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Project Ark: Technologies and Generations Essay


Abstract

Technologies such as social media, Smartphones, and applications, video conferencing, and Internet-based technologies have become crucial for generation X and Y employees in the workplace. However, how many employees use Smartphone applications to provide services to clients and customers in the workplace? Does the use of technologies vary depending on generational gaps? This research is based on the need to adopt the use of technology within a non-profit organization offering HIV/AIDS services in St. Louis. The study reports that baby boomers are not prepared to adopt technologies at the workplace, while Generations X and Y prefer to use technologies.

The study recommends the need to purchase technologies such as smartphones to improve the IT skills of baby boomers. Training should also be initiated within an organization so that employees with no knowledge of how to discharge duties through smartphones become aware of new approaches. However, not all HIV/AIDS services can be offered through technologies. Counseling services should only be provided through face-to-face relationships developed with the client. The study also realized that high levels of technology usage depend on the period of Smartphone ownership as well as time spent within an organization that motivates the use of technologies.

Introduction

Background of the Study

Project Ark is a non-profit organization that provides services to members of the society affected by HIV/AIDS. The services provided are aimed at enhancing the lives of children, youth, young adults, and families affected and infected by HIV aids. Persons at risk of HIV are also assisted in achieving medical care, advice, social support, and prevention. Project Ark is located in St. Louis, with its main aim to build comprehensive care and support systems for persons affected and infected by HIV AIDS.

Despite the nature of services at Project Ark focusing on HIV/AIDS medical care, counseling, prevention, substance abuse, community outreach, testing services, HIV education, and patient retention services, there is a need to examine the role of technology in providing services. Project Ark has plans to develop a mobile application where members of the society in St. Louis can obtain information about HIV/AIDS through their smartphones.

The organization has also planned to introduce a social media platform where society members in St. Louis can share their experiences concerning HIV/AIDS so that vulnerable members of the society can receive help. The main project relates to the use of a mobile application so that smartphone users seeking help can obtain information or contact the organization when they need help.

Communication in the workforce is necessary for efficient service delivery. Communication within the workplace, as well as outside the workplace, enhances service delivery. Generational differences affect communication patterns within an organization. In particular, traditionalists such as baby boomers prefer to establish workplace relationships based on face-to-face interaction. Other generations, such as X and Y, born in the era of computers, are likely to develop virtual social network system so that communication within an organization improves (Young, Sturts, Ross, & Kim, 2013). The emergence of technologies such as the iPhone, social media, messaging applications, Twitter, and Smartphones motivates the younger generation to communicate with each other. Video and teleconferencing are necessary for the current work to avoid traveling long distances to provide consultancy services to clients (Severt, Fjelstul, & Breiter, 2013).

Problem Statement

According to Levickaite (2010), the diversity of the workforce based on generations may present a difficulty in the process of adopting the technology. Persons from all generations represent today’s workforce. The diversity of the workplace means that each employee has their values and attitudes towards smartphone applications in improving service delivery. New generations, especially Generation Y is likely to develop an interest in learning new skills and career development techniques. On the contrary, older generations, such as baby boomers and Generation X, are less likely to develop an interest in the use of communication technologies.

The rate of Smartphone usage is on the rise. The adoption of a mobile application at Project Ark may be affected by generational challenges concerning the adoption of technology. Employees at Project Ark are from different regions: Generation X and Y. The study aims to determine generational differences in the use of technologies such as mobile application and their willingness to adopt technologies in improving service delivery at Project Ark

Technologies such as mobile phone applications and software are on the rise. Smartphone companies and innovators have created instant messaging services, social media tools, and other interactive technologies that assist individuals and organizations in communicating effectively to clients and customers (Leask, Fyall, & Barron, 2013). The development of the Smartphone in the 21st century has led to a high number of mobile applications. However, mobile applications’ role in the performance of roles and responsibilities at the HIV/AIDs service workplace is not yet known.

The number of people using mobile applications is on the rise. However, the majority of the population does not use advanced functions of mobile applications. Online functions of phones have not been utilized effectively among Smartphone users (Cogin, 2012). Furthermore, the importance of Smartphone applications in improving service delivery among non-profit organizations as well as profit organizations has not been fully utilized. Despite a high number of Smartphone users in society, they might not be aware of how they can be used in certain settings (Leask et al., 2013). Usage of smartphone applications also relates to the inability to learn how mobile applications can be used. Organizations have spent resources on purchasing smartphones for employees. In such cases, the employer pays for the use of the Smartphone. However, the Smartphone is used by other persons such as family members

Purpose

To find how workers of differing generations adapt to new technology in the workforce.

Mobile applications such as instant messaging apps, social media, and even e-commerce have been adopted by various organizations (Loroz & Helgeson, 2013). Technologies assist users in obtaining services through email, accessing social media, and searching for information. A generational gap in smartphone applications’ adoption and usage is necessary for understanding how organizations can improve service delivery through Smartphone applications (Lub, Bal, Blomme, & Schalk, 2015).

According to Mohsen (2016), age is a factor that affects the intention to use a Smartphone application to improve service delivery. Among baby boomers, Smartphones are majorly used for making voice calls. In particular, baby boomers rarely use Smartphones for text messaging or internet capabilities such as email and data downloads. Mohsen (2016) also claims that the younger generation adapts effectively to new technologies. As such, the ability to use internet services and messaging services are influenced by generational differences that are majorly motivated by cultural factors.

This study focuses on three generations: Baby Boomers, Generation Y and Generation X. Generation Y are members of the society born from 1982 until the beginning of the 21st century. The study defines Generation Y as people aged 20-35. On the contrary, Generation X are members of the society that followed baby boomers. Generation X persons were born from the early 1960s until the early 1980s. In this study, Generation X refers to age 36-49. Baby boomers are employees born in the 1940s up to 1960s. These employees are aged 50+ years (Mohsen, 2016).

