Generational Conflict In The Hospitality Industry Term Paper

Length: 10 pages Sources: 12 Subject: Business - Management Type: Term Paper Paper: #20927046 Related Topics: Hospitality Industry, Hospitality Management, Conflict Of Interest, Industries
Excerpt from Term Paper :

Generational Conflict in Hospitality Industry

Generational conflict in the hospitality industry

The history of the workforce today experience different generation employees who work side by side with people who are old as their parents and young as their children. It is coming to the attention of the managers that age likewise has much to do with employees' expectations, learning styles, and hopes just like gender, culture and other characteristics. Through understanding every generation as well as providing these employees with what can make them thrive, leaders may find that they will be in a position to increase employees morale and retention hence increase in productivity. Within the workplace, individuals from diverse generations will always compete for leadership positions. The same way Baby Boomers and generation X employees compete for similar jobs and younger generation always catch up with them. At times due to the post-industrial info-centered world of work, the people in charge may be of young age as compared to under him or her. As workers from generation X bring skills that may not be possessed by some Baby Boomers, and they find themselves supervising older employees.

During the past, different generations worked under one organization, however were separated from one another using virtue of their job description and system of hierarchy. Employees who were of middle-age worked in middle management while workers of young age worked everywhere else. They only came in contact with their peers or one level up, or their supervisors. For generation to be mixed was hard or maybe structured in a protocol and formality. Every time veteran employees came up with a decision, they were to be handed down and conveyed to the younger workers using their supervisors. They could not share the way decisions were made, the strategy to be used regarding the order, or whichever request for feedback or input. The style of management was derived from top-down bureaucratic approach. The leadership and top-down management practices were influenced largely through the feudalism paradigm, describing top leaders hierarchy and their places of control directing the entire activities of the employees that works under them.

According to the studies, such type of leadership has originated mostly from a bureaucratic framework that seems to be suitable for the Industrial Age. What is of more importance element of the bureaucratic framework is the rationalized of the controlling traditional assumption. Based on this, the beuacratic management and leadership style had been developed using the idea that goals are conceived rationally, hence managerial activities are to be structured to attain such goals, (Zvikaite-Rotting, O., 2007). Using this approach the success or failure of the organization can be explained by attributes of the managers. The model revolves around motivating workers towards objective of the task a head making them to be efficient and effective giving them inspiration of aligning with as well as committing to the organizational goals.

Most of the hospitality companies during the past applied the principles of top-down bureaucratic management and leadership framework that always brought about cost-driven human resources policies that gave opportunity for the employees to be treated as another resource to be deployed in fulfilling the goals of the organization. Indeed just like other resources, utilization of human resources should be efficient and effective to the highest level so that the organizational goals can be reached, however the management must have in mind that the employees should be treated in a manner that suggest that they have feelings, their own priorities and goals, the potential for development, and the need for self-fulfillment and satisfaction, (Raines, C., 1997). Generally studies show that the hospitality industry has largely applied traditional management and leadership...


Even though a number of hotels situated in the U.S. acknowledge the value of participative leadership, they tend to use a more authoritative style because the difficulties that are encountered as they use participatory leadership style.

In spite of that, there has been a significant change recently within the workplace. Most of the well-known hospitality companies are turning bit by bit to realize human capital and resources to be significantly not similar with the rest of the resources in accompany. It is coming to their knowledge that resource-based and value-added policies are of importance in achieving delivery maximum service quality and customer care. This is the reason they are coming up with programs and policies that can create a work environment favorable for employees to always have a satisfactory experience when at work, together with good relationship with their fellow peers and their supervisors, as well as a fair reward for all the effort that they happen to have contributed, (White, C., 2006). As the hospitality companies slowly changes their management practices, a change is also somehow realized within the labor force demographics.

On top of these changes, employees coming from diverse generations to work together have shown positive and negative impact on employee morale, retention and profitability of the company. Among the greatly important and unique benefits of generational blending is creativity. Coming together of individuals from diverse perspectives have usually shown the capability of bringing together thoughts and ideas in solving problems, (Stencel, B., 2001). They show immense potential for positive synergy. On the other hand, such generational blending and integration also contribute to intergenerational problems within the workplace mainly because of the generational difference in terms of thinking, worldviews, values, ways of talking, within the workplace. Such generational differences tend to bring more conflict at the workplace by separating the workforce into mentality of "us and them."

