes” which in the previous period was a driving theme, and also, they lost their relevance in 2020. There are no emerging or declining themes for this period.

Figure 8. Period 2020 strategic diagram (A) and motor cluster’s network (B) . Source: elaborated with SciMAT.

Regarding the internal analysis of the driving theme “workplace” (the main thematic network driving the period) ( Figure 8 , right), the internal links are shown in Table 9 . The most intense relationships are: “mentor” and “factor analysis” and to a lesser extent “organizations” and “industry 4.0,” “organizations” and “leadership,” “organizations” and “Generation-Y,” and “factor analysis” and “organizational.” Finally, from a cross-period approach, it is evident that the main driving theme is “Generation-Z” but obviously the keyword filter included in the search is the main reason.

Table 9. “Workplace” cluster network 2020.


The aim of this work has been to disclose the thematic research trends and their evolution on the Gen Z as employees within the workforce and in the workplace. Additionally, the authors wanted to shed light to the themes that have not been sufficiently developed yet. The idea is that this research should not fully dive into the content, which was used for the research, but rather to see a full context on the matter. This is to serve as a support for further research. The effectiveness, as well as the relevance of the methodology, used is proven, and the data collected has been properly uncovered through a series of step, which pretended to go from the general study fields as the authors or journal, to more concrete aspects of the topic, such as the network of the most influential thematic clusters of each period.

Additionally, 13 authors stood out from the rest, having written more than one article, while 33 have received more than 20 citations. From these, one author is worth mentioning, Goh, who not only has written three articles while the rest have written two or less, but he has also received the maximum number of citations (92) for its research on the topic related with the hospitality sector, the theory of planned behavior, talent management, and recruitment strategies ( Goh and Kong, 2018 ; Goh and Lee, 2018 ; Goh and Okumus, 2020 ). The most relevant journals with respect to the JIF are the International Journal of Hospitality Management , the California Management Review , the Journal of Competitiveness , the Tourism and Management Perspectives , and the Sustainability , from which all are above 3.500 JIF index. An expected result from the journal analysis is the focus on management in the most impactful journals. Another interesting finding from the research is the orientation on hospitality and tourism, psychology, and nursing as related areas of the study joining the main topic of this research. But there is a lack of studies related with other sectors as basic, at the same time than complex, as financial sectors, or customer service other than from the hospitality and tourism industry.

Mostly from the tendency change in 2018, the number of publications on the topic have increased, but still are relatively low. The results demonstrate an increasingly meaningful line of research on Gen Z within the workforce and the workplace, since 2018. These research results are mainly from the management field, remarking the importance, and impact this generation has on companies and their dynamics. The highest number of works were published in 2019, after which a small decrease in the number of documents occurred in 2020.

The evolution of the keywords between the periods had the following effects: (a) there has only been an increase of 12 words within the whole length of the periods studied; (b) throughout this complete time frame, 28 keywords were discarded; (c) whereas 40 were included. Furthermore, the longitudinal analysis has allowed to discover that the four clusters of the first period (“generation Z,” “management,” “attitudes,” and “leadership”) have been the basis for the evolution of the theme.

The “generation Z” cluster stands out in the first and the second period. This cluster evolves into the “generations” cluster in the third period, and into the “workplace” cluster in the last period. We believe that this fact indicates the interest of considering workplace as an ecosystem in which Gen Z must interact with other previous generations. The size of the “workplace” cluster indicates that this line of research may potentially expand in the near future.


This article is admitted being subject to certain limitations. Firstly, the sample used for the research is small and was only exclusively obtained from the Web of Science database. In this case, the study could be compared with similar bibliometric analyses on the matter involving different databases, e.g., Scopus. Secondly, the elimination of documents not directly related to the topic and the subjective clustering of words into word groups may offer slightly different results if another person replicates the review.

The special characteristics and behaviors of the newest generation to enter the labor market make the management of Gen Z within the workplace and in the workforce a real challenge. It is not only necessary to acknowledge that changes are coming, but also imperative to start adapting now if it has not started yet. When a new age cohort enters the workforce, firms and employees face a modification of the work dynamic and company culture. Therefore, the role of human resources management is crucial for an effective onboarding and for the correct adaptation to the new normal workplace. The addition of another generation to the work environment will affect both the professional and the social context in which the employees develop their careers. No misunderstanding or wrongful generalization of methods and techniques should be done, as the strategic goals of a firm are individual, and the formal and cultural structures of the company need to be aligned with it for correct decision-making.

As for the results of this research, they allow a better understanding of thematic field of the Gen Z related to the workforce and in the workplace. The analysis revealed the development of the study on Gen Z, the workforce, and the workplace in a time frame of 11 years. From 2009 to 2017, the number of publications is relatively low, and it is from 2018 when the topic starts attracting higher attention. Most authors have only written one document, whereas a few have written two, and only one stood out for the number of publications and citations, Goh, who has written four articles and received 168 citations among all his works. In addition, the journals with most impact are the International Journal of Hospitality Management , the California Management Review , the Journal of Competitiveness , and the Sustainability.

There is a slow but sustained growth of research on the topic, together with a relatively small rate of keywords incorporated and a low stability among periods. This suggests a weakly increasing interest of researchers in the field, and a broad margin for future development. Moving on to the analysis of the thematic cluster evolution, the distribution of themes has been discussed, and the driving theme network of each period has been displayed. The main core of the research on Gen Z within the workforce and in the workplace has been redundantly developing around “Generation-Z, “workplace,” “generations,” “learning-teaching-education,” and “career.” With the volatile progress of the key clusters on the topic through the periods, it is not safe to say which themes will be surely included in the next years, but it seems that Gen Z will keep a strong importance, as well as the current basic clusters, which are related to performance and the workforce.

There are some suggestions in relation to areas with the need of future research due to the absence or to insufficient publications developed. On one hand, a technological aspect on the workplace could be addressed to shed some light on how companies need to prepare or are presently preparing for a digital evolution in the workplace motivated by the tech-savvy Gen Z. On the other hand, it would be interesting to study the knowledge and skills of generation Z as leaders and how they are transferred to future generations.

Author Contributions

ES-T, EN-R, GB-G, and MB-M designed, performed, analyzed the research, wrote the manuscript, searched literature, analyzed, and verified the data of this article. All authors contributed to the article and approved the submitted version.

Conflict of Interest

The authors declare that the research was conducted in the absence of any commercial or financial relationships that could be construed as a potential conflict of interest.

Publisher’s Note

All claims expressed in this article are solely those of the authors and do not necessarily represent those of their affiliated organizations, or those of the publisher, the editors and the reviewers. Any product that may be evaluated in this article, or claim that may be made by its manufacturer, is not guaranteed or endorsed by the publisher.

