Managing Generation X

By Paul Nyhof
Canadian HR Reporter|Last Updated: 04/07/2003

The dawn of the millennium saw companies invest greatly in addressing the Y2K problem which, if left untouched, promised to have great effect on their operations. With that threat behind them, companies must now address an equally challenging problem —the management of Generation X.

Much of the literature has painted Generation X — identified by theorists as the birth cohort born between 1961 and 1981 — in less than complimentary terms. Terms that come to mind include “Xers,” “slackers,” “The Lost Generation,” and “Baby Busters.”

Despite popular stereotypes, the descriptive literature on Generation X remains fraught with inconsistencies and contradictions. A large proportion of the existing “data” on Generation X is anecdotal and has been generated by the popular media for mass consumption.