Management millennialism: designing the new generation of employee
journal contributionposted on 27.03.2019, 14:29 by Glynne Williams
The idea that society can be divided into discrete generations, each with its own essential characteristics, is treated with caution in sociology, but has had considerable influence among HRM writers and practitioners. ‘Millennials’ – today’s young adults – are said to bring unique attributes to the workplace that may fit uneasily with current management practice. Give the well-documented weakness of generational categories, both in analysis and practice, this article asks how the archetype of the Millennial has taken such a hold. By focusing on recruitment and training within a large company, the article argues that the idea of the Millennial has been validated by repetition and imitation, but that it also serves the more rational purpose of respecifying performance criteria. The Millennial has been constructed as a ‘challenge’, but specifically as a challenge to poor management.