Generation Y: Overview and Background

Ashridge research into Generation Y: Overview and Background

Overall, there is a consensus that Generation Y have grown up in a very different environment to previous generations: they come to the workplace with different skills; are motivated by different things; think differently about learning; and think differently about relationships. These differences, combined with advances in technology and communication suggest that there is a demand for new ways of working and learning. However, many of the discussions in the literature regarding this generation are based purely on anecdotal evidence.

At Ashridge we've been researching Generation Y since 2009, testing the commonly held assumptions and stereotypes about this generation. Our on-going programme of research has investigated multiple aspects of Generation Y and those they work with, including the wider range of generations in the workplace.

Our research investigates:

  • Is Generation Y actually different?
  • What has made them the way they are?
  • What do Generation Y want from work?
  • Are Generation Y living up to workplace demands?
  • And what are the appropriate ways of working and learning with this generation?

Take Part in Gen Y Research

Baby Boomers at Work

What do Baby Boomers (aged over 50 years) ‘get’ from work and what do they ‘give back’ to work? Find out more about this research.

Want to take part? We are currently looking for organisations willing to take part in interviews and focus groups. Contact us to find out more.

Gen Y in the Middle East

What do organisations need to do to motivate, develop and retain Generation Y in the Middle east in order for them to fulfil their potential? Findings from our latest research show that Generation Y in the GCC countries is a strongly motivated workforce with a number of opportunities for organisations and individuals to exploit to pave the way for the future. Find out more about this project

Recent Gen Y Projects

The Millennial Compass - Truths about the 30-and-under Generation in the Workplace (2014)

Ashridge Business School worked in partnership with MSLGROUP on "The Millennial Compass" to explore what is most important to today’s younger workers across the globe (Brazil, China, France, India, the UK and the USA).  Download the report here.

Past Gen Y Projects

Culture Shock! Generation Y and their Managers Around the World (2012)

This project investigates Generation Y outside of the western world (Middle East, India, Malaysia and China), with a particular focus on the manager-graduate relationship in the first few years of work and expectations of managers, graduates and organisations for their future leaders.  Read more about this research.

Great Expectations: Managing Generation Y (2011)

Ashridge Business School worked in partnership with the Institute of Leadership & Management on a major research project to explore Generation Y's expectations of work and the challenges of managing Generation Y. Find out more.

Generation Y Learning and Working (2009)

This early research project provides a multi -generational view of Generation Y learning and working and explores whether Generation Y are actually different; what has made them the way they are; and whether there appropriate new ways of working and learning. Find out more.

Find out more

Our Generation Y research is led by Carina Schofield and Sue Honore. Carina and Sue frequently work with organisations to conduct research, and offer insights into the inter-generational workforce. To find out more about this research, or to discuss taking part, contact Carina Schofield