This paper contributes to debates in the broad area of generational differences at work. Specifically, we locate this study within the literature of the work values and expectations of the ‘Millennial generation’, also known as ‘GenMe’. Much has been made in
the media and popular practitioner literature about how the latest generation of workers have a ‘sense of entitlement’ and therefore expect more from the workplace than previous generations. In this paper, we argue that this mainstream view of the sense of entitlement as a concept
is problematic and requires a more critical examination. We consider two divergent bodies of literature on the sense of entitlement in relation to generational differences at work – a managerialist approach, which conceptualises sense of entitlement to work–life balance as a negative
trait, and a second body, based on the seminal work by Sue Lewis and colleagues, that treats sense of entitlement as a situated process rather than an internal characteristic. We use data from a study of young adults leaving university in the UK, inspired by Sue's work. Our analysis challenges
the notion of today's younger workers as more ‘entitled’ than previous generations. This study extends existing research by providing a contextualised analysis of young people's situated accounts of sense of entitlement at work.
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