(wh)Y Should They Care? : What motivates generation Y to accept a job at an organization with a harmed reputation?
Abstract: With this study, the authors will examine what generation Y values the highest when applying, and accepting, a job. The study will also examine if this is something that changes if the organization has a harmed reputation. The authors own experience is that the business students at Linköping University, who belong to generation Y, tend to look for jobs and organizations that would make their classmates envious. The status symbol could be seen as an extrinsic factor according to Ryan & Deci’s (2000) definition, leading us to the belief that extrinsic factors are a great motivator for generation Y. However, literature such as studies from Universum (2016) indicate that generation Y are more motivated by intrinsic values. The study is divided into three parts where the first part examines to what extent intrinsic motivational factors affect generation Y in the recruitment process. The second part examines to what extent a harmed reputation affects generation Y in the recruitment process. In the third and final part, the study aims to seek if there is a match between what organizations with harmed reputation offer and what generation Y wants. The data collection methods are interviews and document studies of five organizations, in order to examine the organizational view. However, only three of the organizations had time for an interview. The result of the organizational view was also used when a survey was designed to understand generation Y’s view. The survey was sent out to, and answered by, 49 last year business and industrial engineering and management students at Linköping University. The findings of the study are that when generation Y is asked out of context, ceteris paribus, they value intrinsic motivation factor highest, but when retested in various scenarios generation Y lean towards extrinsic motivation factors. Regarding the question about what impact a harmed reputation has on the decision of new-graduate students of generation Y, it seems that it only affects when the harmed reputation is connected to a lack of transparency. Furthermore, the study concludes that value congruence is of importance for generation Y and this is something that has been observed that the organizations of the study are lacking in some cases. However, one source of error in the process of matching could be the impact of brand name, that could be seen as a significant factor to make an organization attractive according to employer branding, has been taken away in this study and this could be interesting to look into in further studies. The study has a low respond rate, this is why no generalization could be done.
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