Different ages, different viewpoints

1468.JPGMarch 2008 | By Cristina Simon, Professor of HR Management at IE Business School.

Much has been said about cultural, religious or sexual diversity, but there has been little talk of how to balance different generations that have different ways of seeing the world and business.

The enterprise world is starting to take notice of new aspects that form part of employees´ personalities and that will most probably affect their effective management. Although the recognition of the differences among genders, races or cultures has been consolidated in many companies, one of the things that greatly determine the way we see the world in this sense is the experiences we have had and share with the people from our own age group.

Besides our private and personal experiences, we all remember milestones that have marked the different stages of our life and that often serve as common references among our contemporaries. These experiences are shared by a large social group within a certain age range and we refer to this group as a generation. The important part of determining a generation group is not so much the fact of belonging to a certain age group (there may be considerable variations), but rather the cohesion of the group as a result of experiences, values and a shared way of life.

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Spanish business leaders maintain silence

Spain is in the grip of election fever. With less than a week to go before polling day on March 9, the campaign is receiving blanket media coverage, while politicians on the hustings talk themselves hoarse. But the countryâ??s business community remains quiet. Unlike in other western countries, Spainâ??s corporate figures will not publicly endorse candidates. Nor is it acceptable to criticise the government during an election campaign. And, if Spainâ??s business leaders are natural allies of the opposition Popular party (PP), they are discreet in their support.

The reasons for this seeming political impartiality at election time are manifold, say experts. Culturally, it is considered bad taste in Spain for business leaders to make public their grievances with government policy. Most lobbying efforts are channelled less directly, through business associations or private meetings.
However, this public neutrality is also motivated by fear, according to Fernando Casado, general manager of the Family Business Institute in Madrid. â??There is still quite a bit of political intervention in the Spanish economy,â? he says. â??Itâ??s not in any chief executiveâ??s interest to favour one side or the other. It could cost you business.â?

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IE Business School on tour in South East Asia

IE Business School will host in the coming week three promotional activities in South East Asia. Philippines – Manila Activity: Insight Session Date: March 10, 2008 Time: 18:30 – 20:30 Venue: The Peninsula Manila Vietnam – Ho Chi Minh City Activity: Insight Session Date: March 11, 2008 Venue: High Q Vietnam Thailand – Bangkok Activity:…

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