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Article
Publication date: 20 April 2013

Vanesa Fuertes, Valerie Egdell and Ronald McQuaid

The purpose of this paper is to present a study of age management in small and medium‐sized enterprises (SMEs) in the UK.

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2913

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to present a study of age management in small and medium‐sized enterprises (SMEs) in the UK.

Design/methodology/approach

Qualitative data collection and exploratory research with six SMEs comprising of: initial interviews with representatives from the SMEs; action research activities designed to raise awareness of age management issues and age discrimination legislation; and follow‐up interviews to ascertain if awareness raising activities resulted in any changes, or planned changes, in policy, practice and attitudes towards older workers.

Findings

Good practice in age management can be found in SMEs, but was not found to be part of a systematic strategy. Negative practices and attitudes towards older workers are observed, with positive and negative age stereotypes coexisting. Negative stereotypes displayed can undermine the perceived economic value of older workers. There may be a gap between policy and practice, but awareness raising campaigns that reach employers can influence existing ways of working by showing the benefits of an age diverse workforce and helping reduce prejudices against older workers.

Research limitations/implications

The sample size is small and context specific. However, the study usefully illustrates different approaches to age management policies and practices in SMEs, and the potential benefits of age management awareness in influencing attitudes and practices towards older workers in SMEs.

Originality/value

The experience of age management in SMEs is under researched and examples of good practice in age management are often drawn from large organisations. The paper highlights that SMEs often lack the resources to seek advice regarding age management; therefore, those responsible for age management awareness raising activities may need to approach businesses directly.

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Leading and Managing Change in the Age of Disruption and Artificial Intelligence
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78756-368-1

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Article
Publication date: 3 August 2015

Andrea Principi, Paolo Fabbietti and Giovanni Lamura

To explore whether the ages of human resources (HR) managers has an impact on their perceptions of the qualities/characteristics of older and younger workers (i.e.…

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2082

Abstract

Purpose

To explore whether the ages of human resources (HR) managers has an impact on their perceptions of the qualities/characteristics of older and younger workers (i.e., manager attitudes) and on the implementation of age management initiatives to the benefit of older workers (i.e., manager behaviors). The paper aims to discuss this issue.

Design/methodology/approach

Based on theories concerning the origins of stereotypes and the concept of “in-group bias”, three hypotheses were tested on a sample of HR managers from 516 Italian companies extracted from the Gfk Eurisko database by using factor analyses and bivariate and multivariate tools.

Findings

The age of an HR manager seems to influence his/her attitudes towards older and younger workers, because HR managers judge workers of a similar age to them more positively. In contrast, the age of an HR manager does not seem to play a particular role in the implementation of age management initiatives. In the companies considered, however, there is a tendency to adopt early retirement schemes when the HR managers concerned are younger, while in general there is a tendency to implement age management initiatives and show a greater appreciation of older workers in larger companies.

Practical implications

The implementation of age management initiatives to the benefit of older workers may improve HR managers ' perceptions of those workers ' positive qualities. Furthermore, specific training may help HR managers recognize that both younger and older workers have useful albeit different strengths.

Originality/value

This study provides new empirical evidence from the Italian context on the largely under-investigated issue of the role played by age in shaping HR managers ' attitudes towards older workers, and age management policies in particular.

Details

Personnel Review, vol. 44 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0048-3486

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Article
Publication date: 11 July 2016

Lena Aline Beitler, Sabine Machowski, Sheena Johnson and Dieter Zapf

The purpose of this paper was to examine age differences in conflict management strategy use, effectiveness and in exposure to customer stressors in service interactions.

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3498

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper was to examine age differences in conflict management strategy use, effectiveness and in exposure to customer stressors in service interactions.

Design/methodology/approach

Moderated regression and mediation analyses were conducted to test hypotheses in a sample of 444 German service employees from different service branches with frequent customer contact.

Findings

Results revealed that older service employees experienced fewer customer stressors. Customer stressors mediated the negative relationship between age and burnout. Age was associated with use of passive avoidant (avoiding) and active constructive (problem solving) conflict management strategies. Furthermore, older employees used those strategies more effectively. Especially when avoiding conflicts, older employees reported more professional efficacy than younger colleagues. In contrast, younger employees benefited considerably less from strategy use and reported higher levels of burnout in general. Thus, results suggest older employees’ effective conflict management and their positive perception of customer stressors contribute to lower levels of burnout.