Supplementary Material

The Supplementary Material for this article can be found online at:

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Keywords : Generation Z, workplace, workforce, bibliometric review, SciMAT, thematic cluster

Citation: Benítez-Márquez MD, Sánchez-Teba EM, Bermúdez-González G and Núñez-Rydman ES (2022) Generation Z Within the Workforce and in the Workplace: A Bibliometric Analysis. Front. Psychol. 12:736820. doi: 10.3389/fpsyg.2021.736820

Received: 05 July 2021; Accepted: 16 December 2021; Published: 01 February 2022.

Reviewed by:

Copyright © 2022 Benítez-Márquez, Sánchez-Teba, Bermúdez-González and Núñez-Rydman. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY) . The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author(s) and the copyright owner(s) are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.

*Correspondence: María Dolores Benítez-Márquez, [email protected]

‘True Gen’: Generation Z and its implications for companies

See our latest research on Gen Z in America  and Gen Z in Asia .

Long before the term “influencer” was coined, young people played that social role by creating and interpreting trends. Now a new generation of influencers has come on the scene. Members of Gen Z—loosely, people born from 1995 to 2010—are true digital natives: from earliest youth, they have been exposed to the internet, to social networks, and to mobile systems. That context has produced a hypercognitive generation very comfortable with collecting and cross-referencing many sources of information and with integrating virtual and offline experiences.

As global connectivity soars, generational shifts could come to play a more important role in setting behavior than socioeconomic differences do. Young people have become a potent influence on people of all ages and incomes, as well as on the way those people consume and relate to brands. In Brazil, Gen Z already makes up 20 percent of the country’s population. McKinsey recently collaborated with Box1824, a research agency specializing in consumer trends, to conduct a survey investigating the behaviors of this new generation and its influence on consumption patterns in Brazil. 1 1. From June to October 2017, researchers, psychologists, and social scientists undertook ethnographic field research to observe how Gen Zers communicate, what they believe in, and the choices they make (and why). Using advanced ethnographic techniques (scenario invasion), researchers conducted 120 qualitative interviews in Recife, Rio de Janeiro, and São Paulo with influential people from this generation. Besides the field research, 90 Gen Zers participated in focus groups in these three cities, as well as in Florianópolis and Goiânia. From October 3 to 11, we also conducted an online survey with 2,321 men and women from 14 to 64 years of age and various socioeconomic brackets in Brazil. The survey coupled qualitative insights about Gen Z in three of the country’s major cities (Recife, Rio de Janeiro, and São Paulo) with multigenerational quantitative data that cut across socioeconomic classes. Our goal was to understand how this new generation’s views might affect the broader population, as well as consumption in general.

Our study based on the survey reveals four core Gen Z behaviors, all anchored in one element: this generation’s search for truth. Gen Zers value individual expression and avoid labels. They mobilize themselves for a variety of causes. They believe profoundly in the efficacy of dialogue to solve conflicts and improve the world. Finally, they make decisions and relate to institutions in a highly analytical and pragmatic way. That is why, for us, Gen Z is “True Gen.” In contrast, the previous generation— the millennials , sometimes called the “me generation”—got its start in an era of economic prosperity and focuses on the self. Its members are more idealistic, more confrontational, and less willing to accept diverse points of view.

Such behaviors influence the way Gen Zers view consumption and their relationships with brands. Companies should be attuned to three implications for this generation: consumption as access rather than possession, consumption as an expression of individual identity, and consumption as a matter of ethical concern. Coupled with technological advances, this generational shift is transforming the consumer landscape in a way that cuts across all socioeconomic brackets and extends beyond Gen Z, permeating the whole demographic pyramid. The possibilities now emerging for companies are as transformational as they are challenging. Businesses must rethink how they deliver value to the consumer, rebalance scale and mass production against personalization, and—more than ever—practice what they preach when they address marketing issues and work ethics.

Meet True Gen

Generations are shaped by the context in which they emerged (Exhibit 1). Baby boomers, born from 1940 to 1959, were immersed in the post–World War II context and are best represented by consumption as an expression of ideology. Gen Xers (born 1960–79) consumed status, while millennials (born 1980–94) consumed experiences. For Generation Z, as we have seen, the main spur to consumption is the search for truth, in both a personal and a communal form (Exhibit 2). This generation feels comfortable not having only one way to be itself. Its search for authenticity generates greater freedom of expression and greater openness to understanding different kinds of people.

‘Undefined ID’: Expressing individual truth

I need to be free; I need to be myself, increasingly be myself, every day. With the internet, I feel much more free. —Female respondent, 22, city of São Paulo

I really like things that are unisex! I think it’s absurd that stores and brands split everything into “male” and “female.” After all, fabric is genderless. —Female respondent, 22, Goiânia

For Gen Zers, the key point is not to define themselves through only one stereotype but rather for individuals to experiment with different ways of being themselves and to shape their individual identities over time (Exhibit 3). In this respect, you might call them “identity nomads.”

Seventy-six percent of Gen Zers say they are religious. At the same time, they are also the generation most open to a variety of themes not necessarily aligned with the broader beliefs of their declared religions. For example, 20 percent of them do not consider themselves exclusively heterosexual, as opposed to 10 percent for other generations. Sixty percent of Gen Zers think that same-sex couples should be able to adopt children—ten percentage points more than people in other generations do.

Gender fluidity may be the most telling reflection of “undefined ID,” but it isn’t the only one. Gen Zers are always connected. They constantly evaluate unprecedented amounts of information and influences. For them, the self is a place to experiment, test, and change. Seven out of ten Gen Zers say it is important to defend causes related to identity, so they are more interested than previous generations have been in human rights; in matters related to race and ethnicity; in lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender issues; and in feminism (Exhibit 4).

‘Communaholic’: Connecting to different truths

We each have our own style and way of being, but what binds us is that we accept and understand everyone’s styles. —Male respondent, 16, Recife

Gen Zers are radically inclusive. They don’t distinguish between friends they meet online and friends in the physical world. They continually flow between communities that promote their causes by exploiting the high level of mobilization technology makes possible. Gen Zers value online communities because they allow people of different economic circumstances to connect and mobilize around causes and interests. (Sixty-six percent of the Gen Zers in our survey believe that communities are created by causes and interests, not by economic backgrounds or educational levels. That percentage is well above the corresponding one for millennials, Gen Xers, and baby boomers.) Fifty-two percent of Gen Zers think it is natural for every individual to belong to different groups (compared with 45 percent of the people in other generations), and Gen Zers have no problem with moving between groups.

‘Dialoguer’: Understanding different truths

We must practice tolerance, and we must learn to listen and accept differences. —Male respondent, 20, Gioânia

Gen Zers believe in the importance of dialogue and accept differences of opinion with the institutions in which they participate and with their own families (Exhibit 5). They can interact with institutions that reject their personal values without abandoning those values. The fact that Gen Zers feel comfortable interacting with traditional religious institutions without abandoning personal beliefs that might not be broadly accepted by these institutions also demonstrates their pragmatism. Rather than spurn an institution altogether, Gen Zers would rather engage with it to extract whatever makes sense for them.

