The Value of Work in the Life of Representants of Generation Z – Autotelic or Instrumental?

Barbara Chomatowska, Iwona Janiak-Rejno, Agnieszka Zarczynska-Dobiesz
European Research Studies Journal, Volume XXIV, Issue 4B, 356-368, 2021
DOI: 10.35808/ersj/2878


Purpose: The article aims to recognize the meaning of professional work and work values which are particularly important to second year students of master's studies of the University of Economics and Business in Wroclaw who are representatives of Generation Z. Design/Methodology/Approach: The investigation involved the revision of relevant literature and conducting own research. The presented goal and research questions implied the need to select appropriate methods, techniques and research tools. The authors conducted their research using a questionnaire, which contained closed questions in the form of a disjunctive cafeteria with a 4-point scale. The questionnaire was followed by metric, enabling the socio-demographic characteristics of the studied population. Then, as part of the adopted research methodology, the data analysis method was used. Due to the nominal nature of the variables, frequency and percentage statistics were used in the statistical study. The empirical part is based on the survey results conducted in the first quarter of 2020 on 271 representatives. Findings: Definitely the described generation significantly differs from other generations in the labor market. Generation Z understands the role and importance of work in their lives in a completely different way, rather instrumental than autotelic. The research also provides that the Gen Z value system is based on striving to realize oneself, not necessarily in the work environment, but within the framework of their passions and interests. The findings should help Polish companies, leaders to understand Generation Z. Originality/Value: The research results shall contribute to the debate on what kind of employees the young people from Generation Z shall become and whether and how they shall differ from representatives of previous generations. It is difficult to evaluate the characteristics of the Generation Z representatives as they are just entering the labor market. Managers, however, need this knowledge to best prepare for their entering of the work environment.

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