Practical implications

Results speak against a general deficit model for older workers as they show specific strengths of older employees in social conflicts. Their expertise in dealing with negative social interactions represents an important resource for organizations and training interventions, such as mentoring programs.

Originality/value

This study is one of the first to examine age-related conflict management skills with regard to customer conflicts, employee health and effectiveness of strategy use. It replicates existing findings on age and conflict management and extends them in several ways thereby ruling out alternative explanations for age effects.

Details

International Journal of Conflict Management, vol. 27 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1044-4068

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Article
Publication date: 28 November 2018

Hanna Maria Salminen, Qian Wang and Iiris Aaltio

Recently, research on aging in the work-life context from the perspective of how to manage, support and retain an aging workforce has increased among management scholars…

Abstract

Purpose

Recently, research on aging in the work-life context from the perspective of how to manage, support and retain an aging workforce has increased among management scholars, and therefore is contributing to the current societal need to extend work careers. The purpose of this paper is to analyze the articles discussing aging in the work-life context in the Finnish business magazine Talouselämä (Economic Life) during the years 2002–2017.

Design/methodology/approach

A total of 81 articles were included in the analysis. They were classified into seven themes as a result of a content analysis. Three levels of discussions on aging were identified: societal, organizational and individual. These levels were further analyzed in order to revel what kind of issues have been emphasized or overlooked. The results were discussed in the context of Finnish work life.

Findings

The findings showed that aging has been presented in a passive and deterministic (or at least neutral) tone. Most of the articles focused on the consequences and actions related to an aging workforce at the societal level. At the individual level, aging was mainly discussed in terms of changes related to work ability and functioning, with aging individuals as the actors responsible for managing and controlling the effects of their own aging process. The organizational-level discussion on aging was limited and narrow, mostly lacking any discussion of the role of organizations as responsible actors or from the perspective of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR).

Practical implications

Organizations could take a more active and broader role in terms of supporting the longer working careers of older employees. Professional magazines could deal more with “age-aware” research as it relates to organizations, especially the potential and opportunities of the aging workforce. Aging research could promote media level publishing and applications of knowledge.

Originality/value

Few critically oriented management studies have investigated how aging is presented and discussed in business magazines.

Details

Baltic Journal of Management, vol. 14 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1746-5265

Keywords

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Book part
Publication date: 10 December 2018

Jakob Müllner and Igor Filatotchev

In this chapter, the authors review emerging literature on multidimensional, information age-related phenomena across different disciplines to derive common themes and…

Abstract

In this chapter, the authors review emerging literature on multidimensional, information age-related phenomena across different disciplines to derive common themes and topics. The authors then proceed to analyse recent developments in these fields to provide an interdisciplinary overview of the most disruptive challenges for multinational companies (MNCs) competing in the modern information age. These challenges include more efficient peer-to-peer communication between stakeholders, crowd-organisation, globalisation of value chains and the need to organise knowledge resources. The aim of the chapter is not to review all age research, but to identify fundamental uncertainties for MNCs and discuss strategies of tackling such information age phenomena from an international business perspective.

Content available
Article
Publication date: 30 September 2019

Maria Jose Tonelli, Jussara Pereira, Vanessa Cepellos and João Lins

This paper aims to show which factors influence the perception of human resources professionals about managers over 50 years old and which factors guide the age management

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1177

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to show which factors influence the perception of human resources professionals about managers over 50 years old and which factors guide the age management practices adopted in the surveyed companies.

Design/methodology/approach

To this end, a survey was conducted with 140 companies accessed from a database of a human resources association. Through the answers obtained through the online questionnaire, an exploratory factor analysis was made with the aid of Software R.

Findings

Thus, it was possible to identify four factors that explain the work posture of professionals 50 years of age and older (company expectations, performance, morality and knowledge and professionalism) and three factors that guide the adoption of age management practices in organizations (recruitment & selection and integration, retention and continuity in the company, adaptation to the needs).

Originality/value

The results suggest that, even considering the high performance of older managers, perceived by HR professionals, the adoption of age management practices is still insufficient, making it difficult for these professionals to enter and remain in organizations. Moreover, it can be inferred that such posture indicates biases of discrimination and age stereotypes.