Research Questions

The following research question informed the study:

  • Do older generations, such as the baby boomers, adapt to new technology and social norms, such as the internet, mobile applications, social media, and computer use as their counterparts generations X and Y in the workforce?
  • Do Smartphone application users understand how they can use messaging applications to improve service delivery?

Hypotheses

The following hypothesis was adopted

  • Members of the Baby Boomer generation do not adapt to new technology and the societal changes as easily as younger generations (X and Y)
  • Generation X and Y use Smartphone applications but do not understand how service delivery at the workplace can be improved.

Significance of the Study

Managers and board of directors of non-profit organizations can use this research paper’s findings to recommend the establishment of teleconferencing and video conferencing technologies so that consultancy services can be provided for clients in remote places. Information on prevention services offered to HIV/AIDS victims and patients can be offered through technologies. Non-profit organizations can also recommend the development of Smartphone applications so that clients receive information from a common mobile app. Other technologies, such as social media tools, will be investigated to determine their relevance in non-profit organizational settings.

Apart from non-profits organizations such as HIV/AIDS care centers, profit organizations can also consider the introduction of technologies, especially social media, to deliver quality and efficient services. Communication can also be improved through timely and consistent delivery of information to clients and customers. Overall, the paper is necessary for stakeholders in management.

Literature Review

Introduction

This section reviews literature in the form of research from other scholars. Literature review began through a database search on e-libraries. Research papers were chosen based on key variables such as technology adoption in the workplace, specifically among generation X, Y, and baby boomers. Technological adoption at the workplace based on external factors to the workplace has not been considered. For instance, Technology Acceptance Models that focus on organizational factors have not been considered. Strict adherence is placed on research objectives.

Review of Literature

Generation Y are members of the society born from 1982 until the beginning of the 21st century (Beldona, Nusair, & Demicco, 2009). The study defines Generation Y as people aged 20-35. On the contrary, Generation X are members of the society that followed baby boomers. Generation X persons were born from the early 1960s until the early 1980s (Brown, 2012). In this study, Generation X refers to age 36-49. Baby boomers are employees born in the 1940s up to 1960s. These employees are aged 50+ years. According to Chiang, Manthiou, Tang, Shin, & Morrison (2014), Generation X employees grew up in an era where both parents worked or in a single-parent household. As a result, Generation X employees become kids forced to work hard to fend for themselves. Generation X also grew in an era where computers, the internet, and emails were introduced within the workplace to improve the efficiency of service delivery.

Baby boomers grew in the 1940s through to the 1950s. During this period, political and social turmoil affected society. Civil wars and world wars affected how baby boomers viewed society. In particular, baby boomers are viewed as conservatives of traditional methods of performing work. High levels of respect for authority figures are also associated with baby boomers (Cogin, 2012).

Furthermore, baby boomers grew in an era where prosperity and optimism motivated society members to change the world. Generation Y refers to a person born from the 1980s to 2002. Generation Y has been brought up in the era of technologies, which has led to high comfort levels with technologies (Kerr & Gascoigne, 1996). Further, Generation Y also values teamwork, diversity in the workplace, optimism, and change at the workplace.

The use of technologies enables Generation Y employees to multitask while at the workplace. The need for mobility from one region to another and the need to network motivate Generation Y to use social networking technologies at the workplace so that service delivery becomes effective. The demands of the current workplace force Generation Y employees to adopt innovative ways of meeting clients without traveling to physical locations (E. Y. Kim & Brandon, 2010).

Kim, Xiang, & Fesenmaier (2015), reported that over 40% of adults in the USA own Smartphones. However, only 25% of adults with Smartphones use internet applications of their Smartphones. In particular, about 8% of American populations use Smartphones for internet purposes.

Several reasons have been developed to explain the reasons that lead to differences in Smartphone usage. Leask, Fyall, & Barron (2013) assert that one of the reasons relates to the options in which users can use smartphone applications, especially when smartphones are deployed in the workplace setting. At the workplace, when the Smartphone device is introduced, employees can use the device for individual decision making. Another reason for the low usage of Smartphones relates to the lack of options so that employees learn how to use Smartphone applications in service delivery (Beldona, Nusair, & Demicco, 2009).

Furthermore, the consumption of a Smartphone is worthwhile rather than buying a less sophisticated phone with less or no bundles of services.

Lebrun (2014) argues that employers often purchase Smartphones for employees. In such cases, the employer pays for the use of the Smartphone in the workplace. However, in most cases, the Smartphone device is used by family members such as spouses. In such cases, an employee cannot adopt the Smartphone as a device for effective service delivery at the workplace. Adoption of Smartphones at the workplace should be viewed in their perspectives.

Levickaite (2010) adds that the first perspective relates to increased levels of activities and dittoes that force an employee to be outside the office most of the time. As a result, Smartphone applications such as messaging services, social media tools, and emails can be used to respond to communications from clients, customers, and other employees. Reading emails, responding to communications, and traveling can be challenging. Smartphone applications are used to improve service delivery.

Employees and managers at the workplace view Smartphone applications as no other alternative method for communicating with clients, colleagues, and customers. The performance of tasks through Smartphones is necessary (Loroz & Helgeson, 2013). In particular, the Smartphone is an obligatory device for the current workplace. The adoption of Smartphone applications that assist employees and employers in communicating with clients is, therefore, relevant. Looking at smartphones and other internet-based applications concerning the number of people who use them are not suitable. The tendency to use internet-based applications to communicate organizational messages should be studied (Lub et al., 2015).

