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Hiring retirees: impact of age norms and stereotypes

Kasia Karpinska (Utrecht University School of Economics, Faculty of Law, Economics and Governance, Utrecht University, Utrecht, The Netherlands and Netherlands Interdisciplinary Demographic Institute (NIDI), The Hague, The Netherlands)
Kene Henkens (Netherlands Interdisciplinary Demographic Institute (NIDI), The Hague, The Netherlands and Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences, Tilburg University, Tilburg, The Netherlands)
Joop Schippers (Utrecht University School of Economics, Faculty of Law, Economics and Governance, Utrecht University, Utrecht, The Netherlands)

Journal of Managerial Psychology

ISSN: 0268-3946

Article publication date: 4 November 2013

Abstract

Purpose

This study aims to investigate the role of managers in the re-employment of early retirees and focuses on the effect of managers' age norms and stereotypes on managers' employment decisions.

Design/methodology/approach

A combination of a factorial study and a survey was conducted. First, information on the age norms and stereotypes was collected. Secondly, profiles of hypothetical retired job applicants were presented to the employers, who were asked to make a specific hiring decision. The information collected during both studies was combined in the analysis and multilevel models were estimated.

Findings

The results indicate that higher age norms (defined as age at which somebody is believed to be unable to work for 20 hours a week or more) result in a higher propensity to hire an early retiree. Stereotypes, by contrast, do not influence managers' decisions. Early retirees' chances for re-employment are also related to their own circumstances (physical appearance and relevant experience) and organisational forces, as they are hired when organisations face labour force shortages.

Research limitations/implications

With the use of vignettes study the authors deal with a hypothetical hiring situation.

Originality/value

Although the effect of attitudes has been often suggested, not much empirical evidence has been presented to support this notion. This study estimates the effect of age norms and stereotypes on hiring decision.

Keywords

Acknowledgements

This paper draws on data of the LISS panel of CentERdata.

Citation

Karpinska, K., Henkens, K. and Schippers, J. (2013), "Hiring retirees: impact of age norms and stereotypes", Journal of Managerial Psychology, Vol. 28 No. 7/8, pp. 886-906. https://doi.org/10.1108/JMP-07-2013-0223

Publisher

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Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2013, Emerald Group Publishing Limited