Management, Marketing and Business Administration
Arthur J. Bauernfeind College of Business
Purpose Drawing upon cohort theory, the age-period-cohort framework and the portrait value system, this paper aims to examine differences in basic human values between generations Y and Z as they are shaped by recent major events (most importantly the COVID-19 pandemic).
Design/methodology/approach Hypothesized differences between values of generation Y and Z were tested using a content analysis of recent articles (Study 1) and an online survey through a prolific crowdsourcing website (Study 2).
Findings This research finds that while both generations value universalism and benevolence, Generation Y is more likely to conform and follow traditions while Generation Z values stimulation, hedonism and achievement more. The top two COVID-19 concerns for both groups were the health of others and financial security. Generation Y is more concerned about the economy while Generation Z is more worried about uncertainty in their future.
Research limitations/implications This paper provides insight into how the current environmental crisis has shaped the values of generations Y and Z and offers an understanding of the similarities and differences in values between these two generations.
Practical implications The findings have direct implications for the design of products/services and for the creation of effective marketing communications to reach these two consumer groups.
Originality/value This research is novel in identifying the basic human values of generations Y and Z as they are shaped by recent events such as the most recent economic recession and COVID-19.
Azimi, S., Andonova, Y. and Schewe, C. (2021), "Closer together or further apart? Values of hero generations Y and Z during crisis", Young Consumers, Vol. ahead-of-print No. ahead-of-print. https://doi.org/10.1108/YC-03-2021-1300
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