A workplace in need of cooperation and collaboration among employees of generational difference in order to produce the best outcome to their customers, employees generational conflict, in addition to a top-down bureaucratic management approach, can sometime influence delivery of service adversely. Therefore, with this existing workplace tension of intergenerational conflict, the independence nature of the hospitality industry cannot succeed.

Baby Boomers were born in the event of World War II or after and were brought up in the period of extreme opportunity, optimism, and progress. They make two-thirds of the entire U.S. workers. Generation X were born after the Boomer when there was a rapid changing social climate and economic recession, (Smith, G.P., n.d.2007).

Characteristics of the Baby Boomers Generation

Respect authority and hierarchy in the work place

Live to work

Live large and are in charge

The characteristics of Boomers can be explained with the fact that there bringing up have traditionally been within an environment that have always respected authority and hierarchy. Boomers are patient as they await their promotion and reward time. They have been also associated with loyalty. With this their loyalty, they expect the company to reward them through promotion based on seniority. Nevertheless, due to the quick shift in workforce and corporate restructuring, most Boomers have found themselves change jobs regularly more than their wish. Generally they tend to be loyal to the company, and their expectation from the company is loyalty. Boomers always wishes to be the star of the show as well as receiving credit for anything considered positive within the workplace. They seem to be having greater vision for the departments and the company itself. They show readiness in sharing their vision with anybody if they will be recognized for this. Boomers tend to be just ready to support ideas and proposal that goes with their vision. While they like trying risky projects, if the project fails they will always shift blame on some other people, (Gordon, V.N., Steele, M.J., 2005). It is challenging to teach them new tricks and they find it difficult to embrace technology.

Generation X

Characteristics of Generation X

Work to live

Respond to instant gratification


Identify with the lone ranger

Contrary to Boomer generation, Generation X are somehow impatient. They don't see importance in seniority. Their patience to wait for promotion and raises seems to be less. Anytime they are engage in doing a good job, they will be always looking forward for the company to recognize and reward them, and waits for that recognition which they expect to be in form of promotion, title, pay, praise to be immediate. Solving the entire problem immediately will never satisfy them fully. They will always complain of everything. Fun is a very important value in their work environment, therefore preferable as they are kept busy; it not supposed to be too busy that they cannot get time to have some fun while working. They expect everybody as well as their managers and supervisors to be direct with them. Generally Generation X never trusts the jobs that they are in, and view all the jobs to be a stepping stone, and therefore temporary. Their loyalty to any company is not quite evidenced. Their stay at work is dominated by extreme self-protective, self-focused, and skeptical. Whenever they encounter those who are not willing to learn and ignorant, they will show little patience and respect.

Due to the difference in characteristics that the Boomer and Generation X have and the work…

Sources Used in Documents:


Gordon, V.N., Steele, and M.J., The advising workplace: generational differences and challenges. NACADA Journal 25 (1), 26 -- 30. (2005).

Kogan, M., Human resources management: bridging the gap. (2007). Retrieved November 22nd 2013. / 0901/0901s1.htmS.

Lancaster, L.C., Stillman, D., When Generations Collide. Harper-

Collins, New York. (2002).
Mann, A., An appreciative inquiry model for building partnerships.2006, Retrieved November 22nd 2013.
Retrieved November 22nd 2013. / articles/genx.htmS.
Workforce. (2007) Retrieved November 22nd 2013.
Stencel, B., Tips offered to close generation gap in the workplace. (2001). Retrieved November 22nd 2013. / tips-offered-to-close-the-generation-gap-in-the-workplaceS.
Zaslow, J., Baby Boomer managers struggle with mentoring. The Wall Street Journal Online. (2006). Retrieved November 22nd 2013. http:/ /
Zvikaite-Rotting, O., Generation gap: resolving conflicts between generations. (2007). Retrieved November 22nd 2013. / Generation%20Gap%20Artikle.pdfS.

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