Technology acceptance or adoption has been analyzed under the Technology Acceptance Model (TAM) to understand how information systems and technologies are accepted within organizations (Mohsen, 2016). However, adoption based on generational differences should be examined through additional studies. Smartphone applications may have special attributes that warrant an inquiry-based on Generational differences. Factors such as generational differences, innovative Smartphone applications, and internet connectivity limits have been noted as potential motivations for adoption (Ozanne, 2009).

According to Roberts (2012), a generation gap affects the adoption of technologies such as Smartphone applications. Age as a factor affects the intention to adopt the use of Smartphone applications to improve communication within the workplace. Among baby boomers, Smartphones and mobile phones are majorly used to make voice calls. Schmoll, Hafer, Hilt, & Reilly (2006) supports the assumption that Baby Boomers rarely use Smartphones to send text messages or access the internet services such as emails, social media, and data downloads. Generation Y and X adapt to new technologies at a faster rate than baby boomers. It should be noted that generational, cultural differences influence the ability to use Smartphone applications such as instant messaging services.

In the 1940s, the workplace was characterized by technologies such as typewriters and wired telephones. Technologies such as computers, smartphones, tablets, and mobile-based applications were not used (Severt et al., 2013). Manual operations formed part of the workplace environment. Baby boomers that grew from the early 1940s had no exposure to new technologies used in the current workplace. Employee skills were based on using hands-on art rather than using a machine to improve service delivery (Strutton, Taylor, & Thompson, 2011).

Thomson (2016) asserts that Baby Boomers, as a generation (born from 1946 and 1964), constitute about 78 million in the population of the United States. Baby boomers consider relationships to be important in life. Baby boomers are also optimistic and idealistic. Within the workplace, baby boomers are driven by the need to obtain results, conservatives, and provide maximum effort. Young, Sturts, Ross, & Kim (2013) argue that regarding communication, baby boomers ensure that they keep open lines of communication, as well as the need to develop long-term relationships in the workplace. Furthermore, baby boomers adjust to reality by engaging in business activities and politics. The urge to eradicate the ideal of the youth is very high among baby boomers.

Generation X employees are skeptical, informal, and demonstrate individualistic characteristics than baby boomers. Generation X persons also consider relationships developed in the workplace to be important (Beldona et al., 2009). The need to embrace diversity and learn from the environment is also a key concern among generation X persons. However, generation X has been cited as the most difficult person to work with. High levels of skepticism and lack of trust in the workplace are associated with Generation X employees. Understanding of the needs and ideals of Generation X would lead to a stable working environment that cannot be shaken by outside or inside forces(Brown, 2012).

Broadbridge, Maxwell, & Ogden (2009) report the finding that the millennials, also known as Generation Y, consider the time to be an important factor than relationships developed with other members of the society. In the workplace, time as a value for Generation Y is evidenced by savvy technological behaviors based on instant gratification. Generation Y prefers to use technologies to deliver efficient services to customers and clients in the shortest time possible while applying the least effort.

Furthermore, Generation Y likes informal environments where they are performing tasks at the workplace. Brody & Rubin (2011) agree that they need to embrace diversity is also high with Generation Y employees. Virtual social networking and the use of technologies is necessary for workplaces that have Generation Y employees. Social media, mobile-based applications, and internet services are necessary so that Generation Y employees provide efficient and effective services to clients and customers.

The usage of computers, email, and the internet has increased in the 21st century. However, baby boomers would prefer to develop face-to-face communication in the workplace. Generation X and Y employees continue to use email, the internet, and the computer to perform duties (Fenich, Scott-Halsell, & Hashimoto, 2011). Despite the low usage of technology by baby boomers, their will and confidence to use technology cannot be questioned. Baby boomers are willing to learn how to use technologies within the workplace environment (Mayer, 2006). Difficulties are experienced when baby boomers try to learn video teleconferencing as a new technology in the workplace. A technologically engaged workplace attracts Generation X and Y employees with high levels of ICT knowledge.

According to Murray (2011), consultation services should be offered through technologies to business service customers in different regions. As a result, it is not possible to offer consultation services to numerous customers in distant places. The internet, video teleconferencing, social media, and mobile applications are used to bridge the gap between the service provider and the client. Technology alone is not sufficient in the workplace. Prayag & Del Chiappa (2014) write that Generation X and Y also believe that skill development is better than focusing on the use of technologies within the workplace.

If the employee has sufficient skills to perform duties and responsibilities, technologies are necessary to improve the efficiency of service delivery. Sox, Crews, & Kline (2014) assert that a deeper understanding of how technologies work enables all generations, even baby boomers to work efficiently. The need to build employee skills should not be overlooked. All generations at the workplace need relevant information systems and program management systems so that they perform effectively. However, the willingness to learn how new technologies can be used in the workplace is high among Generation X and Y employees.

Generation X and Y, as well as baby boomers, express a positive approach towards the use of technologies at the workplace. In particular, employees from different regions recognize the need to exploit the benefits of technologies (Sternberg, 2012). The introduction of ICT enables employees to save time and introduce processes that enhance communication. There is recognition of the potential risks of using technologies such as the volume of information and overload among baby boomers. Baby boomers are also concerned about the complexity of roles that arise when ICT is introduced in the workplace (Walker, 2014). The need to use speed and measured response to transmitting information are challenging to baby boomers than Generation X and Y. Management level employees need networked technologies such as Smartphones and mobile applications to communicate with other employees in the field.

The possibility of working from home is exciting for Generation X and Y employees. However, baby boomers would prefer to work in the traditional workplace. Generation X and Y appreciate the flexibility achieved by using technology (Chiang et al., 2014). In particular, technologies offer flexibility regarding how employee structure time so that they gain freedom if moving around. Cogin (2012) argues that challenges to the use of technologies such as poor access to information and unreliable technologies or software are likely to cause challenges while working away from the traditional workplace. Kerr & Gascoigne (1996) asserts that all Generations feel frustrated when the technologies do not lead to desired results. Overall, social media, video teleconferencing, mobile applications, the internet, and emails are viewed to be beneficial by Generation X and Y employees.

