Studies of Next Generation Air Traffic Control Specialists: Why Be an Air Traffic Controller?
FEDERAL AVIATION ADMINISTRATION OKLAHOMA CITY OK CIVIL AEROSPACE MEDICAL INST
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With phrases such as Managing Millennials Gimbel, 2007, descriptions of generational differences are a staple in the human resources HR trade press and corporate training. The Federal Aviation Administration FAA offers a course in managing generational differences through its Center for Management Education and Leadership. Most management tips and descriptions of generational differences are anecdotal, prescriptive and impressionistic. Few empirical studies are available, and those that do exist are based on cross-sectional surveys, confounding the effects of age and career progression with generational differences. Yet the generational comparisons could be important to occupational recruitment what appealed to one generation might not appeal to another. For example, the job security and stability that appealed to Baby Boomers might be less important to Gen-X and Millennials, who are said to be looking to make a difference with some level of work-family balance Partnership for Public Service, 2009, undated. The purpose of the current study was to compare the factors influencing occupational choice in two distinct generations of employees in the FAAs highly visible air traffic control specialist ATCS occupation. We hypothesized that factors such as job security, benefits, and pay would be less important to the Next Generation of controllers, recruited from Gen-X and Millennials, than to the Post-Strike generation largely Baby Boomers and non-material factors such as the opportunity to benefit others would be more important to the Next Generation of controllers. Method The responses of controllers hired in Fiscal Year FY 2009 n955 were compared to those of controllers hired in FY1986 through FY1992 n13,227 following the 1981 Professional Air Traffic Controllers Organization PATCO strike. The two groups did not overlap in age or birth year.
- Personnel Management and Labor Relations