Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science in Cost Analysis


Department of Systems Engineering and Management

First Advisor

Daniel T. Holt, PhD


There seems to be a wide held belief that different generations have different attitudes toward work, organizations, and co-workers. Clearly, these observed differences have implications for managers and leaders. Actions taken by leaders (who are often older) might be misunderstood by junior organizational members (who are often younger), leading to undesirable outcomes (i.e., turnover). Considering that many generational groups are represented within government service, there is a need to analyze and understand potential generational differences. With the notable exception of the Smola and Sutton (2002) study, little empirical research has explored the extent to which these differences actually exist and whether differences exist among civil servants. This research explores the extent to which differences exist among three generations of civil servants and the affects these potential differences have on leadership strategies. Hypotheses were developed based on generational characteristics and tested using a questionnaire that includes 77 items to assess general work attitudes, attitudes towards job and organization, and individual preferences toward work processes. The results of the study indicate that while generational differences were shown to exist, significant differences among the groups accounted for a small proportion of the variables tested. Ultimately, the study's significant findings could be explained by other factors such as age and frame of reference.

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