Details

RAUSP Management Journal, vol. 55 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2531-0488

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Article
Publication date: 4 February 2014

Iiris Aaltio, Hanna Maria Salminen and Sirpa Koponen

The purpose of this study is to identify the different research strands concerning studies related to human resource management (HRM) and ageing employees. More…

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3194

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this study is to identify the different research strands concerning studies related to human resource management (HRM) and ageing employees. More specifically, the paper analyses how age and gender are understood and conceptualized in these studies.

Design/methodology/approach

An integrative literature review concerning ageing employees and HRM with special reference to gender is the approach taken in this paper.

Findings

Recent studies relating to HRM and ageing employees were categorized and analysed. The paper concludes that there is a need for a more holistic understanding of the concept of age in studies related to ageing employees and HRM and also argues that the intersection of age and gender is under-researched in the field of HRM.

Practical implications

Based on literature review the paper outlined directions for how gender-neutral age management studies may be extended. A pluralist understanding of age and gender would help to understand the different needs and expectations that ageing employees may have in terms of HR practices and policies. Institutional practices and legislation can promote equality, but organizational contexts, both internal and external, should be scanned in order to recognize possible ageist or age-blind practices. Ageing women in particular have the burden of being recognized in terms of chronological stereotyped changes that might damage their work and career.

Originality/value

Research on ageing employees and HRM with special reference to gender is limited and therefore an integrative literature review is needed.

Details

Equality, Diversity and Inclusion: An International Journal, vol. 33 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2040-7149

Keywords

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Book part
Publication date: 1 August 2017

Alessia Sammarra, Silvia Profili, Fabrizio Maimone and Gabriele Gabrielli

Important demographic changes are causing organizations and teams to become increasingly age-diverse. Because knowledge sharing is critical to organizations’ long-term…

Abstract

Important demographic changes are causing organizations and teams to become increasingly age-diverse. Because knowledge sharing is critical to organizations’ long-term sustainability and success, both researchers and practitioners face a strategic dilemma: namely, finding ways to cultivate greater knowledge sharing among different age cohorts.

In this chapter, we claim that age diversity adds relevant opportunities and distinct challenges. On one hand, it increases demands for effective knowledge sharing: Employees of different ages are likely to hold diverse knowledge and capabilities that may be lost and/or poorly exploited if they are not effectively shared. On the other hand, age differences can activate age-related stereotypes and foster the formation of age subgroups, which can hamper social integration, communication, and ultimately, knowledge sharing.

Building on these insights, this chapter looks at the role of the human resource management (HRM) system as a key facilitator of effective knowledge sharing in age-diverse organizations. To this end, the chapter focuses on HR planning, training and development, performance appraisal, and reward systems, each of which can be used to develop the motivations, norms, and accountability structures that encourage employees of different ages to bridge their differences and integrate their unique perspectives and knowledge. This chapter suggests ways of tailoring HRM practices to unlock the benefits of age diversity, which may help organizations exploit and capitalize on the knowledge-based resources held by their younger and older employees.

Details

Age Diversity in the Workplace
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78743-073-0

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Article
Publication date: 4 November 2014

Brent J. Lyons, Jennifer L. Wessel, Yi Chiew Tai and Ann Marie Ryan

Given the increasing diversity in the age of job seekers worldwide and evidence of perceptions of discrimination and stereotypes of job seekers at both ends of the age

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1535

Abstract

Purpose

Given the increasing diversity in the age of job seekers worldwide and evidence of perceptions of discrimination and stereotypes of job seekers at both ends of the age continuum, the purpose of this paper is to identify how perceptions of age-related bias are connected to age-related identity management strategies of unemployed job seekers.

Design/methodology/approach

Data were collected from 129 unemployed job-seeking adults who were participants in a career placement service. Participants completed paper-and-pencil surveys about their experiences of age-related bias and engagement in age-related identity management strategies during their job searches.

Findings

Older job seekers reported greater perceptions of age-related bias in employment settings, and perceptions of bias related to engaging in attempts to counteract stereotypes, mislead or miscue about one's age, and avoid age-related discussions in job searching. Individuals who were less anxious about their job search were less likely to mislead about age or avoid the topic of age, whereas individuals with higher job-search self-efficacy were more likely to acknowledge their age during their job search. Older job seekers higher in emotion control were more likely to acknowledge their age.

Originality/value

Little is known about how job seekers attempt to compensate for or avoid age-related bias. The study provides evidence that younger and older job seekers engage in age-related identity management and that job search competencies relate to engagement in particular strategies.

Details

Journal of Managerial Psychology, vol. 29 no. 8
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0268-3946

Keywords

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