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Retiring the Generation Gap: How Employees Young and Old Can Find Common Ground Hardcover – November 28, 2006

4 out of 5 stars 8 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews


‘…an intelligent and practical book, conscious of its academic credentials but written in a relaxed non-academic style.’ (Edge, May 2007)


"Finally, a book that puts our cross-generational stereotypes to rest. Deal brings savvy observations and good data to the task of teaching us how to lead a multigenerational workforce effectively."
—Joan V. Gallos, professor of leadership, Henry W. Bloch School of Business and Public Administration, University of Missouri-Kansas City

"Helps leaders of different generations understand each other. Should be required reading for leaders who coach multigenerational teams!"
—Marshall Goldsmith, coauthor of The Leader of the Future 2 and What Got You Here Won't Get You There

"Reading Retiring the Generation Gap helped me understand my coworkers and my children. If you start it you'll be hooked—and helped."
—Ray E. Johnson, director of organizational development—global human resources, SC Johnson

"Using seven years of research that is clear and convincing, Jennifer Deal shows that many commonly held beliefs about generational differences are more myth than fact. Written in an accessible, easy-to-read style, Retiring the Generation Gap offers important insights to all who relate—in work and in life—to those from other generations."
—Russ S. Moxley, author, Leadership and Spirit

"This book takes the topic of generational differences in the workplace head-on. The author uses a solidly empirical, completely practical, and sometimes humorous approach to target—and often shoot holes in—the myths and stereotypes that exist in virtually all organizations. The insights will help any professional create a more collaborative and cohesive workplace. This is a must, not just for HR professionals but for anyone who works in a diverse environment."
—Jeff Harper, head of human resources, Worldwide Studios


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Jossey-Bass; 1 edition (November 28, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0787985252
  • ISBN-13: 978-0787985257
  • Product Dimensions: 6.4 x 1 x 9.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #188,280 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Jennifer Deal is a Senior Research Scientist at the Center for Creative Leadership (CCL©) in San Diego, California, an Affiliated Research Scientist at the Center for Effective Organizations at the University of Southern California, and a contributor to The Wall Street Journal's "Experts" panel on leadership. Her work focuses on global leadership and generational differences, and has been featured in such media outlets as the Harvard Business Review, New York Times, Wall Street Journal, The Guardian, strategy+business, Forbes, South China Morning Post, Globe and Mail, and Training Development Magazine.

She is the manager of CCL's World Leadership Survey and the Emerging Leaders research project. In 2002 Jennifer co-authored Success for the New Global Manager (Jossey-Bass/Wiley Publishers), and has published articles on generational issues, the strategic use of information in negotiation, executive selection, cultural adaptability, global management, and women in management. Her second book Retiring the Generation Gap was published in 2007 (Jossey-Bass/Wiley Publishers).

An internationally recognized expert on generational differences, she has spoken on the topic on six continents (North and South America, Europe, Asia, Africa, and Australia). Her third book entitled What Millennials Want from Work focuses on who Millennials are, what they want, and why it matters (January 2016, McGraw-Hill).

She holds a B.A. from Haverford College and an M.A. and Ph.D. in industrial/organizational psychology with a specialty in political psychology from The Ohio State University.

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
Reviewed by Barbara L. Fielder

Subtitled: How employees young and old can find common ground

Every person who reads this book will discover something important about their own generation and other generations with whom they come in contact. You can count on this book to offer you two important areas on which to focus:

1. To discover what you can do to retire the generation gap, and

2. Why you should.

Students studying the generation gap or for managers who want to explore options that support improvements in cross generational relationships, this book offers practical information and solutions.

Each chapter contains the following:

--A description of the generational issues
--A description of the author's research on the issue (over 5,800 participants were surveyed from 2000 to 2005).
--The research expressed as a principle.
--The author's best take on how to apply the principle to make cross generational work life easier for the reader.

The author slices the generational demographics into smaller segments, differentiating the empirical data from other researchers that cover similar information and makes the data more relevant and specific.

The generations described in specific detail are:

--Silents born between 1925 -1945
--Early Boomers born between 1946-1954
--Late Boomers born between 1955-1963
--Early Xers born between 1964-1976
--Late Xers born between 1977-1986

You might conclude that the author is going to bore you with statistics. Not so. However, for those who prefer empirical data, there is ample research data to excite you. In addition, the book includes bibliographical references and index.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Unlike many other books written on generational differences in the workplace. Retiring the Generation Gap is an empirically based research study. Jennifer Deal (Center for Creative Leadership) analyzed the workplace perspectives of over 3,200 employees of varying ages. Research-based books are not always enjoyable to read but Jennifer Deal does a good job of making the quantitative analysis bearable and meaningful with practical advice for how employees of all ages can find common ground. Each chapter contains a description of the issue, a description of the research conducted, the principal conclusion of the research expressed as a principle, and the author's take on how to apply the principle to make cross-generational work life easier.

On the first page of the book the author states:

1. Fundamentally people want the same things, no matter what generation they are from.
2. You can work with (or manage) people from all generations effectively without becoming a contortionist, selling your soul on eBay, or pulling your hair out on a daily basis.

Finally, an empirical book with a positive focus that discusses the things that the generations have in common. The introduction also includes an important discussion on the dangers of making generalizations because as the author notes, there will always be individuals who do not fit a particular generalization.

The author divides and defines the generations as:

Silents (1925-1945)
Early Boomers (1946-1954)
Late Boomers (1955-1963)
Early Xers (1964-1976)
Late Xers (1977-1986)

The book presents ten principles but the author also discovered an underlying theme that informs each principle.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Retiring the Generation Gap: How Employees Young and Old Can Find Common Ground (J-B CCL (Center for Creative Leadership))

Unless you are looking for statistics, this book does not add much to the working knowledge of the manager seeking advice regarding ways to effectively manage a multi-generational team. Because it came from CCL, I was doubly disappointed.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is an interesting view of the age-old questions on generational tendencies and gaps. I think a lot of the book is more about tolerace no matter what the age and less about the constant stereotyping that is so prevalent and therefore is a refreshing read. The only downside is how long it takes to run you to that conclusion.
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