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Article
Publication date: 5 February 2018

Eduardo Oliveira and Carlos Cabral Cardoso

Taking a social identity approach, the purpose of this paper is to examine the extent to which age-based stereotype threat mediates the relationships between older…

Abstract

Purpose

Taking a social identity approach, the purpose of this paper is to examine the extent to which age-based stereotype threat mediates the relationships between older workers’ negative age-based metastereotypes and two negative work attitudes: organizational disidentification and work disengagement.

Design/methodology/approach

A two-wave cross-sectional design was adopted to collect data from 423 blue-collar older workers of the Portuguese manufacturing sector. Structural equation modeling was used to test the mediation model.

Findings

The analyses show that age-based stereotype threat partially mediates the relationship between negative age-based metastereotypes and negative work attitudes. Moreover, findings suggest that older workers respond to negative age-based metastereotypes through threat reactions, and undesirable work attitudes.

Originality/value

This paper contributes to the literature by showing the importance of negative age-based metastereotypes and age-based stereotype threat in workplace dynamics. It also provides evidence that age threats impair the relationship older workers keep with their organization and their work.

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Article
Publication date: 4 July 2016

Justin Marcus, Barbara Ann Fritzsche, Huy Le and Michael Dennis Reeves

– The purpose of this paper is to focus on developing and validating a multidimensional measure of work-related age-based stereotypes (WAS) scale.

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to focus on developing and validating a multidimensional measure of work-related age-based stereotypes (WAS) scale.

Design/methodology/approach

Based upon a review of the literature, a three-dimensional stereotype content model including both negative (incompetence, inadaptability) and positive (warmth) stereotypes of older workers was created. Construct, convergent, discriminant, and criterion-related validity for the WAS scale were examined across three independent samples constituting both lab-based experimental studies and a field-based survey (total n=1,245).

Findings

Across all samples, the WAS evidenced good construct, convergent, discriminant, and criterion-related validity.

Originality/value

As evidenced by a review of the literature, the WAS is unique in that it measures both negative and positive stereotypes of older workers. Implications for research are discussed.

Details

Journal of Managerial Psychology, vol. 31 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0268-3946

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Article
Publication date: 10 April 2017

Eduardo Oliveira and Carlos Cabral-Cardoso

The purpose of this paper is to examine the extent to which negative age-based metastereotypes mediate the relationship between the representation of older workers and two…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to examine the extent to which negative age-based metastereotypes mediate the relationship between the representation of older workers and two forms of stereotype threat in the workplace: own-reputation and group-reputation. Adopting a social identity perspective, this paper also explores whether age diversity beliefs moderate the relationship between negative age-based metastereotypes and stereotype threats.

Design/methodology/approach

A cross-sectional design was adopted with bootstrapped mediation and moderation analyses. The data were collected from 567 older workers working in 15 manufacturing companies.

Findings

The analyses provide support for partial mediation and for a moderation effect of age diversity beliefs in the relationship between negative age-based metastereotypes and own-reputation threat. The results hold while controlling for age, objective organizational age diversity, and organizational tenure.

Research limitations/implications

The limitations of this study include its cross-sectional nature and the need for further work regarding older workers’ metastereotypes about middle-aged workers.

Practical implications

For stereotype threat interventions to be effective they must identify beforehand the target and the source of the threat. Moreover, interventions should aim for the development of a sense of identity on the organization as it may pave the way for members of different age groups to build bonds and for intergenerational boundaries to be blurred.

Originality/value

This paper contributes to the literature by showing the importance of negative age-based metastereotypes in workplace age dynamics. It also provides further support for a multi-threat approach to the experience of age-based stereotype threats in the workplace.

Details

Journal of Managerial Psychology, vol. 32 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0268-3946

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Article
Publication date: 17 August 2020

Thomas George, Michael Toze, Mo Ray and Owen Clayton

To explore the use of fictitious vignettes representing older people and the extent to which they serve as an effective resource in developing service provision and…

Abstract

Purpose

To explore the use of fictitious vignettes representing older people and the extent to which they serve as an effective resource in developing service provision and transforming health and social care.

Design/methodology/approach

Based on a critical review of research and academic discourse.

Findings

Fictitious vignettes or case studies of older adults, such as “Mrs Smith”, may be a useful means to promote communication with and between health and social care colleagues about current services and transforming or re-organising service provision. However, we argue that while there may be a role for vignettes, care should be taken in their use. The potential to “homogenise” older people into the “typical” patient personified by Mrs Smith may do very little to challenge age- based stereotypes and assumptions. Moreover, vignettes cannot match the potential value and importance of older men and women directly participating in the evaluation and development of services.

