Technology, Learning Styles, Values, and Work Ethics of Millennials

Technology, Learning Styles, Values, and Work Ethics of Millennials

DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-7362-3.ch067
(Individual Chapters)
No Current Special Offers


The widespread availability of the internet and digital technology tools since the 1980s has created a “tech-savvy generation” of people called the Millennials, who quickly adopt the new information and communication technologies (ICTs) as soon as they are available. These new ICTs are changing the learning styles, values, and work ethics of Millennials who represent the latest generational cohort to join the colleges, universities, and the workplace. Born between 1981 and 1997, the Millennials in US. constitute about 30-35% of the population and represent the majority of the workforce. In USA, Millennials have now surpassed the Baby Boomers (ages 52 to 70 years in 2016) and constitute the nation's largest generation segment. The universities have to update their teaching styles and student services and the corporations have to make changes to organizational practices to resonate with the Millennial generation. This chapter explores the technology, learning styles, values, and work ethic of Millennials.
Chapter Preview

Technology, Narrative About Millennials, And Their Values

Some of the major influences in a person’s development include peers, parents, popular culture, major political and social events. The differences in the social context and different shared life experiences of different generations lead to different beliefs, values and attitude towards work. The conventional view of the Millennials as narcissistic, self-absorbed, distrustful, anxious, cynical and lonely in the current competitive job-market may not be correct. There is no empirical evidence that the Millennials have a bad attitude. The Boomers’ perception of Millennials may reflect the old guard’s bias to new generations (Kowske, Rasch and Wiley, 2010). It may be that Millennials are adapting to the changing world that other generations are trying to resist (Ellin, 2014).

A lot of narratives about Millennials come from other generational cohorts and may reflect the biases of that generation (Twenge, 2009). The parenting styles, political events, social and cultural trends, technology and economic events during the time a generation is growing up contribute to the evolution of the psychosocial characteristics of a generation (Strauss and Howe, 1997; Howe and Strauss, 2000). The differences in the social context and different shared life experiences of different generations lead to different beliefs, values, expectations, and attitude towards education and work. The popular press has both positive and negative stereotypes about Millennials, Table 1.

Table 1.
Positive and negative stereotypes of millennials (Source: Twenge and Campbell, 2008)
Positive StereotypesTechnology and Social media savvy,
Multi-tasking, Digitally connected,
Confident, Self-expressive, Liberal,
Upbeat and Open to change, Civic
minded with a sense of both local and
global community
Negative StereotypesNarcissistic, Sense of entitlement,
Coddled, Self-promotional,
Opinionated, Whiny and Needy, Seek
constant feedback and immediate
gratification, Lack of diligence,
Poor task performance and shirking

Key Terms in this Chapter

Critical Thinking: Critical thinking is a combination of skills including skepticism (questioning everything) evidence-based reasoning and not emotional response, self-awareness about assumptions and biases, and open-mindedness about alternative explanations.

Millennials: Millennials represent people who were born between 1981 and 1997. In 2017, they are 20 to 36 years old. The Millennials are also called “Y” generation, digital natives, “net generation”, Trophy generation or “me generation”.

Generational Cohorts: The entire adult population can be viewed as four generational cohorts – Silent (1928-1945), Baby Boomer (1946-1964), X (1965-1980), Y (1981-1997). The numbers in the parenthesis represent the range of birth years.

Cyber-Loafing: A type of shirking behavior at work that involves using the Internet at work for personal use while pretending to do legitimate work.

Work-Life Balance: A concept that promotes a balance between work and leisure, career development and lifestyle activities including family, health, spiritual development and pleasure.

Complete Chapter List

Search this Book: