Multigenerational organisations: A challenge for technology and social change

This paper analyses demographic and organisational trends associated with an ageing workforce and introduces the articles in the special issue of Technological Forecasting and Social Change on 'Ageing2Agility: Multi-stakeholder Technological Forecasting for the Multi-generational Challenges in the Organisation'. It is argued that the impact of ageing on organisations is both inherently inter-disciplinary and relatively neglected compared with other fields such as demographics and economics. Organisations throughout the world must address the issue of integrating fast-growing Generation Y populations into workforces led and managed by people with very different (often more traditional cultural) life experiences. Addressing these issues presents challenges for technological forecasting and opportunities for innovation. Organisations will have to adapt to both to ongoing technological development and social changes such as an aging ageing workforce and customer base.
First the context of ageing is explored with a particular focus on the demographic and social changes faced by organisations. Five ‘myths of ageing in organisations’ are discussed followed by three areas where research is relatively underdeveloped: the concept of a ‘multi-generational workforce’; the market opportunities offered by ageing; and the linkage between ageing and technology. The contributions of the papers in this special issue are outlined, followed by a conclusion on the need for new directions in research that link technological and social factors related to ageing in organisations.

Millar, C.C.J.M, and Lockett, M. (2014) Multigenerational Organisations: A challenge for technology and social change, Technological Forecasting and Social Change, Vol 89