Purpose - The purpose of this paper is to address the subject of work attitude drivers within the current scenario considering two influencing factors, culture and generation. Both membership of a particular generation and membership of a particular culture can affect individuals' work attitudes. The study considers these two factors in order to analyse five dimensions that are sources of work attitudes: life project, professional ethics, and attitude towards authority, leadership and commitment to the company. Design/methodology/approach - Drawing upon a sample of almost one thousand people from various Ibero-American countries, the results show significant differences between generations and cultures, particularly when focusing on the life project. Findings - Among its conclusions, the paper points out that Latin America cannot be viewed as a homogenous whole in terms of individual work attitude. On the contrary, it is characterised by a significant degree of national diversity and managers should take this into account when designing initiatives to improve employee motivation. Originality/value - The contribution that this paper seeks to make is to include the cross-cultural perspective in the study of attitudes towards work, which has received less attention in previous studies.