Publication Date

Summer 2015

Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)




Howard Tokunaga


Baby Boomers, Gen X, Human Resources, Millennials, Organizational

Subject Areas

Psychology; Organizational behavior


As Baby Boomers, Generation X and Generation Y interact with each other in the workplace, popular media and HR practitioners have suggested ideas on how to promote these groups to work cohesively under one organizational umbrella. Beyond encouraging the partnership of these three generations, it is also important for organizations to understand how these three generational cohorts differ in the level of support they receive from their supervisors. Therefore, the current study bridged that research gap by investigating differences in perceived supervisory support across the three generational cohorts. An online employee engagement survey was administered to 935 business professionals from the healthcare industry in California. Results showed that Gen Xers were similar to both Baby Boomers and Gen Yers in their level of perceived supervisory support, but Baby Boomers perceived somewhat higher levels of supervisory support than Gen Yers. These results suggest that Baby Boomers feel slightly more valued for their contributions by their supervisors than Gen Yers. The results of this study suggest that managers should be mindful of the support they provide to their employees across the generations and communicate with their team members more effectively. Additionally, it is suggested that managers provide training and developmental opportunities for Gen Yers to increase perceived supervisory support levels.