This Is AuburnElectronic Theses and Dissertations

An investigation of work values, job satisfaction, and organizational commitment among hospitality employees of different generations




Skyler, Sheppard

Type of Degree

Master's Thesis


Nutrition, Dietetics and Hospitality Management

Restriction Status


Restriction Type

Auburn University Users

Date Available



The purpose of this research was to investigate the differences in work values, job satisfaction, and organizational commitment among four generational cohort (i.e., Baby Boomer, Generation X, Millennial, and Generation Z) of employees in the hospitality industry. This study also identified the predictors of organizational commitment. The theory of Basic Individual Needs was used as a theoretical foundation in this investigation. The survey instrument was constructed from previous researchers, pilot tested, and modified with constructive feedback. A total of 296 usable questionnaires were collected using Prolific, a market research company and convenience sampling of individuals through the researcher’s professional networks. Descriptive statistics (e.g., frequency, mean and standard deviation), One-way Analysis of Variance (ANOVA) and hierarchical regression analysis were used to analyze the data. The results indicated that the four generational cohorts expressed differences in what they value at work, namely work centrality (p <.01), non-compliance (p <.001), work-life balance (p <.001), leadership (p <.001), and recognition (p <.001). Specifically, participants who were Gen Zers put less emphasis on job in their life compared to other generations. Baby Boomers challenged the norms and superior less than Millennials and Generation Z. In regard to work-life balance, Generation Z valued work-life balance the most comparing to three other generations. Generation Z valued receiving recognition more than the other three generations. The level of organizational commitment and job satisfaction also differed between the different generations. Specially, younger generations showed lower level of commitment and satisfaction comparing to older generations. Furthermore, hierarchical regression analysis was used to test the association between organizational commitment and the demographics of the participants. Results from Step 1 of this hierarchical analysis showed that demonstrated that generations (p <.05), gender (p <.01), and marital status (p <.001) were associated with organizational commitment. In Step 2 of this analysis, only marital status (p <.05), work centrality (p <.05), work-life balance (p <.001), leadership (p <.01), and job satisfaction (p <.001) were a predictor of organizational commitment. With younger individuals entering the workforce, companies are seeing a shift in work values. Organizations need to be aware of the differences expressed by generations and what factors contribute to job satisfaction and organizational commitment. When organizations understand the differences, they will be able to implement successful management strategies that target individuals in each generation.