Publication Date

Summer 2015

Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)




Sharon Glazer


Employee Development, Generation X, Generation Y, Millennials, Organizational Commitment

Subject Areas



This study compared the relationship between organizational commitment (OC) and employee development between Generation X and Generation Y employees. More specifically, this study addressed affective organizational commitment, continuance organizational commitment, and normative organizational commitment. Substantial research has indicated that Generation Y employees are generally less affectively committed to their employers than previous generations. Research has shown that employee professional development increases overall job satisfaction and reduces turnover. It was hypothesized that Generation Y employees would generally show lower levels of each OC component than more senior, Generation X, employees. It was also hypothesized that the difference in OC between Generation X and Y would be neutralized when sufficient professional developmental opportunities were offered. Participants, solicited through several social networking sites, were asked to complete a survey to assess their attitudes toward OC and professional development opportunities. Results partially supported the hypotheses. Generation Y participants had lower continuance commitment than Generation X participants, but no significant differences were found in the other two OC components. Moreover, professional development had a stronger positive relationship with affective and normative commitment for Generation X than Generation Y employees. Thus, Generation X employees who found professional development to be important had greater affective and normative commitment than Generation Y employees. Study limitations and implications for the workplace are discussed.