The theory of generations in the context of sociology of management
Today, many organizations face the problem of differences in the attitude of employees of different generations to work, management, leadership, and organizational policies. Knowledge of the theory of generations will allow to highlight the strengths of each generation, as well as properly conduct measures for the selection, adaptation, motivation and retention of personnel in the organization. Consequently, this research work may contribute to a more balanced and reasonable approach to personnel management. In this article, the relevance of the modern «XYZ generation theory», founded by American writers V. Strauss and N. Howe, is being questioned. Deconstruction of the theory of these authors is given, and their joint book «Generations» is analyzed. The article also discusses truly scientific approaches to the topic of generations of authors such as Karl Mannheim, Margaret Mead, and Shmuel Eisenstadt. In addition to the analysis of foreign authors, the authors present the Russian scientific opinion on this issue. The main conclusions of the article are: (1) besides the popular science theory of the generations of V. Strauss and N. Howe, there is also a scientific tradition of studying generations, (2) the tradition of considering generations defines generation as a social phenomenon, (3) on the one hand, it is necessary to abandon the assumption that in some mystical way people of one generation think the same way, on the other hand, positivist interpretations are equally untenable, making the generation a real social group only on the basis of similar dates of birth. At the end of the article, the main problems that confront modern generational theory, today, are indicated.