Are Millennials the International Generation?

October 14, 2013

generational differences

Do generational differences cross international lines? Millennials are reshaping our workforce, and are sometimes called the first true international generation. Through shared media–movies, music, and so on, there is somewhat of a shared culture among Millennials that crosses geographic boundaries. But does this truly make Millennials more international than their predecessors? Hear what Haydn Shaw, author of Sticking Points, has to say about shared culture and generational differences:

As David Livermore, author of The Cultural Intelligence Difference puts it: “Generational differences are not unique to North America. There are a number of mitigating factors that shape how a 20-something behaves whether they’re in Chicago or Taipeii–including their faith perspective, rural vs. urban, etc. The crucial thing to bear in mind is that national culture still shapes behavior more strongly than any other culture of which we’re part. For example, while most young people in China and Brazil are less “collectivist” than their parents, they’re still way more collectivist than their Western peers. And while growing numbers of Millennials are moving out and living on their own in places around the world, there’s still a much higher level of regard for the older generation than what’s found in places like the U.S. and U.K. Therefore, generational differences should definitely be accounted for when working with an individual in any cultural context. But a culturally intelligent approach will do just as Haydn Shaw suggests–and realize that these patterns play out different dependent upon the cultural background of the individual.”

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About The Author

Christina Parisi is Director of Digital Content at the American Management Association. Previously she was an Executive Editor at AMACOM Books and the Director of AMA Self-Studies.

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