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Intergenerational learning in organizations

Donald Ropes (Centre for Research in Intellectual Capital, Inholland University of Applied Sciences, Haarlem, The Netherlands)

European Journal of Training and Development

ISSN: 2046-9012

Article publication date: 8 November 2013

2962

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to explore the concept of intergenerational learning as a way for organizations to deal with an ageing worker population in a positive and constructive way.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper employs a thematic synthesis of qualitative literature and considers all types of sources including quantitative scientific reports, reports on case studies, practitioner reports, social program evaluations and White Papers.

Findings

The paper points out that intergenerational learning is an effective way to organize learning at the workplace as it appeals to older worker motivations and learning styles, benefiting both worker and organization.

Research limitations/implications

The paper leads to several testable hypotheses concerning intergenerational learning. There also needs to be more work on how cognitive differences might affect interactive processes in intergenerational learning groups.

Practical implications

This paper can give managers ideas on organizing intergenerational learning as a strategy for dealing with an ageing worker population.

Originality/value

This paper opens up new possibilities for both researchers and practitioners of workplace learning by using age and other concepts of diversity as a building block for organizing learning environments.

Keywords

Citation

Ropes, D. (2013), "Intergenerational learning in organizations", European Journal of Training and Development, Vol. 37 No. 8, pp. 713-727. https://doi.org/10.1108/EJTD-11-2012-0081

Publisher

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Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2013, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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