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The affective component of ageism needs attention

Per Erik Solem (NOVA, Oslo Metropolitan University, Oslo, Norway)

International Journal of Manpower

ISSN: 0143-7720

Article publication date: 4 April 2020

Issue publication date: 17 July 2020

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to explore responses of older workers and of managers to the call from the authorities to extend working life.

Design/methodology/approach

Data are from the Norwegian Senior Policy Barometer with interviews with samples of about 750 managers and 1,000 workers each year from 2003. There is no panel data.

Findings

Older workers increasingly prefer to extend their working career. The preferred age for exit has increased from 61 years in 2003 to 66 years in 2018. Managers seem less interested in expanding their older workforce. A majority of managers expressed quite positive conceptions of older workers' performance, but less often they liked to recruit older workers. As an average, managers told that they would hesitate to call in applicants above 58 years of age to job interviews. Age for hesitation is only moderately correlated (r = 0.29) to managers' beliefs about older workers’ performance at work. Thus, the managers' beliefs about older workers’ performance made only a small difference for their willingness to hire older workers.

Research limitations/implications

The results suggest that counteracting stereotypes, prejudice and age discrimination in working life needs a broad approach, including attention to the affective component of ageism. For research, the measurement of the affective component needs consideration and further exploration.

Originality/value

The article brings data from a distinctive Norwegian context and approaches the rarely studied affective component of ageism in working life.

Keywords

Citation

Solem, P.E. (2020), "The affective component of ageism needs attention", International Journal of Manpower, Vol. 41 No. 5, pp. 583-594. https://doi.org/10.1108/IJM-11-2018-0380

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

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