Millenials (Generation Y) - Definition
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What are Millenials?
Generation Y, also referred to as Millennials, are persons born in the United States within the 20 years running from the year 1980 to early 2000.
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A Little More on What is Generation Y
Preceding generations to millennials, that is persons born within the 20 years running from the year 1960 to early 1980, were referred to as Generation X.
Consequently, Millennials became also known as Generation Y, with Ad Age magazine being the first publication to use the term in an August 1993 editorial.
Apart from Generation Y, Millennials have also had other assigned nicknames mostly premised on character traits, for example;
- Echo boomers-because many were raised by parents born during the American baby boom.
- Dotcom or internet generation-since they have had constant access to the latest technology throughout their lives.
- Peter pan or Boomerang - because a majority take time before moving out of their parents home, starting a career or committing to marriage.
Characteristics of Generation Y Millennials
Several, as well as publications, have characterized Generation Y with both positive and negative insights.
Some commonly-recognized negative attributes of millenials include:
- approach to career and life are full of unrealistic expectations;
- lack of concern on intrinsic social values (such as charity, cultivating meaningful relationships, protection of civil/political rights, and self-acceptance among others);
- greater concern for extrinsic factors (such as social image, having lots of money, and being famous as the basis of a successful life);
- Self-centered or selfish;
- Little enthusiasm for work;
Some believe that these negative characteristics could be perhaps millennials adapting to the information age world.
Common characteristics observed in Millennials include:
- Receptiveness to new norms of lives;
- Confidence and self-expressiveness.
Academic Research on Generation Y
- Understanding Generation Y and their use of social media: a review and research agenda, Bolton, R. N., Parasuraman, A., Hoefnagels, A., Migchels, N., Kabadayi, S., Gruber, T., ... & Solnet, D. (2013). Journal of service management, 24(3), 245-267. The paper examines how there is a variation within Generation Y and how millennials use of social platforms bring out all those difference arising from environmental as well as individual factors.
- Cause-related marketing: How generation Y responds, Cui, Y., Trent, E. S., Sullivan, P. M., & Matiru, G. N. (2003). International journal of retail & distribution management, 31(6), 310-320. The paper discusses and asserts that businesses targeting Generation Y need to employ a cause-related marketing (CRM) approach which has showed a positive relationship between evaluation of CRM offer and purchase intent toward the offer by millennials compared to traditional methods.
- From high maintenance to high productivity: What managers need to know about Generation Y, Martin, C. A. (2005). Industrial and commercial training, 37(1), 39-44. The paper discusses how managers can increase the productivity of millennials based on Rainmaker Thinking, Inc research.
- Managing generation Y, Eisner, S. P. (2005). SAM Advanced Management Journal, 70(4), 4. The paper gives insight on how businesses can manage Generation Y at the workplace and how to deal with some of their most exhibited social traits.
- Targeting generation Y, Morton, L. P. (2002). Public Relations Quarterly, 47(2), 46. The paper looks at how research constructed out of the Consumer Expenditure Survey conducted during the financial crisis period by the Bureau of Labor Statistics indicates that pressure to conform to group values influences Generation Y financial choices.
- Information-seeking behavior in generation Y students: Motivation, critical thinking, and learning theory, Weiler, A. (2005). The Journal of Academic Librarianship, 31(1), 46-53. The paper discusses research that suggests that a majority of Generation Y students dont like reading as a way of learning, but instead rely on television and the internet as a source of information.
- Generation Y: They've arrived at work with a new attitude, Armour, S. (2005). USA today, 6, 2005. The Article looks at how generation Y want more flexible working time, constant career feedback from their superiors and have a dislike to much work.
- Generation Y female consumer decision-making styles, Bakewell, C., & Mitchell, V. W. (2003). International Journal of Retail & Distribution Management, 31(2), 95-106. The paper examines the decision making of Adult Female Generation Y consumers using Sproles and Kendalls Consumer Styles Inventory (CSI) system of 1986 to divide them into groups based on shopping interests and their impact to marketers.
- Malls and consumption motivation: an exploratory examination of older Generation Y consumers, Martin, C. A., & Turley, L. W. (2004). International Journal of Retail & Distribution Management, 32(10), 464-475. The paper looks at the objective as well as the social motivation behind mall shopping of the older Generation Y mostly between 19 and 25 years of age and attitudes towards malls.
- What drives college-age Generation Y consumers?, Noble, S. M., Haytko, D. L., & Phillips, J. (2009). Journal of business research, 62(6), 617-628. The paper examines the motivation behind millennials of college-going age consumer choices and tries to explain the relationship behind such decisions and their implications as a whole.
- Generation Y attitudes towards e-ethics and internet-related misbehaviours, Freestone, O., & Mitchell, V. (2004). Journal of Business Ethics, 54(2), 121-128. The paper looks at how Generation Y knowledge of the internet has brought about related cyber-crimes as well as misuse at the expense of businesses. The research was conducted on 219 techno-literate millennial consumers and established 24 peculiar behaviors.