On the contrary, baby boomers view technologies to be invasive. Technological stress is high among baby boomers than Generation X and Y. Technological stress arises when employees cannot use specified technologies to achieve desired results in the workplace.

The adoption of technologies at the workplace depends on organizational culture. The workplace should also be supportive so that employees feel supported in using technologies to improve service delivery (Kim & Brandon, 2010). When employees feel that they have control over the use of technologies at the workplace in improving service delivery, they are likely to view technologies as a resource. Kim et al. (2015) present the argument that employees can also view technologies a demand when they have no control over when and how they can be used to improve service delivery. Employees who have no control over use and access to technologies experience high levels of ‘technological stresses. However, employees who can control technologies achieve high levels of flexibility in the workplace, thereby leading to efficient work-life balance.

Leask et al. (2013) write that support from colleagues and supervisors is also necessary when using technologies to improve service delivery. Baby boomers feel less satisfied with the use of technologies to improve service delivery. On the contrary, high levels of satisfaction among Generation X and Y depend on support from colleagues and supervisors. The workplace should be concerned about building a strong basis for the use of technologies so that the employee feels supported and positive about improving service delivery through technologies.

The high number of Smartphone applications and technologies that can be used in the workplace increases pressure and exhaustion at the workplace. The need to make calls, reply to messages, organize video teleconferencing and coordinate other multiple tasks is exhausting to all Generations (Lebrun, 2014). Baby boomers would not like to be exhausted and pressurized by technologies. Even Generation X and Y, tech-savvy, feel exhausted and pressured because of the high demands of using multiple technologies at the workplace. Reading or tackling over 60 conversations on a Smartphone, emails, or internet-based applications is exhausting.

In most cases, employees are required to perform tasks with over 60 different clients over technology, thereby leading to low morale levels. All Generations would prefer to avoid using technologies, especially when the workload increases. Serving over 60 clients over the email, 50 over the phone, and others through social media platforms is not pleasant to employees (Levickaite, 2010). Employers have a role in ensuring that Key performance indicators are not based on the number of employees served through technologies. Otherwise, no employee feels content with service providers that cover over 100 phone calls and reply to thousands of messages from customers.

According to Loroz & Helgeson (2013), emails, social media, mobile applications, and the internet are used by employees in the current workplace. Frequent usage of computers is common. However, the use of emails is one the rise because of communication needs. New technologies such as Smartphones and tablets, as well as smartphone applications, have not been used widely in the workplace. Managers within an organization use several types of technologies, such as emails, the internet, computers, smartphones, and video conferencing. Video conferencing appeals to Generation X (33-47 years) than baby boomers (48+ years).

The high usage of technologies among Generation X is related to the management roles of persons within the Generation X range. Lub et al. (2015) agree that some technologies, such as video conferencing, are used relatively low within the workplace. However, employee confidence increases based on exposure and experience in the use of technologies. Baby boomers are confident about the use of new technologies. However, the challenges associated with technologies affect their usage within the workplace. For instance, technology-related stress affects baby boomers are thereby leading to low levels of technology adoption in the workplace.

Over the years, work ethic has been on the decline. The decline in work ethic is associated with the use of technologies that make current Generations be lazy and overdependence on technologies. Generation X and Y is slacker than baby boomers (Mohsen, 2016). Non-commitment in the workplace is part of the characteristics that define Generation Y. However, the use of technology and reduced work ethics has not been established by the researcher. There is a disagreement among scholars, Ozanne (2009) and Roberts (2012), on whether technology can be equated to non-commitment in improving work ethic. Workaholics are viewed as people who spend more time doing work through traditional means. In particular, baby boomers are workaholics compared to Generation X and Y, who depend on technologies.

The most hardworking generation is a baby boomer. As a result, stereotypes have been developed in the workplace that Generation Y and X employees do not work as hard as baby boomers (Schmoll et al., 2006). The wider society considers hard work to the ability to complete all tasks without the use of technology. Smartphones, tablets, and social media, despite their importance in improving work efficiency, do not assist Generation Y and X in eliminating the stereotype that they are lazy.

Researchers Severt et al. (2013) also assert that the concept of pride in the workplace has reduced since the 1970s. Currently, there is less importance on the pride of a person’s work. As a result, the stereotype that the younger generation is not as hardworking as baby boomers no longer apply.

Work values have decreased since the 1970s to the late 1990s. How an employee performs duties and responsibilities no longer indicate their worth. Therefore, the usage of technology is not a part of stereotypes on lazy generations at the workplace (Strutton et al., 2011). The definition of hard work is also confusing. Whether work is performed through technologies or traditional methods, their complexities do not change. Technologies only improve the efficiency of task performance. As a result, technologies should not be viewed as strategies used by lazy Generation X and Y to perform tasks.

Additionally, in the current society, that is no longer an important part of life (Thomson, 2016). An employee does not need to work hard in poor conditions so that they become a better person. Technologies continue to shape how an employee performs tasks. Lack of loyalty from employers is associated with a lack of effort, thereby leading to a less idealized view of work.

The assumption that work ethics among the younger generation has reduced because of widespread usage of technology lacks evidence. According to Young et al. (2013), work ethic decreases with age. In particular, younger Generations have high levels of work ethic than the older generation. The relationship between work ethic and technologies cannot be established. However, it should be noted that the younger Generation (X and Y) would like to spend more time in the workplace when they are allowed to use technologies. Baby boomers and traditionalists are less likely to spend long hours in the workplace despite knowing how to improve work efficiency through technologies.

