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Age warfare, generational tension – what’s going on?

by on July 3, 2013

We first spotted an announcement about research highlighting the issue of  ‘age warfare’ on a summary posted by the CIPD, and also picked up by HR Magazine, though here the warfare has been scaled back to mere tensions.  We initially struggled to find the underlying research, although we have now tracked down KPMG’s summary though again the underlying research remains something of a mystery!  Indeed, it appears that KPMG commissioned One Poll – whose tag line is ‘creative market research’ – to conduct the survey.  According to the KPMG summary,  One Poll “It asked 1,500 respondents from ages 17 – 80, about their current attitudes to work and their thoughts on the future of the workplace”.


So who were these people?  What questions were they asked?  How did they classify the generational categories that are supposedly at war or in tension at the very least?  How was the data analysed?

Does this sort of research help us understand issues of age at work? We don’t think so! 

While we recognise organizations such as KPMG have services to sell, this sort of market research poll is a long way from the quality research that is required to generate useful insight.   Of course if we could see the survey and access the data rather than a brief summary we might be able to tell a different story….

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