Members of this generation therefore tend to believe that change must come from dialogue: 57 percent of millennials, Gen Xers, and baby boomers think they would have to break with the system to change the world, compared with 49 percent of Gen Zers. Gen Z is also more willing to accommodate the failings of companies. Thirty-nine percent of the people in this generation, for example, expect companies to answer customer complaints in the same day; for the three earlier generations, the percentage is much higher—52 percent.

Gen Z’s belief in dialogue combines a high value for individual identity, the rejection of stereotypes, and a considerable degree of pragmatism. That brings us to the fourth core behavior of Gen Z.

‘Realistic’: Unveiling the truth behind all things

I don’t believe this talk of investing in the dream and all that. Work is work. —Female respondent, 22, Salvador, state of Bahia

Gen Zers, with vast amounts of information at their disposal, are more pragmatic and analytical about their decisions than members of previous generations were. Sixty-five percent of the Gen Zers in our survey said that they particularly value knowing what is going on around them and being in control. This generation of self-learners is also more comfortable absorbing knowledge online than in traditional institutions of learning.

What’s more, Gen Z was raised at a time of global economic stress —in fact, the greatest economic downturn in Brazil’s history. These challenges made Gen Zers less idealistic than the millennials we surveyed (Exhibit 6). Many Gen Zers are keenly aware of the need to save for the future and see job stability as more important than a high salary. They already show a high preference for regular employment rather than freelance or part-time work, which may come as a surprise compared to the attitude of millennials, for example. According to the survey, 42 percent of Gen Zers from 17 to 23 years old are already gainfully employed in either full- or part-time jobs or as freelance workers—a high percentage for people so young.

Gen Z: Consumption and implications for companies

The youthful forms of behavior we discuss here are influencing all generations and, ultimately, attitudes toward consumption as well. Three forces are emerging in a powerful confluence of technology and behavior.

Consumption re-signified: From possession to access

This more pragmatic and realistic generation of consumers expects to access and evaluate a broad range of information before purchases. Gen Zers analyze not only what they buy but also the very act of consuming. Consumption has also gained a new meaning. For Gen Z—and increasingly for older generations as well—consumption means having access to products or services, not necessarily owning them. As access becomes the new form of consumption, unlimited access to goods and services (such as car-riding services, video streaming, and subscriptions) creates value. Products become services, and services connect consumers.

As collaborative consumption gains traction, people are also starting to view it as a way to generate additional income in the “ gig economy .” Another aspect of the gig economy involves consumers who take advantage of their existing relationships with companies to generate additional income by working temporarily for them. Some companies are already embracing the implications.

Car manufacturers, for example, are renting out vehicles directly to consumers, so that instead of selling 1,000 cars, these companies may sell one car 1,000 times. The role of sporting-goods businesses, likewise, has shifted to helping people become better athletes by providing access to equipment, technology, coaching, and communities of like-minded consumers. Similarly, traditional consumer-goods companies should consider creating platforms of products, services, and experiences that aggregate or connect customers around brands. Companies historically defined by the products they sell or consume can now rethink their value-creation models, leveraging more direct relationships with consumers and new distribution channels.

Singularity: Consumption as an expression of individual identity

The core of Gen Z is the idea of manifesting individual identity. Consumption therefore becomes a means of self-expression—as opposed, for example, to buying or wearing brands to fit in with the norms of groups. Led by Gen Z and millennials, consumers across generations are not only eager for more personalized products but also willing to pay a premium for products that highlight their individuality. Fifty-eight percent of A-class and 43 percent of C-class consumers 2 2. A-class consumers have household incomes above $6,631; B-class consumers, incomes from $1,540 to $6,631; and C-class consumers, incomes from $516 to $1,540. say they are willing to pay more for personalized offerings. Seventy percent of A-class and 58 percent of C-class consumers are willing to pay a premium for products from brands that embrace causes those consumers identify with. And here’s another finding that stood out in our survey: 48 percent of Gen Zers—but only 38 percent of consumers in other generations—said they value brands that don’t classify items as male or female. For most brands, that is truly new territory.

Although expectations of personalization are high, consumers across generations are not yet totally comfortable about sharing their personal data with companies. Only 10 to 15 percent of them declare not to have any issues in sharing personal data with companies. If there is a clear counterpart from companies to consumers, then the number of consumers willing to share personal information with companies goes up to 35 percent—still a relatively small number.

As the on- and offline worlds converge, consumers expect more than ever to consume products and services any time and any place, so omnichannel marketing and sales must reach a new level. For consumers who are always and everywhere online, the online–offline boundary doesn’t exist. Meanwhile, we are entering the “segmentation of one” age now that companies can use advanced analytics to improve their insights from consumer data. Customer information that companies have long buried in data repositories now has strategic value, and in some cases information itself creates the value. Leading companies should therefore have a data strategy that will prepare them to develop business insights by collecting and interpreting information about individual consumers while protecting data privacy.

For decades, consumer companies and retailers have realized gains through economies of scale. Now they may have to accept a two-track model: the first for scale and mass consumption, the other for customization catering to specific groups of consumers or to the most loyal consumers. In this scenario, not only marketing but also the supply chain and manufacturing processes would require more agility and flexibility. For businesses, that kind of future raises many questions. How long will clothing collections grouped by gender continue to make sense, for example? How should companies market cars or jewelry in an inclusive, unbiased way? To what extent should the need for a two-speed business transform the internal processes and structure of companies?

Consumption anchored on ethics

Finally, consumers increasingly expect brands to “take a stand.” The point is not to have a politically correct position on a broad range of topics. It is to choose the specific topics (or causes) that make sense for a brand and its consumers and to have something clear to say about those particular issues. In a transparent world, younger consumers don’t distinguish between the ethics of a brand, the company that owns it, and its network of partners and suppliers. A company’s actions must match its ideals, and those ideals must permeate the entire stakeholder system.

Gen Z consumers are mostly well educated about brands and the realities behind them. When they are not, they know how to access information and develop a point of view quickly. If a brand advertises diversity but lacks diversity within its own ranks, for example, that contradiction will be noticed. In fact, members of the other generations we surveyed share this mind-set. Seventy percent of our respondents say they try to purchase products from companies they consider ethical. Eighty percent say they remember at least one scandal or controversy involving a company. About 65 percent try to learn the origins of anything they buy—where it is made, what it is made from, and how it is made. About 80 percent refuse to buy goods from companies involved in scandals.

All this is relevant for businesses, since 63 percent of the consumers we surveyed said that recommendations from friends are their most trusted source for learning about products and brands. The good news is that consumers—in particular Gen Zers—are tolerant of brands when they make mistakes, if the mistakes are corrected. That path is more challenging for large corporations, since a majority of our respondents believe that major brands are less ethical than small ones.

