“Generations, Age, and the Space Between” SPECIAL ISSUE GUEST CO-EDITORS:
• David Costanza – The George Washington University
• Lisa Finkelstein – Northern Illinois University
SCOPE OF THE SPECIAL ISSUE
In organizations, and among practitioners, consultants, and researchers, interest in generations and the impact that these socially constructed groupings may have on a variety of outcomes is growing. However, as with many organizational phenomena, perception and practice have preceded the science. While organizations try to figure out how to manage what they perceive to be generationally-based differences in their workplaces, and consultants and practitioners offer services and interventions to help organizations do so, research has not kept up. Specifically, researchers have generally not proposed or identified a sufficient explanation for why generations exist or why they should have an impact, have struggled to find empirical evidence actually supporting generationally-based differences, have offered numerous and viable alternate explanations for differences that have been observed, and, similar to their practitioner colleagues, have not conducted systemic assessments on the effectiveness of interventions designed to address any differences.
While it is clear that there are widely held perceptions that there are generationally-based differences among workers, the science so far has failed to convincingly back up these beliefs. That is, the problem may not be just with the generational labels and associated perceptions. Rather, many practitioners, consultants, and popular press journalists, and an increasing number of researchers, are suggesting that there is something unique about a socially constructed generation that not only differentiates it from other generations, but also is the cause of various phenomena and outcomes, work-related and otherwise. These social-history constructions of generations may be useful for descriptive purposes, but drawing the conclusion that they actually affect workplace outcomes in meaningful ways and why they might do so has not been supported conceptually or empirically.
Thus, the purpose of this special issue is to advance our scientific knowledge of the generations concept. Suitable manuscripts may focus on conceptual, theoretical, empirical, methodological, analytical, and/or evaluation issues including but not limited to:
• Theory building on generational impact on work vs. age, life stage, or other related factors.
• Methodological advancements in disentangling generations from other concepts.
• Sophisticated empirical work that goes beyond simply comparing generational groups to test underlying theoretical process models.
• Alternatives to generational concepts and boundaries that explain the same phenomena.
• Exploration of reasons for pervasive beliefs about generational characteristics.
• Scientific evaluation of generational interventions in the workplace.
TIMELINE AND SUBMISSION PROCESS
Initial manuscript proposals due
Proposals evaluated, invitations for full manuscript submission sent to authors
Full manuscript submission deadline
Interested authors should submit a proposal (1000 words maximum) that describes the paper they intend to write. Proposals are due by . Proposals will be reviewed by the co-editors and evaluated using the following criteria: (a) responsiveness to the call, (b) degree of potential to enhance our understanding of generations, (c) scientific merit, (d) likelihood of successful completion within timeline, (e) fit with other submissions, and (f) applicability to journal mission.
Please send manuscript proposals directly to both co-editors: David Costanza (firstname.lastname@example.org) and Lisa Finkelstein (email@example.com).
Full manuscripts will be limited to 60 standard manuscript pages (including all figures, tables, and references; authors can ask for editorial approval of a longer paper if commensurate to its contribution) and will be due by . Manuscripts will undergo a regular double-blind peer-review process.
All full-manuscript submissions should be prepared in accordance with Work, Aging and Retirement’s author guidelines and be submitted through the journal’s submission portal. Contributors should indicate in their cover letter that they would like to have the paper considered for the Special Issue on Generations.