Brody & Rubin (2011) assert that Generation X and Y prefer to use virtual social networking technologies to serve and communicate with clients. Facebook, blogs, and tweets are sent to clients who seek information in remote places. Clients can also contact service providers without the need to travel long distances in search of information. Instant messaging services such as Whatsapp are used by Generation X and Y to create networked groups where information can be shared. Information sharing as part of key advantages arising from mobile phone applications ensures that communication with the client is not affected.

Regarding career development, Generation Y and X are more interested in workplaces that motivate learning new skills and career pathways. Baby boomers are concerned about long-term service to the employer while maintaining high levels of loyalty and trust (Fenich et al., 2011).

Furthermore, Generation X and Y prefer career development methods that focus on personal growth. However, baby boomers prefer recognition and appreciation from the employer. When employees from different generations work together, misunderstandings and conflicts arise. High levels of complaints about younger generations are based on the willingness to work hard among generation X and Y (Mayer, 2006). Younger generation employees value work and life balance. The flexibility achieved in telecommuting and teleconferencing enables younger generations to perform duties without being present at the workplace.

In the process of bridging the gap that exists among employees from different generations, employers are required to provide information. This should be done while considering the need to introduce technologies for the younger Generation employees (Murray, 2011). The manager and the employee should be open and upfront with the generation X and Y employees to not criticize their value for technologies. All generations should be informed of the importance of technologies to the workplace and service delivery (Prayag & Del Chiappa, 2014).

Conclusion

A review of the literature shows that there are Generational differences when adopting technologies in the workplace. Baby boomers are less likely to adopt the use of technologies because of cultural factors about the time they were born. Generation X and Y prefer the use of technologies in the workplace to improve service delivery. This study focuses on the use of technology within a non-profit organization. A focus on Project Ark involves investigating the need to adapt technologies so that HIV/AIDs services can be availed to community members in St. Louis. The methodology section outlines the process adopted to collect data from employees of Project Ark.

Methodology

Research Design

The aim of this dissertation is to establish how various Generations in the workplace adapt to technologies so that appropriate measures can be adopted when implementing the use of technologies. An indicative approach enables the researcher to understand the topic. In particular, the researcher uses intuitive assumptions and opinions about Generation X and Y, as well as baby boomers.

Intuitive opinions are captured through qualitative data collected from employees of Project Ark organization. A quantitative and qualitative inductive approach is the most appropriate method for the study. The research approach enables the researcher to understand where the respondents get the basis for their opinions. Qualitative and quantitative results for the study are used to provide a preliminary insight into the topic but not to make generalizations.

An inductive approach to the research is based on observations concerning behaviors towards the use of technologies in the workplace. An inductive approach is effective when used in exploratory research studies. The research will use an inductive approach by making generalizations based on specific observations. The researcher will ensure that observations are measured before broadening theories or general conclusions. Also, the research will be based on the deductive approach. In particular, the researcher will begin the research with a proper perspective before narrowing to specific conclusions.

Data Collection Method

The researcher used Self-administered questionnaires because it is easy to collect information from a wide population, thereby increasing the chance of a great number of responses from all members of the population. Also, the researcher used questionnaires because they are not cumbersome concerning interpretation and coding of data, especially when closed-ended questions with specific answer choices are used. On the contrary, personal interviews involve the use of semi-structured discussions involving the researcher and the participant. The researcher can use open-ended questions to probe contractors to understand further the inherent perceptions and behaviors of employees towards the use of technologies.

Semi-structured interviews were mailed to 40 employees, working at Project Ark. Since the researcher cannot track Project Ark employees, interviews are necessary for collecting qualitative data from customers. Questionnaires are ideal for the hotel employees and managers since they can be traced through their workplace address.

Ethical Policies and Procedures

Informed consent was obtained from respondents through the provision of information on the purpose of the study and how confidentiality will be achieved. The information provides ensured that the respondent decides on whether they should form part of the study or withdraw from the interview session and provide answers to the questionnaire. The data collected is subject to legislation concerning data protection. Also, qualitative data from respondents will not be shared with other third parties for achieving confidentiality. The researcher ensures that pseudonyms are used to avoid any risk of concealing the names of employees and managers of the hotel.

Data Management

Qualitative data is subject to bias and error. The researcher should transcribe qualitative data to reduce any chance of bias and error. The grounded theory approach is necessary for identifying and separating key aspects of data that should be coded. The codes are based on developing themes so that conclusions can be reached based on concepts. Results and themes interpreted will be analyzed in the data analysis section of the study.

Data Analysis

Introduction

This chapter is an analysis of data obtained from questionnaire surveys. The data was obtained from employees Project Ark. The quantitative data analysis method was adopted to establish the relationship that holds among the variables of the study. Technology is used widely to refer to as Smartphones, social media, Smartphone applications, and video conferencing.

For this study:

  • 20-35 years refer to Generation Y;
  • 36-49 years refer to Generation X;
  • 50+ years refer to baby boomers.

Analysis and Discussion

Figure 1: How many years have you worked at Project Ark?.

20-35 years 36-49 years 50+ years
Below two years 60% 50% 5%
3.5 years 30% 10% 15%
6-10 years 5% 15% 30%
10+ years 5% 25% 50%
How many years have you worked at Project Ark?.

The number of years spent within an organization influences the ability to learn IT skills necessary in improving service delivery. Employees who have worked for over ten years at Project Ark may have come across the use of technologies that assist the organization in achieving objectives. Generation X and Y had spent less time at Project Ark than baby boomers at the organization. An employee who has spent over two years is assumed to have come across technologies that improve service delivery. Such as employee, therefore, should have the capability to inquire on how various technologies can be used to improve service delivery.

Figure 2: Does the number of working years influence your use of technologies?

20-35 years 36-49 years 50+ years
strongly agree 60% 50% 5%
agree 40% 20% 10%
neither nor 0% 20% 5%
disagree 10% 5% 30%
strongly disagree 10% 5% 50%
Does the number of working years influence your use of technologies?

