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Contrasting Work Values of Baby Boomers and Generation X Rural Public School Principals

Author: KAREN SEIPERT and TIMOTHY BAGHURST
Published in PAQ, Vol. 38 No. 3

The purpose of this study was to analyze the seven dimensions of work values of Baby Boomer and Generation X rural school principals in North Carolina in order to determine whether principals from different generational cohorts differ in their work values. The study was focused on Baby Boomer and Generation X rural public school principals from two school districts. A Likert-type online survey based on the seven dimensions of work values was administered to 40 principals and assistant principals within two districts. Findings indicated that Baby Boomers scored lower than Generation X principals in areas of collaboration, leadership, training, loyalty, commitment, or motivation; they did not score lower in training. Furthermore, Baby Boomers scored significantly lower in technology and approached significance in lack of motivation. Baby Boomer principals prefer more face-to-face interaction than Generation X principals, and while Baby Boomer principals are willing to adapt to new technology, Generation X principals actively desire technological change. Findings are discussed in light of current research and future directions are provided.

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