Engagement with disruptive technologies: do digital generations matter?

Frank Stegehuis*, Tanya Bondarouk

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterAcademicpeer-review


This chapter addresses a disruptive effect of information technologies (IT) on their end users, which we view as agency conflicts between the end user and the technological artifact. Specifically, we focus on differences between end user agency that are recurrently associated with a difference between end user generations: digital immigrants and digital natives. We were inspired by the assumption that, for businesses to cope with the increased dependency on IT and the disruptive effects, the workforce generations needed a different ‘treatment’ with respect to adaptability to IT. The results of our study, however, show no significant differences in adaptation to a new disruptive technology that could be attributed to digi-generational differences. We found that differences in IT usage were better explained by the differing goals of individuals rather than their belongingness to a generation. We contribute to the scholarly debate on digital generations and IT by uncovering that learning and fluency diminishes differences across generations in terms of technology usage and competency.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationResearch Handbook on Human Resource Management and Disruptive Technologies
EditorsTanya Bondarouk, Jeroen Meijerink
Place of PublicationCheltenham, UK
PublisherEdward Elgar
ISBN (Electronic)978-1-80220-924-2
ISBN (Print)978-1-80220-923-5
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2024


  • NLA
  • Agency
  • Technological adaptivity
  • Interviews
  • Digital natives
  • Digital immigrants
  • Generations


Dive into the research topics of 'Engagement with disruptive technologies: do digital generations matter?'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this