When asked whether the number of years spent at Project Ark has an influence on the use of technologies, Generation X and Y had similar results. Over 50% of Generation X and Y employees strongly agree that the number of years should influence the use of technologies. This question tested the ability of different generations to adapt to technologies based on the number of years spent at Project Ark. Baby boomers cannot adapt to technologies despite spending more than ten years at Project Ark. However, they strongly agree that the number of years spent should lead to acquiring IT skills from other employees. Baby boomers strongly disagree that time spent at Project Ark can improve the level at which an employee adapts to technology (50%).

Generation X and Y have high levels of approval on their ability to adapt to technology because they are willing to learn. Career development is a key motivator so that younger Generation employees learn how IT can be used to improve service delivery. Baby boomers prefer to use their knowledge and skills to provide services to Project Ark clients without the need to use technologies such as Smartphones, social media, smartphone applications, and video conferencing.

From the above discussion and analysis, the researcher adopts hypothesis one, which states that.

  • Members of the Baby Boomer Generation do not adapt to new technology and the societal changes as easily as younger Generations (X and Y).

Figure 3: How often do you use Smartphones, social media, and the internet?

Never Rarely Occasionally frequently very frequently
20-35 years 0% 5% 5% 30% 60%
36-49 years 1% 4% 15% 30% 50%
50+ years 60% 30% 3% 2% 5%
How often do you use Smartphones, social media, and the internet?

The question on the frequency of using technologies to improve technologies determines the level at which different Generations of employees at Project Ark use technology. Generation X and Y frequently use technologies. The frequency rate above 50% shows how the younger Generations are willing and able to use technologies to improve service delivery to clients of Project Ark. In the case of baby boomers, nearly all respondents acknowledged that they have never used technologies such as social media, Smartphone applications, and video conferencing to improve service delivery at Project Ark.

The low usage of technology among baby boomers relates to the time most of the technologies had been introduced. Baby boomers grew in a period where social media, Smartphone applications, and video conferencing was not part of the skills required to perform duties.

A baby boomer who rarely uses technologies asserts that technology cannot be avoided in the current workplace. In particular, some baby boomers employees assert that there is a need to communicate with clients in St. Lois. The most common method of communication involves voice calls. Baby boomers rarely use messaging services. In the case of younger Generations, frequent usage of technologies relates to the need to ‘tweet,’ message, and post information on Facebook concerning the range of services offered by Project Ark.

Figure 4: Do you think social media, Smartphones, and messaging services improve service delivery?

Strongly agree Agree No Comment Disagree Strongly disagree
20-35 years 60% 46% 0% 3% 1%
36-49 years 57% 43% 0% 1% 3%
50+ years 30% 10% 0% 20% 40%
Do you think social media, Smartphones, and messaging services improve service delivery?

Generation X and Y strongly agree (over 55%) that technologies are necessary for improving service delivery. Since Project Ark is a non-profit organization that provides HIV/AIDs services to clients, it is necessary to use technologies to avail information. Information concerning prevention measures so that members of the community do not get infected necessary. Social media, the internet, Smartphones, and video conferencing have led to the establishment of virtual communities.

Within virtual communities, information sharing enables members of society to receive help. The use of technologies to improve service delivery is also based on high usage levels among Generation X and Y. Communication as an important factor ensures that clients provide feedback on the quality of services and information provided by employees of Project Ark.

Baby boomers strongly disagree (40%) that social media, Smartphones, and video conferencing can be used to provide HIV/AIDS services to Project Ark clients. The high levels of disagreement are related to the nature of services provided at Project Ark. Services such as information on the prevention and control of HIV/AIDS are better provided through one-on-one relationships developed with the client. However, baby boomers do not understand that they need to develop virtual communities that enable community members to seek help so that response does not delay. Technologies would also assist employees of Project Ark in identifying locations of clients who need help but cannot travel to Project Ark so that they receive help.

The researcher rejects the second hypothesis, which states that:

  • Generation X and Y use Smartphone applications but do not understand how service delivery at the workplace can be improved.

Figure 5: Do you feel confident when using technology?

Never Rarely Occasionally Very frequently
20-35 years 0% 0% 40% 60%
36-49 years 0% 5% 30% 60%
50+ years 50% 40% 5% 5%
Do you feel confident when using technology?

Confidence relates to the ability of the employee to use technology without experiencing anxiety. High levels of confidence also mean that the employee has adapted to technologies to improve service delivery. Low levels of confidence may arise because an employee has no IT skills. Furthermore, low levels of confidence also show that the management at Project Ark does not support the use of technologies so that clients can receive efficient services. Generation X and Y frequently feel confident when using technologies because they possess IT skills. Generation X and Y are also familiar with most of the technologies because they have grown in an era where most of the technologies have been developed. As a result, confidence levels among younger Generations higher compared to confidence levels among baby boomers (5%).

Baby boomers record low levels of confidence when using technologies because they would like to develop face-to-face relationships with clients rather than develop a relationship based on virtual networks. Baby boomers also feel that poor quality services can arise when technologies are used to provide services related to persons affected by HIV/AIDS at Project Ark. The need to develop an intervention measure that focuses on each client makes baby boomers be skeptical about the role of technologies in service delivery at Project Ark.

Figure 6: What is your opinion about the helpfulness of social media, Smartphones, video conferencing, and messaging services?

20-35 years 36-49 years 50+ years
Support services 56% 40% 4%
Work/life balance 65% 30% 5%
Efficiency/quality 55% 45% 0%
What is your opinion about the helpfulness of social media, Smartphones, video conferencing, and messaging services?

