A team of U.S. researchers from Wayne State University in Detroit have published research in Springer's Journal of Business and Psychology that dispels the popular belief that baby boomers have a greater work ethic than people born a decade or two later. Science Daily reports: The economic success of the United States and Europe around the turn of the 20th to the 21st century is often ascribed to the so-called Protestant work ethic of members of the baby boomer generation born between 1946 and 1964. They are said to place work central in their lives, to avoid wasting time and to be ethical in their dealings with others. Their work ethic is also associated with greater job satisfaction and performance, conscientiousness, greater commitment to the organization they belong to and little time for social loafing. The media and academia often suggest that baby boomers endorse higher levels of work ethic than the younger so-called Generation X (born between 1965 and 1980) and Millennials (born between 1981 and 1999). [Keith Zabel, the lead U.S. researcher, and his team] compiled a dataset of all published studies that have ever used a U.S. sample to measure and report on the Protestant work ethic. Studies included in the meta-analysis had to mention the average age of the people surveyed. In all, 77 studies and 105 different measures of work ethic were examined using an analysis method stretching over three phases, each phase offered more precise measurement of generational cohorts. The analysis found no differences in the work ethic of different generations. These findings support other studies that found no difference in the work ethics of different generations when considering different variables, such as the hours they work or their commitment to family and work. Zabel's team did however note a higher work ethic in studies that contained the response of employees working in industry rather than of students.
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