For consumers, marketing and work ethics are converging. Companies must therefore not only identify clearly the topics on which they will take positions but also ensure that everyone throughout the value chain gets on board. For the same reason, companies ought to think carefully about the marketing agents who represent their brands and products. Remember too that consumers increasingly understand that some companies subsidize their influencers. Perhaps partly for that reason, consumers tend to pay more attention to closer connections—for example, Instagram personas with 5,000 to 20,000 followers. Marketing in the digital age is posing increasingly complex challenges as channels become more fragmented and ever changing.

Young people have always embodied the zeitgeist of their societies, profoundly influencing trends and behavior alike. The influence of Gen Z—the first generation of true digital natives—is now radiating outward, with the search for truth at the center of its characteristic behavior and consumption patterns. Technology has given young people an unprecedented degree of connectivity among themselves and with the rest of the population. That makes generational shifts more important and speeds up technological trends as well. For companies, this shift will bring both challenges and equally attractive opportunities. And remember: the first step in capturing any opportunity is being open to it.

About the author(s)

Tracy Francis is a senior partner and Fernanda Hoefel is a partner in McKinsey’s São Paulo office.

The authors wish to thank the broader team of people that contributed to this article in many different forms.

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Gen Z are not ‘coddled.’ They are highly collaborative, self-reliant and pragmatic, according to new Stanford-affiliated research

Generation Z, the first generation never to know the world without the internet, value diversity and finding their own unique identities, says Stanford scholar Roberta Katz.

Generation Z – also known as Gen Z, iGen or postmillennial – are a highly collaborative cohort that cares deeply about others and have a pragmatic attitude about how to address a set of inherited issues like climate change, according to research by Roberta Katz, a senior research scholar at Stanford’s Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences (CASBS) .

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Roberta Katz (Image credit: Charles Katz)

Since 2017, Katz, along with her co-authors, Sarah Ogilvie, a linguist at the University of Oxford and formerly at Stanford; Jane Shaw, a historian who is the principal of Harris Manchester College at Oxford and was previously dean for Religious Life at Stanford; and Linda Woodhead, a sociologist at King’s College London, collaborated as part of a multi-year CASBS research project to better understand a generation who, born between the mid-1990s to around 2010, grew up with digital tools always at their fingertips.

Their findings are based on some 120 interviews gathered on three college campuses – Stanford University; Foothill College, a community college in Los Altos Hills, California; and Lancaster University, a research university in Lancaster, England. A set of focus groups and two surveys in the U.S. and the U.K. were administered to a representative sample of over 2,000 adults aged between 18 and 25 years old.

Contributing further to the scholar’s understanding of Gen Z was the creation of the “ iGen corpus ,” a 70 million item digital repository of spoken and written language of people aged 16 to 25 years that included transcripts from the researchers’ interviews and focus groups, as well as public data from the social media platforms Twitter, Reddit, Twitch, 4chan and YouTube, as well as memes and copypastas from Facebook and Instagram. Ogilvie, the principal investigator on the corpus research team, along with a team of Stanford student research assistants, applied machine learning algorithms to discover the many ways in which young people today express themselves.

Taken together, the scholars’ research offers a snapshot of who Gen Zers really are, what matters to them and why. Findings from Katz’s and her co-authors’ research are detailed in a new book, Gen Z, Explained: The Art of Living in a Digital Age (University of Chicago Press, 2021).

Here, Katz discusses some of what she and her colleagues learned from their extensive research into how Gen Zers, the most diverse generation yet , experience and understand the world.

Based on your research, can you briefly describe the typical Gen Zer?

In summary, a typical Gen Zer is a self-driver who deeply cares about others, strives for a diverse community, is highly collaborative and social, values flexibility, relevance, authenticity and non-hierarchical leadership, and, while dismayed about inherited issues like climate change, has a pragmatic attitude about the work that has to be done to address those issues.

How has growing up in an internet-connected society shaped how Gen Zers see and experience the world and everyday life?

Internet-related technologies have dramatically changed the speed, scale and scope of human communications, resulting in significant changes in how people work, play, shop, find friends and learn about other people. For Gen Zers living in the United States and Britain (the two places we studied), the “norm” they experienced as children was a world that operated at speed, scale and scope. They developed an early facility with powerful digital tools that allowed them to be self-reliant as well as collaborative. Similarly, because they could learn about people and cultures around the globe from an early age, they developed a greater appreciation for diversity and the importance of finding their own unique identities.

What do people most misunderstand or get wrong about Gen Zers?

For quite a while, people were critical of what they saw as a generation that was too coddled and “soft.” Gen Zers were called “snowflakes” and “unwilling to grow up.” But much of that negative judgment came from a misunderstanding of what it is like to grow up in today’s world when compared with how their elders grew up. As an example, Gen Zers have been criticized as lazy because they don’t have after-school or summer jobs. But many Gen Zers have been earning significant dollars online through a variety of activities, even including product placements on fashion-advice sites. Another example concerns drivers’ licenses: older people, for whom getting a driver’s license was a rite of passage toward adulthood, have criticized Gen Zers who do not rush to take their driver’s tests when they turn 16, but this criticism fails to consider that Gen Zers have no need to drive when they have ready access to ride services like Uber and Lyft.

Do you think Gen Zers get an undeserved bad rap?

Yes, but that is changing. Of late, many people are beginning to appreciate the strength and pragmatism of Gen Zers.

What were you most surprised to learn about Gen Zers?

Our biggest surprise came in response to this interview question: “What type of communication do you like best?” We expected the interviewees to respond with their favorite type of digital communication – e.g., text, email, chat group, DM, FaceTime, Skype, etc. – but instead nearly every single person said their favorite form of communication was “in person.”

As Gen Zers enter the workforce, what would be helpful for other generations to know about their post-millennial colleagues?

For those who are now experiencing Gen Zers in the workplace, my advice is to recognize that these new colleagues are used to working collaboratively and flexibly, with an eye to being efficient in getting the job done. They are pragmatic and value direct communication, authenticity and relevance. They also value self-care. They may be more likely than older people were when they were the age of the Gen Zers to question rules and authority because they are so used to finding what they need on their own. They are not always right; often they don’t know what they need, especially in a new setting, and this is where inter-generational dialogue can be so helpful. Both the older and the younger colleagues can learn from the other, in each case by listening with more respect, appreciation and trust. The older colleague can learn some helpful new ways of getting a job done, while the younger colleague may learn good reasons for why things have long been done in a certain way. Without that dialogue, we’ll have a wasteful tug of war between the past and the future. The goal is for older and younger generations to work together, with openness and trust, to ensure that the wisdom – but not what has become the excess baggage – of the past is not lost to the future.

How has studying Gen Zers changed your own interactions with this generation?