Support services refer to the use of technologies to communicate, socialize, and mobilize the community towards a common action that changes behavior concerning HIV/AIDS. Generation X and Y use technologies (over 40%) to communicate, socialize, distribute information, and mobilize the community towards advocacy for zero levels of HIV/AIDS infection within St. Louis. On the contrary, baby boomers are less likely (5%) to use technologies for advocacy and mobilization of society members to reduce HIV infection levels.

Concerning work and life balance, Generation X (30%) and Y (65%) show high levels of approval that technologies can be used to achieve work and life balance. Generation X and Y employees use technologies to work away from the workplace. The need to achieve flexibility on how messages are delivered to clients motivates Generation Y and X employees to work away from the workplace. However, baby boomers (5%) prefer working away from the workplace. The low levels of approval among baby boomers relate to the need to be present at the workplace while exercising high levels of trust and respect.

Generation X and Y also believe that technologies can be used to improve the efficiency and quality of services provided to clients. However, services that cannot be provided through technologies such as counseling and medical care were not part of services identified by Generation X and Y. Service delivery and quality service relate to timely respond to a person in need of help. Communication with clients and community members ensures that the response is not delayed. Clients need assistance. Baby boomers do not believe that technologies can improve efficiency and quality of services at the workplace.

Figure 7: Do you think HIV/AIDs services can be provided through video and teleconferencing technologies?

Strongly agree Agree No Comment Disagree Strongly disagree
20-35 years 78% 30% 0% 1% 1%
36-49 years 67% 40% 0% 1% 2%
50+ years 5% 5% 0% 30% 60%
Do you think HIV/AIDs services can be provided through video and teleconferencing technologies?

Despite low levels of adoption among baby boomers, there is a belief that technologies available at the workplace can improve IT skills. Baby boomers (80%) are willing to learn to achieve efficiency in service delivery. Generation X (10%) and Y (5%) already have IT skills; thus, technologies available at the workplace do not influence their IT skills. In terms of working away from the workplace, Generation X (40%) and Generation y (55%) believe that technologies can be used to perform duties without the need to be physically present at the

Multitasking among Generation X and Y ensures that employees develop high expectations on technologies such as Smartphone applications, social media, and video conferencing. Multitasking would help Generation X and Y complete tasks within the shortest time possible so that they can engage in social activities in the society. However, Baby Boomers (1%) believe that technologies can assist in multitasking. Since baby boomers are near retirement age, age factors do not allow for high levels of multitasking. Baby boomers would like to perform each task without the need to multitask.

Figure 9: Which services cannot be provided through technologies?

20-35 years 36-49 years 50+ years
Counseling 1% 2% 0%
Consultancy 60% 38% 2%
Communication 55% 35% 10%
Social support 2% 3% 1%
HIV information 60% 35% 5%
Which services cannot be provided through technologies?

Among all Generations, it is clear that counseling services cannot be provided through technologies. Approval of 1% in all Generations means that there are cases where technologies cannot assist in providing quality services. Counseling services provided to HIV/AIDS services are based on the specific needs of each client. Therefore, video conferencing as technology proves to be ineffective since clients need face-to-face relationships with the counselor so that they feel appreciated.

Other services such as consultancy and communication should be provided through technologies. Generation Y (60%) and Generation X (38%) believe that consultancy services ensure that members of society receive advice on how to avoid being infected by HIV/AIDS. Furthermore, 60% of Generation Y believes that HIV information concerning prevention and protection should be availed through social media, Smartphone applications, and video conferencing. The availability of information ensures that members of society become informed on how infection rates can be reduced within St. Louis.

Services related to social support cannot be provided through technologies. Social support services are provided to clients already infected with HIV/AIDS. Such patients need face-to-face intervention measures. All Generations believe that in some situations, technologies cannot be appropriate since the client needs care.

Summary, Conclusions, and Recommendations

Summary

The ability to adapt to technologies relates to the number of years spent at Project Ark. While it is important to note that baby boomers have spent over ten years in the organization, they cannot use modern technologies to communicate and offer services to clients. A person who spends over ten years within an organization should be influenced to learn from peers how they can improve efficiency through social media, mobile applications, and video conferencing. However, results show that adoption levels are very low among baby boomers. Generation X and Y are willing to use new technologies because they already possess the necessary IT skills to function in the modern workplace.

The number of years spent at Project Ark does not influence the need to use technologies among baby boomers. Even though baby boomers employees would like to learn new skills, they are reluctant because they feel that technologies may not improve service delivery. Generation X and Y acknowledge that since they already have IT skills before being employed, employers can concentrate on personal growth rather than focusing on technologies. Career growth paths should be availed to Generation X and Y employees so that they feel appreciated. From the data, it is clear that technologies alone cannot make younger generations feel satisfied with the organization.

The frequency of technology usage among baby boomers is also very low. Despite spending several years at Project Ark, the ability to adapt to the current service delivery needs has not been realized by baby boomers. Generation X and Y employees ‘very frequently’ use of technologies to deliver services to clients. For instance, tweets are necessary to inform society members on the nature of services available at Project Ark. In addition, virtual communities assist community members to seek information concerning HIV/AIDS. Frequent usage of technologies relates to the era in which current Generations live. The need to socialize and develop virtual communities is high among younger Generations. Baby Boomers prefer face-to-face relationships.

From the above discussion, when employees were asked whether Smartphone technologies improve service delivery, the majority of Generation X and Y “strongly agree” that smartphone applications and other technologies are necessary to improving service delivery. The results are a clear indication that Generation X and Y understand how Smartphone applications can be used to improve the efficiency of service delivery at Project Ark. However, baby boomers ‘strongly disagree,’ those Smartphone applications can be used to improve service delivery. Generation X and Y acknowledge that consultancy services and information dissemination assist Project Ark in serving the community effectively. Smartphone applications and social media are, therefore, necessary for creating online communities that depend on messages and information to make informed decisions concerning HIV/AIDS.

