Title

Managing millennials’ personal use of technology at work

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

3-1-2018

Abstract

Growing up with the internet and unparalleled access to technology, millennials (individuals born during 1981–1995, also known as Gen Y and Gen Me) extensively use various technologies for non-work-related reasons while at work. Both popular media and scholarly research have portrayed this issue negatively and have supported monitoring and restricting personal use of technology. However, if organizations are to attract and retain millennials—now the largest generation in the U.S. workforce—it is crucial to understand their characteristics and what drives them. Drawing on research on generational differences, organizational control, and cyberloafing, this article explains how unique characteristics of millennials lead them to engage in personal use of technology at work and how organizations might address this issue. Specifically, I contrast two one-sided approaches (deterrence and laissez-faire) that can lead to dysfunctional outcomes when used in excess and recommend more viable solutions. These solutions include establishing a workplace technology use policy based on shared understanding, fostering both relaxation and urgency mentalities, and training both millennials and their managers.

DOI

10.1016/j.bushor.2017.11.007

Publication Title

Business Horizons

Volume Number

61

Issue Number

2

First Page

261

Last Page

270

ISSN

00076813

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