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INSEAD releases second eBook on Gens X, Y and Z – State of (Un)readiness

INSEAD releases second eBook on Gens X, Y and Z – State of (Un)readiness

INSEAD releases second eBook on Gens X, Y and Z – State of (Un)readiness

The new report offers insights on how Gens X, Y and Z believe the workplace should function and the technologies poised to transform it.

INSEAD Emerging Markets Institute, Universum, The HEAD Foundation and MIT Leadership Centre today announced the release of the second eBook, State of (un)readiness, which sets out to investigate a series of ideas from a bottom-up survey of students and professionals from Generations X, Y, and Z – not from the employer’s perspective.

As the nature of work and the workplace evolves, both leaders and employees need to be engaged in bringing about a transformation that is productive, healthy and inclusive. The new eBook investigates these ideas: What do your employees think about the future of work?  What innovations do they expect their employers to adopt?  What will the rising student cohorts of Gen Y and Gen Z look for in a future employer?  And how do these ideas differ based on country or gender?  Are the expectations of how technology should shape the future of the workplace similar across generations?  How can the workplace be designed to integrate differing expectations for optimal recruitment, retention, development and performance across levels and geographies?

Technological innovations are reshaping just about everything in our world today and the workplace is no exception. Cloud-based collaboration tools, workplace messaging platforms, wearable technologies, virtual reality, and so on, have changed the meaning of going to work,” said Henrik Bresman, Associate Professor of Organisational Behavior; Academic Director, INSEAD Global Leadership Centre; Senior Advisor, The HEAD Foundation. He continued, “More and more, employees expect work applications to function as effortlessly and effectively as the applications they use in their personal lives, and even while working professionals say their employer’s digital capabilities are important, our collaborative research shows that less than half believe their current employer’s capabilities rank highly”.

The results are a one-of-a-kind study of what global generations think about employers and the workplace – a research series from Universum called Generations. These insights are based on an annual survey of over 18,000 students and professionals worldwide – from Gen Xers who’ve been in the workplace for two decades, to Gen Z students. The research sheds light on preferred workstyles, Leadership qualities, hopes and fears about future careers, and the technologies with the highest potential for workplace innovation. What’s more, the research points to interesting insights and lessons not just meant for understanding individual generations, but for knowing how to manage a multigenerational workforce.

“Employees and their managers now expect more flexibility of time and venue. Constant connectivity leading to real time information and feedback is the norm, as is the management of virtual teams across increasingly globalised organisations,” said Vinika D. Rao, Executive Director of INSEAD Emerging Markets Institute. “Given the rapid pace of change in workplace technology – from cloud-based collaboration tools and workplace messaging platforms to newer technologies like wearables – it’s clear the nature of work in 10 years will be vastly different from what we experience today.”


Universum’s COO, Karl-Johan Hasselström, added: “Across all generations more and more employees expect work applications to function as effortlessly and effectively as the applications they use in their personal lives. To live up to this, companies are adopting new, specialised technologies at breakneck speed, leading to sizeable integration issues. The problem is particularly bad for workforce-facing applications such as project management, messaging tools, time management, calendaring, many of which don’t speak to one another and share information. For employers, it’s critical to address these issues early to avoid something that’s referred to as “path dependency” — when organisations must continue with a particular technology or practice, even when it’s not ideal, because earlier decisions limit present choices”.

To download your free copy of the eBook, please visit:  

Workplace Culture, Technology and Leadership

State of (un)readiness is the second eBook to be released as part of this this year’s Generations series. We are delighted that we can follow up Brave New Workplace and State of (un)readiness and continue our collaboration to release one more eBook. Focusing on the topic of leadership, Building leaders for the next decade will be released in March and include research that not only offers insights about the preferences and values of individual generations, but also points to how employers can support the workplace goals of gen X, Y and Z.

About INSEAD, The Business School for the World

As one of the world’s leading and largest graduate business schools, INSEAD brings together people, cultures and ideas to develop responsible leaders who transform business and society. Our research, teaching and partnerships reflect this global perspective and cultural diversity.

With locations in Europe (France), Asia (Singapore), the Middle East (Abu Dhabi), and now North America (San Francisco), INSEAD's business education and research spans four regions. Our 162 renowned Faculty members from 40 countries inspire more than 1,300 degree participants annually in our Master in Management,  MBAGlobal Executive MBA, Specialised Master’s degrees (Executive Master in Finance and Executive Master in Change) and PhD programmes. In addition, more than 10,000 executives participate in INSEAD Executive Education programmes each year.

INSEAD continues to conduct cutting-edge research and innovate across all our programmes. We provide business leaders with the knowledge and awareness to operate anywhere. Our core values drive academic excellence and serve the global community as The Business School for the World.

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