Conclusions

Hypothesis 1 suggested that Generation Y and X adapts to technology easily than baby boomers. Long usage of Smartphones, social media, and other technologies motivate an employee to use internet services so that services can be availed to clients. Results also show that there are age differences among different Generations on the willingness to learn and use technologies within a non-profit organization, especially when the organization provides services related to persons affected and infected by HIV/AIDS.

Long and frequent usage of technologies by Generation X and Y also means that they are more inclined than baby boomers to adopt the use of technologies in service provision. The results show the relationships that hold between several years spent in the organization and the adoption of technology over the years. Baby boomers did not adopt the use of technologies despite spending over ten years in the organization.

Counseling services at Project Ark cannot be provided through technologies. All Generations understand the need to provide counseling in a different setting without introducing video conferencing technologies. However, services such as consultancy, communication, and provision of HIV information can be provided to the public through technologies. Twitter, Facebook, and messaging services can help employees disseminate information to society members without the need to travel. Baby boomers feel that service delivery through the use of technologies is not appropriate. An employee providing communication services as well as consultancy to HIV patients should develop face-to-face communication and relationships.

Expectations on the use of technologies at project Ark relates to multitasking, doing more work, improving efficiency, and working away from the workplace. However, Generation X and Y are not motivated to use technologies to improve IT skills since they have already learned the skills before seeking employment. Baby boomers need technologies to improve their IT skills and improve service delivery within the organization. Services such as counseling, health care, and social support cannot be provided through technologies. All Generations identify the need to exercise professionalism while reducing the need to overly on technologies. However, there is a need to use technologies to improve the efficiency of counseling, health care, and social support. Communication, consultancy, and available information ensure that clients obtain necessary help, which prompts the need to contact the counselor. Despite Generational differences in the ability to adopt technologies, there is a general understanding among all Generations that service delivery in non-profit organizations, especially those that offer HIV/AIDs support services cannot exclusively rely on technologies.

Recommendations

  • Train baby boomers: since baby boomers are less likely to adopt the use of technologies, organizations should train baby boomers on how social media, Smartphone applications, and video conferencing can improve service delivery. Training means that technologies such as Smartphones should be availed at the workplace. As a result, costs should be considered. Generation X and Y employees who have IT skills need motivation and support from the management to continue using technologies for the benefit of the organization. However, it should be noted that technologies alone do not make younger Generations happy. Consideration should be made, so that career growth and development becomes a key concern more than the use of technologies.
  • Consider the client’s confidentiality and privacy: the introduction of Smartphones and other technologies in the workplace cannot be avoided because of a high number of Generation X and Y employees. In the case of HIV/AIDS service delivery, the client’s confidentiality and privacy are necessary while communicating. The security of information from clients concerning their HIV status must be protected. As a result, management should guarantee security measures that ensure that clients do not share the confidential and private message on technologies. Ethical practice in relation to the handling of client’s information is necessary for the long-term survival in the market.
  • Purchase technologies such as Smartphones, and video conferencing technologies: management should consider the employment of a social media specialist in charge of disseminating information to clients through social media and other technologies. The purchase of necessary technologies would ensure that even baby boomers feel appreciated, therefore develop the interest to learn IT skills in the current workplace. Costs should be considered since there are cheap technologies so that the management does not exploit current resource reserves while implementing the project.

Costs for the Project

Project Costs
*Expenses *Amount (US$)
1. Personnel $10000
2. Materials and Equipment (Smartphones) $5000
3. Training $7000
4. Develop a mobile application $500
5. Evaluation/ Information Dissemination $1000
6. General Administration/ Overhead $2000
7. cost of all activities $25,500
TOTAL EXPENSES

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Appendix: Survey Questionnaire

Questionnaire

Section A: Customers-general information about the Employee

Instruction: Choose the option that matches your opinion by ticking inside the box

    1. How many years have you worked at Project Ark?
1 2 3 4 5
Below 2 years 3.5 years 6-10 years 10+ years
20-35 years
36-49 years
50+ years
    1. Does the number of working years influence your use of technologies?
1 2 3 4 5
Strongly agree Agree Neither agree nor disagree Disagree Strongly disagree
20-35 years
36-49 years
50+ years
    1. How often do you use of smartphones, social media, and the internet?
1 2 3 4 5
Never rarely occasionally frequently Very frequently
20-35 years
36-49 years
50+ years
    1. Do you think social media, smartphones, and messaging services improve service delivery?
1 2 3 4 5
Strongly agree Agree No Comment Disagree Strongly disagree
20-35 years
36-49 years
50+ years
    1. Do you feel confident when using technology?
1 2 3 4 5
Never Rarely Occasionally frequently Very frequently
20-35 years
36-49 years
50+ years
    1. What is your opinion about helpfulness of social media, smartphones, and messaging services
1 2 3
Support services Work/life balance Efficiency/quality
20-35 years
36-49 years
50+ years
    1. Do you think HIV/AIDs services can be provided through video and teleconferencing technologies?
1 2 3 4 5
Strongly agree Agree No Comment Disagree Strongly disagree
20-35 years
36-49 years
50+ years
    1. What is your expectation in the use of technology?
1 2 3 4 5
Improve IT skills Work away from workplace Improve efficiency Multitasking Do more work
20-35 years
36-49 years
50+ years
    1. Which services cannot be provided through technologies?
1 2 3 4 5
Counselling Consultancy Communication Social support HIV information
20-35 years
36-49 years
50+ years
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IvyPanda. 2020. "Project Ark: Technologies and Generations." July 21, 2020. https://ivypanda.com/essays/project-ark-technologies-and-generations/.

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IvyPanda. (2020) 'Project Ark: Technologies and Generations'. 21 July.

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