I came to understand that Gen Zers are, on the whole, much better adapted to life in a digital age than those of us who are older and that they can be very frustrated by what appear to them to be outdated and often irrelevant ways of doing things. As one simple example that we cite in the book, an older person would likely assume that any organization needs a set of officers, for that has been the norm in their experience, but a Gen Zer would say, from their lived experience, that there is no need to elect officers (or other leaders) if the group can accomplish its mission through online collaborations that take advantage of the participants’ diverse skills.

In my own interactions with Gen Zers, I am much more likely than I used to be to listen closely to what they say, and to refrain from making a judgment about their ideas, values and behaviors based on an assumption that they are wrong and I am right. They often do things differently, have some different values and have some different ideas about the future than I do, and I have come to appreciate and trust that they often have a new and better approach. Many of us who are older have a different understanding of how the world works, which is rooted in our own early experiences, so it’s easy for us to assume that the world will continue to operate in much the same way going forward and that the young people need to adapt to that older way of living. But the younger people are necessarily future-oriented, and as we all are increasingly coming to appreciate, the digital-age future is quite different from the industrial-age past.

For 13 years, Katz served under Stanford University Presidents John Hennessy and Marc Tessier-Lavigne as the associate vice president for strategic planning. She also served as President Tessier-Lavigne’s interim chief of staff until early 2017. Katz has been deeply involved in the facilitation of a variety of interdisciplinary research initiatives at Stanford, and she is a current member of the CASBS board of directors.

This research was funded by the Knight Foundation.

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The mass media entered a new era where all media is digital, including literary works. The results of this study are expected to show the views and impressions of Generation-Z on digital literary works and help bring insights to the general public regarding Gen z's response to digital literature through the Booktok trend. This research aims to gain knowledge over generation z's perspective on developments on digital literature works media and how they see those changes through the BookTok trend in TikTok by using descriptive qualitative method, using interviews and data from books, journal articles, and videos with a span of 2019-2021. This research focused on the response of Generation Z to changes in the media of literary works and the images of literary works through the BookTok trend in the Tiktok social media community.

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Understanding the Impact of Generation Z on Risk Management—A Preliminary Views on Values, Competencies, and Ethics of the Generation Z in Public Administration

Zbysław dobrowolski.

1 Institute of Public Affairs, Jagiellonian University, 30-348 Kraków, Poland

Grzegorz Drozdowski

2 Department of Economics and Finance, Jan Kochanowski University, 25-369 Kielce, Poland; [email protected]

Mirela Panait

3 Department of Cybernetics, Economic Informatics, Finance and Accounting, Petroleum-Gas University of Ploiesti, 100680 Ploieşti, Romania; [email protected]

Associated Data

Not applicable.

Gen Z, people born in the Internet age, are entering the labour market and soon will be responsible for public administration. Such a situation creates the need to study their professional motivations and competencies. We aim to determine: (1) What are the motivating factors of Gen Z representatives? (2) What is the factor’s structure of competencies of Gen Z employees? (3) Do Gen Z’s interest in public administration result from their needs to realise the public interest? These questions are fundamental for the strategy of hiring and training newcomers. This original paper’s insights have emerged iteratively based on a systematic literature searching method and data obtained from the surveys ( n = 335). Research of Polish representatives of Gen Z showed that their expectations are similar to those found in other countries. However, their responses suggest that ethical issues are not the most important for them. The presence of generation G on the labor market will generate a paradigm shift in the activity of companies and public institutions that will be the employers of these young people. Reconfiguration of the principles of human resource management is necessary so that organizations benefit from the qualities of generation Z—they gravitate towards gamified processes because of mobile-centricity; they are natives of global communication, self-learners, and self-motivators; they appreciate transparency.

1. Introduction

One may generalise that the issue of matching motivational tools to different generations is well recognised, and there are many studies on generational differences. However, the continuation of the study on Generation Z (Gen Z) can bring other several contributions. First, like other researchers, e.g., [ 1 , 2 ], we think that such a study may enrich theorists’ and practitioners’ awareness of generational differences. Moreover, better understanding the Gen Z expectations and their features allows decision-makers to fit workplaces better and manage different risk types, including human resource management. Such knowledge helps avoid a job mismatch and reduce the risk of resources waste [ 3 ]. Finally, it may help maintain skilful young employees [ 4 ] and develop workplaces desired by Gen Z.

During this study, we took into account the Mannheim (1952) theory of generations [ 5 ] and References [ 1 , 6 , 7 ]. We assume that new generations are usually described as being around 17–20 years in length because this time enables mapping cultural changes [ 8 , 9 ]. We also assume that Gen Z comprises people born after 1995 [ 10 ] or, according to some researchers, after 2000 [ 11 ].

Most studies on Generation Z have been carried out from the perspective of these young people as consumers and their attractiveness for consumer goods companies and retailers. In addition, given their digital capabilities, Generation Z has a global vision of economic and social phenomena, which is why they are increasingly concerned with promoting new concepts such as corporate social responsibility and sustainable development. Aware of the contribution they can make to sustainable development, Generation Z is increasingly involved as a volunteer in CSR companies promoting various companies that seek to either reduce the negative externalities generated by economic activity or to improve social and environmental performance [ 12 , 13 ]. Generation Z awareness of the important role that companies can play in promoting the principles of sustainable development generates an improvement in their behaviour as consumers, which will avoid wasting food and energy, reduce the purchase of less necessary goods, and sanction the actions of companies with a negative impact on the environment. According to Seabra et al., 2021 [ 14 ] “Gen Z is environmentally aware and concerned, and value an eco-friendly and healthy lifestyle” (p. 11). Considering the education received in school, the representatives of generation Z have at their disposal complex skills and knowledge related to entrepreneurship, financial market, food, sustainable development, etc. Therefore, they “have both the resources and willingness to influence the destiny and operation of CSR” [ 15 ] (p. 3). Understanding the behaviour of Generation Z to promote sustainable development is essential not only for companies but also for public authorities who can thus shape social and economic policies and adopt regulations to encourage the involvement of young people in CSR actions carried out by companies on a voluntary or mandatory basis. Given that Generation Z is geared towards digital media, these young people spend more time looking for the information posted on public portals or social media, and the responsible behaviour of companies is very closely monitored and appreciated [ 16 , 17 ]. These consumers are very vigilant and very well informed, which is why they quickly sanction any detected greenwashing attempt [ 18 , 19 , 20 , 21 , 22 ]. The main studies published in the international stream are focused on Gen Z behaviour as consumers. Very few studies focus on Generation Z as employees [ 12 , 23 ], one of the reasons being that these young people are in the process of completing their studies and starting their professional careers, and few of them are already present on the labour market. For this reason, this study is individualized considering that the research follows the behaviour of Gen Z as employees who will work in the central and local public administration, whose task will be not only (i) to develop economic and social policies in the context of the transition to low carbon economy but also (ii) to set up specific tools for the application of these policies. Moreover, these policies must be thought of and implemented in an increasingly complex context given the phenomenon of globalization, the intensification of black swan events, the increased risk of cyberattacks, and the need to manage climate change.

