An Empirical Study of the Work Attitudes of Generation Y College Students in the Usa: The Case of Hospitality and Merchandising Undergraduate Majors

By Josiam, Bharath M.; Crutsinger, Christy et al. | Journal of Services Research, April 1, 2009 | Go to article overview

An Empirical Study of the Work Attitudes of Generation Y College Students in the Usa: The Case of Hospitality and Merchandising Undergraduate Majors


Josiam, Bharath M., Crutsinger, Christy, Reynolds, Johnny Sue, Dotter, Thao-Vi, Thozhur, Sumeetra, Baum, Tom, Devine, Frances G., Journal of Services Research


INTRODUCTION AND LITERATURE REVIEW

In a study by Flynn (1994), a majority of human resource managers reported the significance of attitude in the choice of qualified candidates. At the entry level particularly, the refrain often heard is "We can teach people skills; but we cannot teach them the right attitudes." Employee attitudes are an indicative factor as to whether an organization will succeed in the future (Alas, 2005; Hurst, 1995). In the workplace then, attitudes towards work and the job at hand are of obvious importance. However, the literature has placed greater emphasis on job satisfaction and related issues, where attitudes are the outcome of work. It could be argued that attitudes to work, before entering a job, are perhaps more important, as they are antecedents and precursors to workplace performance and job satisfaction. This study aims to address this gap by studying the attitudes to work of college students in career oriented fields, particularly Hospitality Management and Merchandising Management.

The fields of hospitality and merchandising are different, yet similar. There is an increasing trend to convergence in these two sub-fields of the broader service sector. Kim, et. al., (2007), have pointed that "more than ever before, consumers are seeking hedonic and utilitarian benefits in their shopping and consumption experiences?..in the marketplace we witness multiple businesses merging to deliver products and services. This is illustrated by retail establishments such as restaurants and soft-goods retailers for which both food and gifts/apparel have become an integral part of the product mix?..in shopping malls and tourist attractions, fashion, food and fun have become key components in creating the optimal consumer experience."

The main challenge of both hospitality and merchandising industries is to attract and retain qualified and motivated employees. In a decentralized structure, managerial skills and responsibilities have expanded in scope. Both industries are catering to the needs of the consumer, whether it is of service or product orientation. Hence, this study has chosen to use these two student groups as their sample to identify the attitudes to work of career-oriented GEN Y college students in the USA.

Generation Y

Research has found considerable differences between the Generation X (GEN X) and Generation Y (GEN Y) work attitudes. Members of Generation X were born from 70's to 80's. It is observed that Gen Y now consist of 42% of the work force while 31% are baby boomers and only 27% belong to the Gen X category (Clark, 2008).

Generation Xs were considered being lazy and cynical (Filipczak, 1994). He showed some characteristics of GEN Y in U.S.A. More collaborative, less hierarchical, more altruistic, more comfortable with female bosses, more skilled in management, more tech-savvy, balanced, candid in their communications, and self -reliant. GEN Y is just entering the work place. They think visually, want immediate gratification, and emphasize fun and excitement. GEN Y'ers are not shy to tell others what they want. They have had better education, are more technosavvy, and value personal creativity. GEN Y'ers have been treated more as individuals than any other generation. Some studies have also identified Generation Y'ers to have a aggressive approach towards pay packages, expectations of a work/family life balance, quick rise up the corporate ladder, and lack of employer loyalty (Conference and Incentive Travel, 2008). Another survey studying GEN Y characteristics found that not only will the graduates belonging to this group bring with them prior work experience, but this generation will also have expectations of enjoying their job, fairness, equal opportunities and tolerance (Boadbridge, et. al., 2007).

The area of retail employment in relation to generation Y is an under researched topic. This study however is of prime importance as GEN Y enters the retail workforce (Hospitality & Merchandising) in huge numbers (Boadbridge, et. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Note: primary sources have slightly different requirements for citation. Please see these guidelines for more information.

Cited article

An Empirical Study of the Work Attitudes of Generation Y College Students in the Usa: The Case of Hospitality and Merchandising Undergraduate Majors
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
Items saved from this article
  • Highlights & Notes
  • Citations
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Search by... Author
    Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.