Practical implications

This article argues that changing the way services are organised and delivered must be underpinned by critical reflection of the assumptions which underpin attitudes towards old age, including our tendency to define older people by chronological age and to homogenise “the elderly” into a single group. The value of participatory methods which meaningfully involve older citizens in both evaluating and planning services could contribute significantly to innovation in service development.

Social implications

This paper highlights the critical importance of challenging age-based stereotypes and ageist policy and practice. Recognising old age as being characterised by diversity and difference could challenge the tendency to see old age, especially advanced old age, as an inevitable problem.

Originality/value

This article offers a critical perspective on the use of vignettes.

Details

Journal of Integrated Care, vol. ahead-of-print no. ahead-of-print
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1476-9018

Keywords

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Book part
Publication date: 21 August 2015

Catherine E. Harnois

Existing research tends to conceptualize age- and gender-based discrimination as distinct and unrelated social phenomena. A growing body of scholarship, however…

Abstract

Purpose

Existing research tends to conceptualize age- and gender-based discrimination as distinct and unrelated social phenomena. A growing body of scholarship, however, highlights the importance of conceptualizing ageism as potentially gendered, and gender discrimination as inherently shaped by age. Using an intersectional theoretical perspective, this chapter examines how gender and age combine to shape women’s and men’s experiences of workplace mistreatment.

Methodology/approach

The data are obtained from the U.S. General Social Survey. The analysis begins with descriptive statistics, showing how rates of perceived age and gender mistreatment vary for men and women of different age groups. Multivariate logistic regressions follow.

Findings

Experiences of workplace mistreatment are significantly shaped by both gender and age. Among both men and women, workers in their 30s and 40s report relatively low levels of perceived age-based discrimination, compared to older or younger workers. It is precisely during this interval of relatively low rates of perceived age-based discrimination that women’s (but not men’s) perceptions of gender-based mistreatment rises dramatically. At all ages, women are significantly more likely to face either gender- or age-based discrimination than men, but the gap is especially large among workers in their 40s.

Originality/value

Women tend to perceive age- and gender-based mistreatment at different times of life, but a concurrent examination of gender- and age-based mistreatment reveals that women’s working lives are characterized by high rates of mistreatment throughout their careers, in a way that men’s are not. The results highlight the importance of conceptualizing gender and age as intersecting systems of inequality.

Details

At the Center: Feminism, Social Science and Knowledge
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78560-078-4

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Article
Publication date: 25 May 2020

Kate Westberg, Mike Reid and Foula Kopanidis

This study aims to use the lens of the stereotype threat theory to explore older consumers’ age identity and experiences with service providers.

Abstract

Purpose

This study aims to use the lens of the stereotype threat theory to explore older consumers’ age identity and experiences with service providers.

Design/methodology/approach

This study used semi-structured interviews with Australian consumers aged between 55 and 69. Data were examined using thematic analysis.

Findings

Older consumers justify a younger cognitive age by distancing themselves from the negative stereotypes associated with ageing and by associating themselves with attitudes and behaviours consistent with a younger age identity. Older consumers are confronted with age-based stereotype threats in a services context through four practices. Exposure to these threats results in service failure and can have a negative impact on both consumers’ ability to function effectively as consumers and their overall well-being.

Research limitations/implications

A more diverse sample is required to identify the extent to which age-based stereotype threats are experienced and which services marketing practices have the most detrimental impact on older consumers.

Practical implications

The findings provide insight for services marketers seeking to effectively cater for older consumers and have implications for service staff training, service technology and communications.

Social implications

The findings have implications for the well-being of older consumers in terms of their self-efficacy and self-esteem as well as their ability to function effectively as consumers.

Originality/value

This study contributes to the nascent understanding of older consumers’ experiences and their expectations of service interactions and advertising communication. The findings also extend the literature on service failure by demonstrating how age-based stereotypes threaten age identity, resulting in a negative customer experience.

Details

Journal of Services Marketing, vol. ahead-of-print no. ahead-of-print
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0887-6045

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Article
Publication date: 5 September 2019

Per H. Jensen, Wouter De Tavernier and Peter Nielsen

The purpose of this paper is to address four interrelated questions: what is the prevalence of ageism amongst employers? What are the factors conditioning employers’ age…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to address four interrelated questions: what is the prevalence of ageism amongst employers? What are the factors conditioning employers’ age stereotypes? To what extent are ageist attitudes among employers translated into discriminatory recruitment, retention and firing practices? And what factors can moderate the stereotype–discrimination interaction?