Generation Z is considered to be much more motivated and determined to achieve its goals. According to [ 24 ] generation Z is “more oriented to entrepreneurship, have grown up with the search engines and they like to discover content that meets their needs”. These qualities will certainly contribute to a better implementation of the proposed measures at the level of central and local public authorities, considering the quality of these young as civil servants. However, studies [ 12 , 23 ] have also shown the existence of weaknesses such as their desire to earn promotion quickly, the desire to occupy important positions, and the inclination to perform individual tasks and more activities that require teamwork.

We aim to determine: (1) What are the motivating factors of Gen Z representatives? (2) What is the factor’s structure of competencies of Gen Z employees? (3) Do Gen Z’s interest in public administration result from their needs to realise the public interest? These questions are fundamental for the strategy of hiring and training newcomers and mitigating risk in public administration. This paper’s insights have emerged iteratively based on the systematic literature searching method and data obtained from the surveys ( n = 335). The survey was run in Poland among students. The focus of the study on student behaviour was based on several considerations. The study aims to identify the implications of hiring young people in the Z generation in public administration, which is why students were selected as a population for this research with high chance that they have employment after graduation. In addition, given the metamorphosis of the mission of universities, higher education institutions are increasingly involved in the development of their communities by providing increasingly complex entrepreneurial skills to students as well as initiating and supporting student start-ups. Therefore, compared to other young people in generation Z, students have superior entrepreneurial skills acquired during their studies, regardless of their specialization. Promoting the principles of sustainable development is achieved at the university level on several levels, both by introducing specific disciplines in the curriculum, such as Sustainable Development, Corporate Social Responsibility, and Business Ethics, and by pursuing a more responsible behaviour from higher education institutions. to all stakeholders (environment, local communities, public authorities). Therefore, students acquire skills in environmental protection or involvement in local communities during their studies. The tendency towards massification in higher education [ 25 , 26 , 27 ] means that a large part of the Z generation are students, which is why the literature identified has focused on students as a representative sample of the Z type [ 14 , 28 , 29 ]. This study is distinguished by the novelty of the approach, namely, Gen Z involvement in public administration; this fact being favoured by the responsible behaviour of these young people and their inclination to protect the environment and involvement in local communities. Given these considerations coupled with their ability to react quickly and rapid access to information, young people from Generation Z will be specialists who will promote the implementation of SDGs not only in public institutions and also contribute to the proper design of public policies to enhance responsible social behaviour of companies in various fields. The increase in uncertainty and the occurrence of black-swan-type events generate more and more risks in various fields, which must be managed primarily by public authorities who must find specific measures and tools to help companies and other stakeholders to overcome situations. For these reasons, the involvement of Generation Z in public administration is becoming a topic of interest not only for researchers but also for educational institutions that need to provide them with the specific skills and knowledge to cope with an increasingly volatile, complex, and dynamic environment.

For the best possible presentation of our research results, we proposed the following structure for the article. First, we review theories related to Gen Z. Second, we show research findings. Finally, conclusions and potential research opportunities are given.

2. Literature Review

Knapp, Weber, and Moellenkamp (2017) aptly noted that people representing Gen Z would soon be new employees on a massive scale. Is this fact, coming from natural generation change, is essential for public administration? The answer to the above question is positive [ 30 ]. The authors [ 31 , 32 , 33 , 34 , 35 , 36 , 37 , 38 , 39 , 40 , 41 , 42 ] emphasise the uniqueness of Gen Z in their daily use of social media and the need to share their experiences, expectations, and views with others. Some authors pointed out that young employees are labelling their expectations as excessive and may not be well prepared for workplace realities [ 43 , 44 ]. Some researchers argued that the members of Gen Z tend to have higher awareness and concern about environmental issues, and therefore, they may better react to green policies [ 44 , 45 , 46 ]. Another group of researchers did not confirm this assumption [ 47 , 48 , 49 ]. Different research conclusions about Gen Z show that it is too early to generalise Gen Z features [ 50 , 51 ]. Other researchers also underlined that it is easy to stereotype younger employees [ 52 , 53 ] and that it is too early for certain generalisations. We follow the view of Urick et al. (2017) that a lack of comprehensive research of Gen Z may lead to practitioners’ lower understanding of Gen Z needs and to accept that everything that has already been said about generation Z seems premature [ 2 ]. Based on the literature analysis, it is possible to generalise that although Gen Z is presented in the literature from various perspectives, this generation and its impact on public administration are still not fully recognised.

Research on Gen Z is crucial because this generation is entering the job market. For example, in the US, this generation will make up about 20 per cent of all employees. In other countries, depending on the birth rate, the share of Gen Z in the labour market may be lower [ 37 ]. Employees of the young generation adopt the organisational culture, but also, due to the differences between them and older employees, bring new values to workplaces. They will also be responsible for risk management, which for this research was defined as a set of activities aimed at preventing the failure to achieve organisational goals. In formulating this definition, we know the complexity of risk management and a significant amount of research on this area of organisational activity [ 54 , 55 , 56 , 57 , 58 , 59 , 60 , 61 , 62 , 63 , 64 , 65 ].

Representatives of Gen Z, born after 1995, also known as “Digital Natives”, being in families with Gen X, started their life after communism fell in Central and Eastern Europe, some Asian and African countries and into a world facing global terrorism and globalisation. They are familiar with widespread electronic devices and digital technologies linked with e-social networking sites. In addition, “Generation Z has grown up with the mindset that risk is unacceptable. Members of Gen Z are more cautious and risk-averse than their parents” [ 66 ] (p. 81). Gen Z, characterised as tech-savvy, globally connected (in the virtual world), and agile, is recognised based on the environment in which it grows and some characteristics [ 32 ], sometimes with a pejorative sound, such as in Figure 1 .

An external file that holds a picture, illustration, etc.
Object name is ijerph-19-03868-g001.jpg

Gen Z characteristics.

Some other names of Gen Z that one may find are the following: iGeneration, Gen Tech, Gen Wii, Net Gen, Digital Natives, Plurals, and Zoomers [ 34 ]. The new generation was born in the era of the Internet and mobiles. People from Gen Z have access to resources that Gen Y did not at that age, including websites to teach themselves new skills. They have access to e-programs that Gen Y did not [ 32 ]. There is a need to determine whether people representing Gen Z constitute a different category of employees? Considerations in this area should begin by pointing out that this is only one generation born in the environment of the Internet, e-games, e-media, and globalisation. It is pointed out by, among others [ 67 ]. They state that games influence this generation by forming neural pathways. Games reinforce certain beliefs about the self, how the world should work, how people relate to one another, and finally, life’s general goals. Games create a self-centred universe where players can influence other people and objects [ 67 , 68 ].

