A Phenomenological Study of the Lived Experiences of the Generation X and Y Entrepreneurs

Patrick Khor


This qualitative phenomenological approach examined the Generation X and Y cohorts in terms of their lived experience towards the  entrepreneurial journey in Singapore, which can consequently fill empirical gap on entrepreneurship among generational cohorts of Asian entrepreneurs.  The study sample comprised  15 generation X and 15 Y Singaporean entrepreneurs from 30 companies who identified their involvement in starting a business venture and in the day-to-day running of the business. Using NVIVO to cull down key components and ideas from the data, the study revealed that Generation X and Generation Y to have similar work attitudes, values and behaviours. The differences between the generations include differences in age, experience as well as obligations in life such as to one’s family. Further studies are needed to examine the differences of these cohorts in terms demographic, psychological and social variables to provide additional insights and identify contributing factors to successful entrepreneurial venture.

Full Text:



Allen, P. (2004). Welcoming Y. Benefits Canada, 28(9): 51–53.

Beck, J. C., and Wade, M. (2004). Got game: How the Gamer Generation is reshaping business forever. Harvard Business School Press, Boston, MA.

Bridgers, M., and Johnson, H. (2006). The aging workforce: The facts, the fiction, the future!, ASHRAE Journal, 48(1): 6–9.

Brown, T., Davidsson, P., and Wiklund, J. (2001). An operationalization of Stevenson's conceptulization of entrepreneurship as opportunity-based firm behaviour. Strategic Management Journal, 22: 953–968.

Caliendo, M., Fossen, F.M., and Kritikos, A.S. (2011). [6]Personality characteristics and the

decision to become and stay self-employed (No. 2011/9). School of Business & Economics Discussion Paper, viewed 26 August 2012, http://www.econstor.eu/bitstream/10419/45609/1/658946013.pdf

Chester, E. (2003). The Aliens have landed. Employee Services Management, 8–10.

Chow, I. H. (2006). The relationship between entrepreneurial orientation and firm performance in China’, Advanced Management Journal, 71: 11–20.

Collins, O. R., and Moore, D. G. (1970). The organization makers. Appelton-Century-Crofts, New York.

Eisner, S. P. (2005). Managing Generation Y. S.A.M. Advanced Management Journal, 70(4): 4–15.

Gartner, W. B. (1985). A framework for describing the phenomenon of new venture creation. Academy of Management Review, 10(4): 696–706.

Hira, N. A. (2007). You raised them, now manage them. Fortune, 155(10): 38–46.

Hansford, D. (2002). Insights into managing an agediverse workforce. Workspan, pp. 48–54.

Hormozi, A. (2004). Becoming an entrepreneur: How to start a small business. International Journal of Management, 21(3): 278–286.

Huntley, R. (2006). The world according to Y: Inside the new adult generation. Allen & Unwin, Crows Nest, NSW, Australia.

Kirzner, I. (1979). Perception, opportunity, and profit: Studies in the theory of entrepreneurship. University of Chicago Press, Chicago.

Kwok, J. (2009). Survey: 1 in 5 students wants to be an entrepreneur, viewed 12 April 201

Landstrom, H. (1998). Referred from RENT XII conference: the roots of entrepreneurship research: the intellectual development of a research field. Lyon, France.

Leschinsky, R. M., and Michael, J. H. (2004). Motivators and desired company values of wood products industry employees: Investigating generational differences. Forest Products Journal, 54(1): 34–39.

Martin, C.A. (2005). From high maintenance to high productivity: What managers need to know about Generation Y. Industrial and Commercial Training, 37(1): 39–44.

Martin, C.A., and Tulgan, B. (2001). Managing Generation Y: Global citizens born in the late seventies and early eighties. HRD Press, Amherst, MA.

Nicolau, N., Shane, S., Cherkas, L., Hunkin, J., and Spector, T. D. (2008). Is the tendency to engage in entrepreneurship genetic? Management Science, 54(1): 167-179.

Knight, F.H. (1921). Cost of production and price over long and short periods. Journal of Political Economy, 29(4): 304–335.

Reuters, (2010). Gen X vs Gen Y entrepreneurs, viewed 24 August 2012,

Reynolds, C. (2004). Gen X: The unbeholden. American Demographics, pp. 8–9.

Sarasvathy, S.D. (2001). Causation and effectuation: Toward a theoretical shift from economic inevitability to entrepreneurial contingency. Academy of Management Review, 26(2): 243–288.

Strauss, W., and Howe, N. (1992). Generations: The history of America’s future, 1584 to 2069, William Morrow & Co, New York, NY.

Strauss, W., and Howe, N. (20060. Gen Yers and the pop culture: Strategies for a new generation of consumers in music, movies, television, the internet, and video games, Life Course Associates, Great Falls, VA.

Sullivan, J. (2004). Trainers, change with the times, or the times will change you. Nation's Restaurant News, 38(9): 20.

Tapscott, D. (2008). Grown up digital: How the net generation is changing your world, McGraw-Hill, New York.

Teach, R. D, Schwartz, R.G., and Tarpley, F.A. (1989). The recognition and exploitation of opportunity in the software industry: A study of surviving firms. In Brockhaus, RH, Churchill, WC, Katz, J, Kirchhoff, BA, Vesper KH & Wetzel W (eds), Frontiers of Entrepreneurship Research, pp. 383–397, Babson College, Wellesley MA.

Turner, S. and Nguyen, P. (2005). Young entrepreneurs, social capital and doi moi in Hanoi, Vietnam. Journal of Urban Studies, 42, 1693–1710.

Weston, MJ 2006, ‘Integrating generational perspectives in nursing’, The Online Journal of Issues in Nursing, 11(2), 1–10.

Yohe, G. (2007). The Millennial mind-set. Human Resources Executive, pp. 56–61.

Zemke, R., Raines, C., and Filipczak, B. (2000). Generations at work: Managing the clash of Veterans, Boomers, X-ers, and Nexters in your workplace. American Management Associaton Publication, New York, NY.

Zwilling, M. (2011). Gen X sets high standards for Gen Y entrepreneurs, viewed 8 June 2010, http://blog.startupprofessionals.com/2011/09/gen-x-sets-high-standards-for-gen-y.html>

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.25139/sng.v7i2.363


  • There are currently no refbacks.

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.




Program Studi Magister Management

Economic and Business Faculty
Universitas DR Soetomo Surabaya
Semolowaru No. 84
SURABAYA, Jawa Timur
Phone. (031) 5926116/Fax (031) 59338935
E-mail: sinergi@unitomo.ac.id

Situs Jurnal : http://ejournal.unitomo.ac.id/index.php/feb/index

Creative Commons License
SINERGI is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.


web stats View My Stats