Chapter 4: Generational Conflict Between Nurses in the Workforce: A Phenomenological Study
From the Book: The Refractive Thinker®: Vol. VII: Social Responsibility


This study explored generational conflict related to four generations working together and the values, beliefs, and attitudes held by each generation in local hospitals in Georgia. A qualitative, phenomenological study was conducted with 20 registered nurses from a nursing sorority in the city of Georgia, using the modified van Kaam methodology. This study investigated the existence of four generations in the current workforce and if conflict exists between the generations. Conflict in health care organizations may cause staff turnover. Leaders may decrease staff turnover by understanding the characteristics, attributes, and experiences that contribute to generational conflict. Nurses were asked questions that addressed demographics, conflict and characteristics that contributed to the conflict. The lived experiences of the participants demonstrate that four generations are present in the current workplace and conflict is present between older and younger generation nurses. Change was the main conflict between older and younger generation nurses. Leaders may develop programs that would enhance the understanding and awareness of nurses regarding generational differences and how these differences may affect job performances. Future researches may further explore the nature of the differences regarding perceptions on change, quantitative comparative studies on job performance, and further explore the perceptions of nurses of different generation working more than 40 hours a week.
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