Research conducted in India showed that people from Gen Z would like to work for firms that do not bother about working hours, leaves, and permissions. They felt responsible and did not want somebody else to tell them what to do. They waited for feedback as a tool for improvement but when needed. They would treat a friend at work rather than a boss, which positions them into agile companies. They underlined freelancing or doing something on their own. People from Gen Z saw a career as an opportunity to develop their own life and perceived materialism through the prism of symbols of a “good life”. They wanted to imbibe global values and be seen as somebody who could influence globally. Many Gen Z people did not see employment permanence as a value. They believed that it was worth checking employment opportunities in various companies. People representing Gen Z use e-media often. They visit YouTube multiple times per day, Twitter, Google, and Instagram. They like sharing their knowledge and opinions with others [ 32 ].

Usage of e-media makes faster information change and creates a basis for agile organisations, which is particularly important in security issues [ 58 ]. In addition, compared to the previous generation Y, people from Gen Z have an even greater ability to multitask. They are creative, innovative, and optimistic. People representing Gen Z prefer independent work, often stay in virtual space, and prefer communication using abbreviations [ 37 , 69 ]. Gen Z consists of active problem-solvers, independent learners, and people following social justice and sustainability [ 34 , 70 ]. Because Gen Z is accustomed to receiving information on demand and very quickly, they may procrastinate until the last five minutes to complete tasks and expect managers to be available 24/7 for questions. Although they are adept at finding information, they may not analyse it for valid evidence. They lack skills to evaluate information critically and require this training via engaging ways (e.g., journaling, discussion, and reflection and learning through teamwork, debate, problem-solving, and reflection) [ 70 , 71 , 72 ]. Risk management is widely presented in the literature [ 54 , 56 , 73 , 74 , 75 , 76 , 77 , 78 ]. Researchers point out that risk management starts with analysing all crucial information. Together with the risk appraisal, this information forms the input material upon which risk management options are assessed, evaluated, and selected. Risk management can be perceived as a part of management control in public administration. Such a situation exists in Poland, where the public administration must manage risk according to public finance law. It includes but is not limited to ethical issues (creating, maintaining, and promoting ethics in public administration).

Considering the results of the main studies presented in this section and focused on Gen Z behaviour, there are the following research questions: (1) What are the motivating factors of Gen Z representatives? (2) What is the factor’s structure of competencies of Gen Z employees? (3) Do Gen Z’s interest in public administration result from their needs to realise the public interest? In addition to surveys, we used the systematic literature searching method (Hart, 2001) to have an extensive theoretical foundation. Using interpretations based on previous research leads to new insights on essential research issues [ 79 ].

We assumed that our research focused on Gen Z competencies belongs to social sciences. Therefore, this study does not always have to be reflected in the formalised language of mathematical logic and does not lead to the construction of unchanging theories but remains socially and historically limited to generalisations [ 80 ]. (However, the created concepts must be based on commonly shared cognitive assumptions referred to as the paradigm) [ 81 ]. We used the Burrell and Morgan (2017) classification of paradigms (widely recognised by researchers) to consider which research strategy fits our study [ 82 ]. We chose the strategy of epistemological pluralism, having an opportunity to use approaches drawn from different paradigms to obtain cognitive results. Therefore, we use functionalist and interpretative concepts (meaning and interpretation). We chose this methodology based on methodological triangulation to obtain a broader context of the studied issues [ 83 , 84 ].

Nordqvist and Gardner (2020) and Short and Payne (2020) recently discussed how literature could inspire the research [ 85 , 86 ]. We took their approach. We used the systematic review of the literature included several phases, starting from determining the purpose of the research, selecting the primary literature, selecting publications, using keywords, developing a database, and applying bibliometric and content analysis. We analysed 147 publications using the research databases and then selected (taking into account research problems) the publications listed in this article’s bibliography. We think that analysis of previous research leads to insights on essential research issues [ 79 , 87 , 88 , 89 ]. We also used the surveys to obtain the information necessary to resolve identified research problems. The survey lasted six weeks, and the respondents answered the questionnaire online from November 2021. We used Google Forms (Jagiellonian University, Kraków, Poland) and the Teams application. The study was anonymous in nature. The study included people representing Gen Z living in Poland—students. Three hundred thirty-five individuals expressed a willingness to answer the survey questions, and 34.5 per cent of all surveyed live in a rural area, the rest in cities.

4. Findings

The respondents were asked to answer several closed questions about their motivating factors in the workplace. The survey’s first question concerned the assessment of the values that the representatives of Gen Z consider to be the most important in their lives. The respondents’ answers are presented below in Table 1 .

The Values of analysed Gen Z representatives.

Source: own elaboration.

The next question concerned the social media used by representatives of Gen Z. The answers that the respondents could give were as follows (the respondents could give multiple answers)— Table 2 and Table 3 . Nobody has stated that they are not using social media.

Gen Z representatives and types of social media.

Social media influence on Gen Z representatives.

Our findings on the value of Gen Z and the use of social media in their lives align with the results of other researchers [ 31 , 32 , 33 , 34 , 35 , 36 , 37 , 38 , 39 , 40 , 41 , 42 ]. However, our research has shown a complete lack of values such as patriotism among the values of Generation Z.

In the next question, the respondents were asked to indicate factors that motivate them to work. Some respondents said that their wages (44.6 per cent) motivated them to work. The next factors were the following: friendly atmosphere in the workplace (44.9 per cent) and friendly relations with the immediate supervisor (8.4 per cent). The respondents expect from their workplace: fair and equal treatment (59.6 per cent), fast professional development (27.4 per cent), openness to the needs of others (10.5 per cent), and other expectations (5.1 per cent). Therefore, the next research results related to ethical issues are interesting ( Table 4 )

Ethics in workplace.

Others did not know how to answer the question about the role of ethics in the workplace. The survey’s answers concerning the reasons why they expressed interest in future work in public administration ( Table 5 ) are shown below.

Reasons for interest in future work in public administration.

* The respondents could give multiple answers.

The next question concerned the structure of competencies of Gen Z representatives. The structure of competencies is presented in Table 6 .

Structure of competencies of Gen Z representatives.

RT—risk-taking, EA—ethical attitudes, NS–knowledge and skills, LS—leadership skills, EB—emotional balance, FL—flexibility, A—activity, C—creativity, CO—commitment. * The respondents could give multiple answers.

Finally, 45.3 per cent of respondents said that they prefer privacy, so they would like to have their own room in the workplace without sharing it with others; 12.7 per cent of respondents said that they want to work in the open space formula, and 42.0 per cent of the respondents stated that they do not care whether they will share their workspace with others or have their rooms in the workplace.

