Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Technology Leadership and Innovation

Committee Chair

Mesut Akdere

Committee Member 1

Brett Crawford

Committee Member 2

Paul Asunda


Work values are often studied in literature with relation to generational issues as they represent an important norm in comparing and understanding expectations of various generations of employees in the workplace. Generation Z, individuals born between 1995 and 2010, is preparing to enter the workplace, yet there is limited exploring of the work values that motivate this generation. This study aims to explore the work values of Generation Z and provide insights to organizational managers and Human Resources (HR) as they cope with the challenges of a new generation in the workplace. This quantitative study consists of a research question that seeks to explore Generation Z’s preferred work values, utilizing Super’s Work Values Inventory (SWVI), and five sub research questions that seek to report if there are statistically significant differences between work values in specific variables. These variables include gender, academic disciplines that participants are enrolled in Purdue University, citizenship (domestic and international students), race and ethnicity, and prior work experience. Mean scores from descriptive statistical analysis were used to rank the work values of Generation Z and a one-way ANOVA was used to analyze the effect of different variables with each work value. The results demonstrate that in the 12 work values, Generation Z places way of life first, achievement second, and supervisory relations third. Although most variables had a statistically significant difference in work values, the overall ranking associated with each variable aligns with the rankings of Generation Z’s overall work values. Implications and recommendations for HR include understanding Generation Z employees and further developing corresponding strategies based on Generation Z’s preferred work values. These implications may help HR engage and motivate this generation, increase employee retention and successful recruitment, and improve Generation Z’s productivity and loyalty for organizations; additionally, this study may increase understanding between generations to reduce generational conflicts and bridge the generation gap.