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Article
Publication date: 25 October 2019

Alessandra Lazazzara and Stefano Za

The purpose of this paper is to examine whether subjective age – i.e., how old or young individuals experience themselves to be – affects explicit and tacit knowledge…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to examine whether subjective age – i.e., how old or young individuals experience themselves to be – affects explicit and tacit knowledge sharing (KS) in the public sector. Moreover, the study explores the moderating effect of three socio-organisational factors, namely KS attitude, co-workers age similarity and organisational structure, on the relationship between subjective age and KS.

Design/methodology/approach

Data were collected from employees working in public (n=144) and hybrid (n=263) Italian organisations. Hierarchical linear multiple regression analysis was employed to examine the multivariate effects on explicit and tacit KS.

Findings

Employees who perceive themselves to be older than they actually are experience lower explicit KS in the public sector. In addition, the moderating effect of age similarity and organisational structure on the relationship between subjective age and tacit KS was found to be significant.

Practical implications

This study may help managers and policy makers to manage age-diverse workforce operating in highly structured and formalised organisations and to develop HR programmes aimed at fostering KS.

Originality/value

This is the first study linking subjective age to KS in the public sector. This is an extremely interesting context due to the high average age and oldest workforce composition. In this way, the paper extends the literature on subjective age and work-related outcomes and may potentially contribute to the debate regarding KS practices in public organisations.

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Article
Publication date: 16 October 2017

Iryna Prus, Raoul C.D. Nacamulli and Alessandra Lazazzara

The purpose of this paper is to consolidate the state of extant academic research on workplace innovation (WI) by proposing a comprehensive conceptual framework and…

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4012

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to consolidate the state of extant academic research on workplace innovation (WI) by proposing a comprehensive conceptual framework and outlining research traditions on the phenomenon.

Design/methodology/approach

This paper systematically reviewed the literature published over the past 20 years, basing on a predefined research protocol. The dimensions of WI were explored with the help of thematic synthesis, while the research perspectives were studied by means of textual narrative synthesis.

Findings

The analysis suggests that there exist four research traditions on WI – built container, humanized landscape, socio-material macro-actor, and polyadic network – and each of them comprises its own set of assumptions, foci of study, and ontological bases. The findings suggest that WI is a heterogeneous process of renovation occurring in eight different dimensions, namely work system, workplace democracy, high-tech application, workplace boundaries, workspaces, people practices, workplace experience, and workplace culture. The analysis showed that over years the meaning of innovation within these dimensions changed, therefore it is argued that research should account for the variability of these categories.

Practical implications

The paper includes implications for developing and implementing WI programs. Moreover, it discusses the role of HR in the WI process.

Originality/value

This paper for the first time systematically reviews literature on the topic of WI, clarifies the concept and discusses directions and implications for the future research.

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Article
Publication date: 27 September 2011

Alessandra Lazazzara and Maria Cristina Bombelli

The purpose of this paper is to explore ageing trends and age stereotypes about older workers, focusing primarily on the Italian employment context.

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4428

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to explore ageing trends and age stereotypes about older workers, focusing primarily on the Italian employment context.

Design/methodology/approach

Beginning from a review of the literature on ageing, the paper: outlines ageing trends and discriminatory behaviours against older workers in Italy; identifies patterns in the age discrimination phenomenon based on organisational characteristics; describes training‐based good practices for enhancing the employability of older workers, as implemented by an Italian energy company; presents a range of best practices for age management.

Findings

Despite trends towards an ageing general population and an ageing workforce, there is overwhelming evidence of age discrimination against older workers. This paper reports that the age at which workers may be considered “old” is not clearly defined in the literature and that age discrimination does not follow the same pattern across work contexts. In particular, both organisational characteristics and the particular position held by the employee influence discriminatory behaviour towards older workers on the part of employers. Furthermore, although older workers enjoy fewer training opportunities, training is the most widespread policy for dealing with age discrimination.

Practical implications

This paper points up important implications for human resource professionals and employers with regard to how to optimize an ageing workforce scenario.

Originality/value

The paper provides an in‐depth overview of ageing trends within Italian society and culture and outlines the possible implications for both older workers and organisations.

Details

Journal of European Industrial Training, vol. 35 no. 8
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0309-0590

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 20 April 2012

This paper aims to examine the reasons for low labour force participation rates among older workers in Italy and discuss how changing human resource management practices…

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2304

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to examine the reasons for low labour force participation rates among older workers in Italy and discuss how changing human resource management practices can improve the situation.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper analyzes Italian population trends and age‐specific workforce participation rates, considering variations by industry, gender and management level. It looks at common age stereotypes and the effects of implementing human resource management policies designed for a younger workforce. It outlines initiatives undertaken by leading companies such as ENI, IBM and BMW to manage an ageing workforce.

Findings

Since 1950, the proportion of the Italian population over retirement age has more than doubled. Birth rates are low and life expectancy is going up. Unless participation rates increase, Italy's labour force is likely to be 40 per cent smaller in 2050 than it was in 1995. With more people retiring and fewer potentially active workforce entrants, Italy can anticipate chronic labour shortages and a widening skills gap. How can the country increase the number of active workers available to support an older population? And how can new human resource management approaches help companies to better manage an ageing workforce?

Practical implications

The paper provides examples describing the human resource management approaches that can help to prevent skill shortages and loss of knowledge as older workers retire.

Social implications

The paper draws attention to social and cultural factors contributing to age discrimination and the effects of negative stereotypes on older workers' motivation and on their access to training and development opportunities.

Originality/value

This paper highlights the importance of training as a way to overcome negative age stereotypes, using older workers as a valuable resource able to pass on knowledge, skills and company history to those just starting out on their careers.

Details

Development and Learning in Organizations: An International Journal, vol. 26 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1477-7282

Keywords

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