5. Discussion

Interpreting the research results, one may conclude the leading features from the competency profiles of the studied Gen Z representatives. From ten such features identified in the literature, we found that the competency structure of the analysed sample size of Generation Z representatives is based on five crucial features: commitment, creativity, flexibility, emotional balance, and activity. The lowest competency component included risk-taking, knowledge and skills, ethics, and leadership skills. The study was conducted on young people under 24 years of age and thus generally professionally inexperienced. The surveyed people are students, and therefore, their lower estimation of knowledge and skills seems to be proper at this stage of their personal development. This assessment and the next ones about risk-taking and leadership skills testify to the answers’ realism, self-criticism, and reliability. Research of Polish Gen Z representatives has shown that their expectations are similar to those found in other countries. Gen Z employees expect fair and partner treatment from their employers. They expect fair wages. For Generation Z, it is important to feel part of one big community. Their answers suggest a balanced approach to development. In addition, our findings confirmed previous research on critical components of competencies.

We discovered that the highest-rated traits of our surveyed Gen Z representatives were commitment, creativity, flexibility, and activity. It can be assumed that paying attention to this set of traits is indirectly connected with the need for self-realisation and the need for recognition and belonging. These findings confirm previous studies on this topic [ 32 , 34 , 37 , 69 , 70 ].

The qualities presented above refer, on the one hand, to the area of self-realisation and, on the other hand, to the ability to go beyond the usual schemes. Generation Z tries to create their solutions differently. It can be assumed that creating new solutions is an essential element of work in business. However, public administration has to follow administrative procedures and administrative law. Therefore, there is a need to take this issue during the training of newcomers, representatives of Gen Z.

We found a surprising dichotomy in the assessment of the ethical factors. Respondents rated their ethical competencies relatively high. They also expect from their workplace fair and equal treatment. However, surprisingly, they do not perceive ethical values as the most important in their workplaces. The virtualisation of social life makes it easier to make connections, but at the same time, it promotes the avoidance of responsibility for relationships. Our results confirmed previous research on cultural determinants of motivating factors [ 90 , 91 , 92 ]. Our study focused on the interest of surveyed Gen Z representatives in work in public administration showed that they result from the stability of employment and other public sector benefits. They also pointed out a lack of business skills. Only about one fifth surveyed pointed out the goal of public administration—the realisation of the public task as a crucial factor convincing them to work in public administration. In addition, some of them indicated that high salary is an essential factor in their lives. Meanwhile, wages in the public sector are not high and even lower than in the private sector in many posts.

Expectations of high wages in administration where this sector is generally not an attractive employer proves the lack of knowledge about the real world outside the university. Our study confirmed that young employees are labelling their expectations as excessive and may not be well prepared for workplace realities [ 43 , 44 ]. In addition, relatively little interest in public service and the perception of ethics as a secondary value can catalyse risk. The answers of Gen Z representatives may indicate the avenue of future training for newcomers. Ethical competencies and public service have to be enhanced because they are necessary to create social capital, fundamental for the stable realisation of public tasks and business operations [ 93 , 94 , 95 , 96 , 97 , 98 , 99 ]. The inclination of young people from generation Z towards promoting the principles of sustainable development as consumers will be reflected in their behaviour as employees, the skills acquired in volunteering being essential for future jobs. These young people will be able to design specific measures and economic policies in sustainable development, energy transition, or corporate social responsibility taking into account both the practical experience gained through the volunteer actions they participated in and the knowledge gained through various information channels. It will also increase the adaptability and flexibility of public institutions to the challenges posed by economic and social uncertainty. Generation Z youth will therefore be very valuable assets in public institutions and will increase the capacity of these entities to cope with uncertainty and black swan events [ 100 , 101 , 102 , 103 , 104 , 105 , 106 ].

6. Conclusions

The presence of generation Z on the labour market will generate a paradigm shift in the organization of activity at the level of companies and public institutions that will be the employers of these young people. Reconfiguration of the principles of human resource management is necessary so that organizations benefit from the qualities of generation Z—they gravitate towards gamified processes because of mobile-centricity; they are native of global communication, self-learners, and self-motivators, and they appreciate transparency and honesty.

The main limitation of the research is generated by the choice of Poland as the basis for the selection of Generation Z representatives who were the subject of the study. This was generated by the authors’ desire to obtain and use primary data, the study allowing the identification of specificities for generation Z in this country.

The present study helps to open avenues for further research. We believe that there is a need to determine whether Gen Z is ready to operate in uncertainty. We did not analyse this topic during our study. Meanwhile, the COVID-19 pandemic showed that public administration might operate in an uncertain environment more often. In addition to the identified limitations of our study, one may also add that more respondents should participate in future research to have more precise final research results. We also think there is a need to continue further study on patriotism and Gen Z, primarily because little is known about this feature of Gen Z in different countries and its influence on public administration. Finally, there is a need to recognize the structure of competencies of Gen Z in other countries.

Although this study focused on Gen Z in Poland, it may inspire research in other countries or members of the European Union. Moreover, studies on different fields of activity can be carried out to identify the specifics of the generation Z workforce in sectors such as industry or services. Our findings should be particularly interesting for decision-makers, who may use motivator’s tools dedicated to Gen Z employees, who will soon decide about successes or failures in daily operations. Public managers should also consider risk Gen Z employees’ behaviour in risk management. For example, in the self-assessment of management control systems, where ethical issues play an essential role.

The scientific conclusions presented in the paper aim to balance the processes that shape the competencies of Generation Z.

Author Contributions

Conceptualization, Z.D.; methodology, Z.D.; investigation, Z.D.; writing—original draft preparation, Z.D.; writing—Z.D., G.D. and M.P.; supervision, Z.D., G.D. and M.P.; project administration, Z.D.; funding acquisition, Z.D. All authors have read and agreed to the published version of the manuscript.

Open access license of the publication was funded by the Jagiellonian University.

Institutional Review Board Statement

Informed consent statement.

Informed consent was obtained from all subjects involved in the study.

Data Availability Statement

Conflicts of interest.

The authors declare no conflict of interest. The funders had no role in the design of the study; in the collection, analyses, or interpretation of data; in the writing of the manuscript; or in the decision to publish the results.

Publisher’s Note: MDPI stays neutral with regard to jurisdictional claims in published maps and institutional affiliations.

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Procedia Economics and Finance

The changing face of the employees – generation z and their perceptions of work (a study applied to university students) ☆.

It is known that the Generation Z's, whose was born after 2000, character and mindsets are different according to previous generations. The generation Z who will participate or participated in the labor force shortly before, their expectations are different from other employees. Increasing workplace flexibility are more like work-life balance and career-oriented work faster. This study is to determine how the work perception of Generation Z. For the measurement of work perception, it is utilized the scale of organizational behavior Minnesota job satisfaction scale, personality inventory scales, at the same time it is planned to create a new scale. This study was carried out with 276 university students. In the analysis of the obtained data, it was used to chi-square test and ANOVA analysis.

Cited by (0)

Peer-review under responsibility of Academic World Research and Education Center.


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