Design/methodology/approach

The paper draws on a survey conducted among Danish employers; 2,525 completed the survey questionnaires; response rate 25 per cent.

Findings

The major finding is that ageist stereotypes among employers do not translate into discriminatory personnel management practices.

Research limitations/implications

The findings may be specific to Denmark. Denmark is renowned to be a non-hierarchical, egalitarian society, which may have implications for personnel management practices.

Originality/value

Contrary to this study, most studies analysing ageist stereotypes do not assess the extent to which stereotypes are translated into discriminatory personnel management practices in the workplace.

Details

International Journal of Manpower, vol. ahead-of-print no. ahead-of-print
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0143-7720

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 9 February 2015

Katherine M. Ryan, Eden B. King and Lisa M. Finkelstein

– The purpose of this paper is to examine the influence of age-related stereotyping processes on younger workers’ mood, attitudes, and impression management behaviors at work.

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to examine the influence of age-related stereotyping processes on younger workers’ mood, attitudes, and impression management behaviors at work.

Design/methodology/approach

Using survey data from 281 younger workers, the hypothesized model was tested using structural equation modeling.

Findings

As younger workers are more self-conscious about being age stereotyped, they are less likely to be satisfied with older co-workers, which is partly explained by negative mood associated with that metastereotype consciousness. Also, chronological age, age-group identification, and age prejudice, were critical influences on the emergence of metastereotype consciousness.

Research limitations/implications

Unexpected findings point to: experiences of younger workers which may not follow the same patterns found with older groups and unique operation of age as a dynamic social category that may not parallel findings regarding other social categories.

Practical implications

There is clearly potential for younger workers to be concerned they are viewed “stereotypically” and this metastereotype consciousness influences how they feel, think, and behave at work. Organizations should be aware of the potential antecedents and consequences, as well as the nature of metastereotypic perceptions, to better facilitate positive and productive interactions across age groups at work.

Originality/value

This research contributes to an understanding of younger workers’ experiences at work, highlights the role of mood in the operation of metastereotypes on attitudes and behaviors in age-diverse contexts, and improves our understanding of social biases and inequality associated with age-based groups.

Details

Journal of Managerial Psychology, vol. 30 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0268-3946

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Article
Publication date: 13 February 2017

Kelly Pledger Weeks, Matthew Weeks and Nicolas Long

The purpose of this paper is to examine the relationship between stereotypes, in-group favoritism, and in-group bolstering effects across generations.

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to examine the relationship between stereotypes, in-group favoritism, and in-group bolstering effects across generations.

Design/methodology/approach

Based on the trends found in a qualitative study on generational stereotypes, questions on work ethic, work-life balance, and use of technology were administered to 255 participants identified as Millennials, Generation X, and Baby Boomers. Hypotheses predicted that with a strong stereotype, traditional in-group favoritism will not be found; however, an in-group bolstering effect will emerge. In the absence of a strong stereotype, traditional in-group favoritism is expected.

Findings

Generally, there was a strong stereotype that Baby Boomers are worse at technology than Generation X and Generation X is worse than Millennials. There was also a strong stereotype that Millennials do not do what it takes to get the job done as much as other generations. In the presence of these stereotypes, traditional in-group favoritism was not found, but in-groups bolstered themselves by rating themselves more favorably than other groups rated them. Although these findings did not hold for every item studied, there was moderate support for all three hypotheses.

Practical implications

As employees become aware of their biases, they can collaborate better with employees who are different than they are. Practical recommendations are suggested.

Originality/value

The paper applies theory of in-group favoritism to the perceptions of generational cohorts.

Details

Equality, Diversity and Inclusion: An International Journal, vol. 36 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2040-7149

Keywords

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Book part
Publication date: 15 March 2021

Barbara Kirsh

Using a life course perspective, this chapter examines four twentieth-century US generations and the influence of generation on women, especially related to education…

Abstract

Using a life course perspective, this chapter examines four twentieth-century US generations and the influence of generation on women, especially related to education, work life, and retirement. The Baby Boomers constitute the largest of these birth cohorts to move into retirement. A literature review and illustrative examples of trends explore whether the substantial social and legal changes, with accompanying norms and values, that influenced Baby Boomers’ earlier lives continue to characterize their approach to retirement. Social, medical, and legal changes increased access to education, work life, and longer lifespans for many Boomer women. However, substantial socioeconomic and racial inequality must be addressed to expand access to a healthy, satisfying, and financially adequate retirement stage for men and women Boomers and following generations.

Details

Gender and Generations: Continuity and Change
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-80071-033-7

Keywords

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