3W1H Approach to Understand the Millennial Generation

3W1H Approach to Understand the Millennial Generation

Sahil Malik (Faculty of Management Studies, Manav Rachna International Institute of Research and Studies, India), Geetika M. Chandra (Gurugram University, India), Anindita Chatterjee Rao (Faculty of Management Studies, Manav Rachna International Institute of Research and Studies, India) and Shilpa Arora (Faculty of Management Studies, Manav Rachna International Institute of Research and Studies, India)
Copyright: © 2020 |Pages: 17
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-7998-4543-0.ch017
OnDemand PDF Download:
No Current Special Offers


The chapter examines all the facets belonging to the Millennial generation. The utility to understand this generation is to evolve strategies to keep this workforce engaged and retained in their organizations. The chapter under “Who” incorporates all the generations both before and after the Millennials. Millennials, in specific, share birth years from 1980 to 2000 and are 2 billion in number out of 7.4 billion people. Secondly, the chapter includes the “Why” of Millennials asserting the events and situations that have made them “Millennials.” It comprises primarily of factors like technology, social media, economy, education, employment, and culture and lifestyle, which are discussed in length in the chapter. Thirdly, the “What” about Millennials informs readers of things required to know about this generation. It consists of work motivations and work values exhibited by Millennials. Finally, the chapter takes account of “How” to engage and retain this generation and gives an account of certain job resources.
Chapter Preview


With the beginning of the 21st century, the focus on studying and understanding millennial generation has gained manifold importance. The trend to research upon this cohort of generation is yet to remain as the youngest of the lot is still to arrive at their workplaces and the oldest generation Y members have gained work experience for substantial number of years and are geared up for leadership roles in the organization. Therefore a wide scope is available within the millennial generation which could facilitate intra generational comparisons as well. This chapter would focus on understanding millennial generation through 3W1H approach. Although, it is the 5W1H writing technique which is used in an array of professions and universities across the world. Writers adopts this method to gather information (shimazu, Arisawa& Saito, 2006), writing thesis and summary (Regoniel, 2016). In this context, 3W1H means who, why, what & how of the millennial generation. “Who” signifies the definition and birth years that qualify members into millennial generation. “Why” shows the causes in form of defining events which Millennials has faced in their adulthood. It could comprise of events from politics, economy and culture etc. “What” explores the work values and motivations and “How” would explore the engagement and retention strategies adopted by organizations for the millennial generation employees. The underlying research problem that this chapter addresses is to build a holistic understanding of different generations of people with a special focus on Millennials. Chapter also signifies that it is indispensible to understand any generation without knowing the perspectives in which Millennials are born and brought up reflected with life events and incidents. Lastly, chapter attempts to address the universal issue associated with Millennials regarding their engagement and retention by identifying certain ways and means in form of job resources from literature to better engage them.

Who are the Millennials: Defining a Generation

Before discussing about Millennials, it is imperative to study some definitions of a Generation. The term generation typically refers to a group of individuals who share common life experiences such as world events, natural disasters, politics, economic conditions, and pop culture (Smith & Clurman, 1998). The most accepted definition of a generation is given byKupperschmidt (2000, p.66) that it is an “identifiable group that shares birth years, age, location, and significant life events at critical developmental stages”. According to Parry and Urwin (2011), generation is defined on the basis of both the birth cohort and a shared experience of historical and political events, collective culture and the competition for resources. It is noticed that contributors to generational studies have used the term ‘generation’ in sense of ‘cohort’ however Glenn (1977) is of the view that in technical sense ‘generation’ is a structural term associated with parent –child relationship used in kinship terminology. A cohort is a group of population who experience same significant event within a given period of time.

Complete Chapter List

Search this Book: