September 5, 2019

Morela Pereira

Generational paradigms regarding technology and research visibility

The term paradigm etymologically refers to a model that serves as an example or guide to be considered as the ideal at any given time. Kuhn (1995), refers to the set of basic and dominant forms that are found not only in science, but also in the way of thinking, believing, perceiving, evaluating and feeling, according to a particular vision of the surrounding world. That particular vision that Kuhn refers, can lead to determine the way of seeing reality, and therefore, the way of acting and making decisions in the face of that reality.

In this regard, Chiavenato (2010) states that it establishes a corridor for thinking, in which it is restricted within its allowed borders and limits. It could be affirmed then, that it is a condition that can lead to stop or hinder the change in the different spheres of the human being, giving rise to the so-called paradigmatic paralysis. The latter understood according to Barker (1993), as a phenomenon that basically consists in adapting the information of reality to the perception that is based on mental archetypes, rejecting or objecting to everything that does not fit the paradigms.

These models or schemes are clearly associated to the culture, customs and facts of society at a historical moment, and therefore, to the generational order.

For example, for the generation of the 50's, the woman was called to respond to the needs of the home and parenting, while the man was in charge of providing and protecting the family. From this paradigm the role of women was limited to the space of the home, being considered improper university study. However, inherited paradigms undergo modifications and even replacement by a new paradigm, as a result of the vision of successive generations. Just observe how the woman has been gaining space in all social orders.

In any case,the paradigms are inexorably affected by the process of change. But the natural resistance of people to modify their behavior patterns or ways of seeing reality, that is, their paradigm, sometimes leads to losing the possibility of achieving better results, experiencing other alternatives or simply delaying changes. By betting on the known, tested, dominated or where the development of skills and abilities has been achieved, the human being clings to the comfort zone. Resistance to change is applicable to members of any generation.

In everyday life, in different spaces of society including labor, different generations coexist, establishing a relationship in which paradigms converge that try to impose themselves in the face of decision-making. Such is the case of generations Baby bommers, X, Millennials (Y) and more recently the Z. Thefirst, born between 1945 and 1964. For these, work is a way of being and existing: stable, long-term, addictive, not necessarily what they love to do.They do not devote much time to leisure and recreational activity. It is a generation with “slow” change processes, foreign to technology and somewhat conservative.

The second, members of generation X (1965-1981), work hard but achieve a balance, they are happy with their own lives. They are the ones who saw the birth of the Internet and technological advances. As they are a generation in transition they can make the relationship between technology and active social life coexist in a balanced way. They are more likely to be employed (they accept orders of institutional hierarchy) and balance the energy between work, children and leisure time.

Millennials (Y), came into the world between 1980 and 1994, and are also known as digital natives. Very adapted to technology, virtual life is an extension of real life.They are multitasking but do not leave life at work, they are not workaholic like their parents. Entrepreneurs and creatives, they try to live on what they love to do; They are idealistic. According to studies, they last an average of two years in their work, unlike the X generationand the baby boomers (more stable). To these the generation Z is added, born between 1995 and 2010.

With ages between 9 and 24 years, they are people whose DNA is marked by Internet, it breaks into their house, in their education and in the way of socializing. They are multitasking, but their attention time is very short. They are independent and demanding consumers and will occupy jobs that do not exist today.

In the case of university researchers, located in laboratories, research centers or institutes, the reality is no different. Generally, research teams fit around a leader with vast experience, usually from the baby boomers generation with members of generations X, Y and even Z (interns, helpers, etc.). In this generational diversity, the differences are multiple, due to the characteristics of each one.

A relevant aspect is that of the technological domain, baby boomers are alien to it (although many of them have been coupled) and the X have been gradually adapting, however for Y and Z it is a tool that is part of their being. In that sense, it is perhaps more difficult for the first two to respond to the technological trends associated with the academic world. However, the last two can support the former.

When reference is made to the visibility of research, technological development has determined, for example, that in the last 20 years, it goes from printed to digital publications; the quality of institutions (and their publications) is measured through academic rankings; It is requested (required) to be a member of the academic social networks.

In this regard, the technological paradigm can be a limit for the team against the reality that demands a growing visibilityof both the results of the research and the researcher himself. In both cases, the openness and adaptability of researchers to this new paradigm will determine to a greater or lesser degree the visibility of their work and of the team. The trend is undoubtedly towards the digitalization of knowledge and these tools are set the tone.


  • Barker, Joel.(1993). Paradigms: The Business of Discovering theFuture Paperback. HarperBusiness. EEUU.
  • Chiavenato, Idalberto. (2010). Innovaciones de laAdministración. Tendencias y Estrategias. Los nuevos paradigmas. McGrawHill. México.
  • Kuhn, Thomas (1995). Estructura de las Revoluciones Científicas. Fondo deCultura Económica, México.

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