Harvard University Aspects Relating to Age Diversity in The Work Places Discussion

Harvard University Aspects Relating to Age Diversity in The Work Places Discussion


Keeping in mind that young people rarely have considerable first-hand experience with organizations, we suggest students to explore the organizational experience of other people they are in touch with. Each student has to interview three persons in different age groups – a young person (age 20-30), a person in active working age (30-60), and a retired person (age 60+). You can recruit your respondents among your own family or you can choose to address other people. Ask them to tell you the story of their working life and what they find most important about the organizations they are, or were, members of, and record what they have to share.

The aim of this tiny piece of research is to compare the stories of the working life of three generations and trace the changes that have occurred in the organizational environment in the course of time. The easiest way to so that is to identify similarities and differences in the three narratives you will get. However, you can choose to explore a specific aspect of organizational life – for instance power distance in the organization (how the employees relate to their superiors and vice versa, etc.) or the flexibility of organizational roles (to what an extent the role holder is free to define and change the parameters of his or her role, etc.) While listening, be careful about issues of special concern for the story teller and feel free to ask additional question. You can use your knowledge and skills on qualitative research methods, gained in the my previous course.

Do not forget to ask how often the respondent has changed, of intends to change, his or her job, and why – work mobility tells a lot about organizational cultures, personal life strategies and the cultural environment as a whole. Do not forget to inquire about the respondent’s views about organizational change, either. Of specific interest is their understanding about the manageability of organizational transformation – have they witnessed considerable changes in their organizations, what sort of changes, and what was their own contribution to these. And most important – what is the explanation about the changes the people have gone through and/or participated in: do they perceive them as a result of an intentional, guided process, or as something unmanageable that just occurs in organizations.

At the end of this exercise you have to deliver a written account of the three stories, no longer than a page each, and a couple of pages with your findings, thoughts and reflections on what you learned about organizational change (3 to 5 pages altogether).

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Make concrete research to answer the question Aspects Relating to Age Diversity Aspects Relating to Age Diversity Aspects Relating to Age Diversity