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Insights from the Marine Corps Organizational Culture Research Project: Generational Differences in the Marine Corps – Exploring Issues and Frictions Between Older and Younger Marines



military, organizational culture, culture change, leadership, identity, cohesion, generational differences, social media


This document was an applied “quick look” report from the Marine Corps Organizational Culture Research (MCOCR) Project. The MCOCR project was conducted between 2017 and 2020 by the Translational Research Group, a multidisciplinary social science research team at Marine Corps University. The project involved interviews and focus groups with 267 active duty U.S. Marines regarding various aspects of culture, but with an emphasis on gender bias, leadership, and cohesion. The project also was informed by the researchers’ enduring presence within a Marine Corps organization and daily interactions with Marines, which assisted them in interpreting research participants’ comments. This particular report focused perspectives related to generational differences among Marines. Through the voices of Marines, the report addresses how generational differences are conceptualized (e.g., age cohorts vs institutional experiences), the perceived role of changes in civilian society, differences in leadership styles, and the broad effects of increased connectivity through mobile technology and social media.


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