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What an exciting time! The HKS Idea Fellowship is such an incredible opportunity and such a smart investment by HKS. Our team is well into our project, almost complete with our Phase 1: Literature Review.
This was a comprehensive review of a good chunk of industry articles, scholarly journals, trade journals and other research publications around the topic of generational trends in workplace design. The graphic above highlights most of the sources and topics we have focused our research around thus far. Since our one big focus is on, “How Generation Z will influence and shape the workplace of the future,” we came up with three big questions to drive our initial literature review: 1. Who is Generation Z? 2. What is the “workplace” and how are we defining it for our study? 3. How is Generation Z different from Millennials, Generation X, and Baby Boomers? Upali Nanda gave our team an incredible hour of Literature Review 101, where we learned the best way to organize articles, cluster them into relevant topics and extract important information. This will then inform our Phase 2: Survey Content Creation, where we will begin to create original survey questions and prepare to distribute to specific groups of Gen Z individuals, mostly through academia.
Our aim is to first identify the gaps in the dialog right now around the topic of Generation Z in the Workforce through our literature review, then craft survey questions that will help us to fill in those gaps through direct responses from Generation Zers themselves. Through our research, we have identified that Generation Z inlcudes individuals born between the years of 1995-2010. With that in mind, we will be targeting college freshmen and sophomores as our target population for the survey. We are currently beginning to brainstorm which colleges and universities we will target for the survey administration.
We are also constantly refining our work plan outline, which has helped to keep us on track with our allotted hours. It is helping us to define a good framework for the scope of our project as well as the resources we will need to complete our project. As I’m sure most of you are aware, this topic is huge and can get enormously broad very quickly. Our team's biggest challenge, initially, was narrowing our focus just enough to produce a robust research topic into a manageable scope. This is where the expertise of our advisory committee is proving to be a huge help and also, of course, the wonderful guidance by our very own Upali Nanda.
We are still in the early stages of our project, but stay tuned for more exciting updates as we flesh this out further.