Intergenerational Learning - a Topic of Discussion or a Reality? Taking a Closer Look at the Academics

Ramona-Diana LEON

Abstract


In the current sharing economy, intergenerational learning is seen as a solution to the aging society phenomenon. Nevertheless, this field is still in an embryonic stage of development and most studies are either conceptual or based on a qualitative approach. This research concentrates on the academics who analyze the concept of “intergenerational learning” to determine whether they are treating this issue as a research topic or they are actively supporting the process in their daily activity. To achieve this goal, the qualitative and quantitative approaches are combined and a multi-stage research strategy is employed. The latter is dominated by an inductive character which is reflected by the fact that the focus is on analyzing previously researched phenomena from a different perspective. Thus, a documentary study that focuses on the articles published on SCOPUS and Web of Science, during 2008 – 2019, is combined with social network analysis, and the relationships established among the academics are emphasized. The results bring forward that: (i) most academics come from Europe and North America, and they share their knowledge with those who work on the same continent; (ii) most studies regarding intergenerational learning represent the result of the cooperation established between the members of Generation X and Generation Y; and (iii) through intergenerational cooperation, the academics share knowledge regarding education sciences, knowledge management, and human resource management. The results have both theoretical and practical implications. On the one hand, they extend the literature on intergenerational learning by providing an empirical analysis of the intergenerational knowledge flows that are shared among the academics. On the other hand, they ensure the policy-makers that the concept of intergenerational learning is approached from a multi-criteria perspective and it proves that mixed-aged teams are a viable solution for encouraging intergenerational learning.

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