Date of Degree


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)




Dorothy Ettling


Judith Beauford


Osman Özturgut


Richard Lewis


The purpose of this mixed methods sequential explanatory study was to investigate the relationship between an individual’s generation and the communication styles used with other generations, and explore the influence of intergenerational communication styles on organizational relationships. The study utilized the Global Perceptions of Intergenerational Communication (GPIC) survey to assess participants’ perceptions of others and one’s own communication styles on three factors: accommodation, nonaccommodation, and respectful avoidance. Three hundred and eighty-five participants of staff and administrators employed at five community colleges located in South Texas completed the survey. Principal component analyses and multiple analysis of variance analysis results showed the younger generations perceived more nonaccommodation communication among the older generation. In addition, the younger generations indicated they use more respectful avoidance communication with the older generation. Inter-generational focus groups also highlighted these different communication experiences among the generations. Specifically, the focus groups showed Veterans/Baby Boomers find their communication experiences to be problematic with Millennials. Millennials also find their communication experiences to be problematic with the Veterans/Baby Boomer generation, whereas the Generation Xer focus group participants characterized the Veteran/Baby Boomer communication as rough and inappropriate. The study concluded there are differences in communication experiences between members of the generations that leads to tension and conflict in the workplace along with the perception of differences in their values. Specifically, the research highlights the values of respect, trust, and openness, which are all important among employees within an organizational setting.