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Article
Publication date: 11 December 2019

Hendrik P. van Dalen and Kène Henkens

The purpose of this paper is to see whether attitudes toward older workers by managers change over time and what might explain development over time.

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to see whether attitudes toward older workers by managers change over time and what might explain development over time.

Design/methodology/approach

A unique panel study of Dutch managers is used to track the development of their attitudes toward older workers over time (2010–2013) by focusing on a set of qualities of older workers aged 50 and older. A conditional change model is used to explain the variation in changes by focusing on characteristics of the manager (age, education, gender, tenure and contact with older workers) and of the firm (composition staff, type of work and sector, size).

Findings

Managers have significantly adjusted their views on the so-called “soft skills” of older workers, like reliability and loyalty. Attitudes toward “hard skills” – like physical stamina, new tech skills and willingness to train – have not changed. Important drivers behind these changes are the age of the manager – the older the manager, the more likely a positive change in attitude toward older workers can be observed – and the change in the quality of contact with older workers. A deterioration of the managers’ relationship with older workers tends to correspond with a decline in their assessment of soft and hard skills.

Social implications

Attitudes are not very susceptible to change but this study shows that a significant change can be expected simply from the fact that managers age: older managers tend to have a more positive assessment of the hard and soft skills of older workers than young managers.

Originality/value

This paper offers novel insights into the question whether stereotypes of managers change over time.

Details

International Journal of Manpower, vol. 41 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0143-7720

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 7 September 2012

Wieteke S. Conen, Hendrik P. van Dalen and Kène Henkens

The purpose of this paper is to examine employers’ perceptions of changes in the labour cost‐productivity gap due to the ageing of the workforce, the effects of tenure…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to examine employers’ perceptions of changes in the labour cost‐productivity gap due to the ageing of the workforce, the effects of tenure wages and employment protection on the perceived gap, and whether a perceived labour cost‐productivity gap affects employers’ recruitment and retention behaviour towards older workers.

Design/methodology/approach

The authors analyse surveys administered to employers in Denmark, France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Poland and Sweden.

Findings

Approximately half of employers associate the ageing of the personnel with a growing gap between labour costs and productivity. Both the presence of tenure wages and employment protection rules increase the probability of employers perceiving a widening labour cost‐productivity gap due to the ageing of their workforce. A counterfactual shows that even when employment protection and tenure wage systems are abolished, 40 percent of employers expect a net cost increase. The expected labour cost‐productivity gap negatively affects both recruitment and retention of older workers.

Originality/value

In this paper, the wage‐productivity gap is examined through the perceptions of employers using an international comparative survey.

Details

International Journal of Manpower, vol. 33 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0143-7720

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 15 June 2010

Hendrik P. van Dalen, Kène Henkens, Wilma Henderikse and Joop Schippers

This paper aims to examine whether employers' opinions and expectations regarding workers' retirement age are in line with the ideas of the EU‐Member States' governments…

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to examine whether employers' opinions and expectations regarding workers' retirement age are in line with the ideas of the EU‐Member States' governments to increase the participation of older workers and to postpone the transition from paid work into retirement at the end of the labour market career.

Design/methodology/approach

A comparative survey was used among employers from five European countries: Greece, Hungary, Spain, The Netherlands and the United Kingdom.

Findings

The authors found that most employers are reluctant in supporting later retirement. Part of this reluctance is the result of the perception that an ageing work force is a burden rather than a boom to organizations.

Originality/value

This study shows that there still is a discrepancy between the aims formulated at the level of the European Union and member state countries with respect to stimulating the labour force participation of older workers and the attitudes of individual employers. In particular, the fact that employers perceive alternative solutions to the challenges of an ageing and shrinking workforce, other than delaying retirement, suggests that most employers will not be a major driving force for extending the working life.

Details

International Journal of Manpower, vol. 31 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0143-7720

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 24 August 2020

Jolanta Perek-Bialas, Pnina Dolberg and Joop Schippers

Abstract

Details

International Journal of Manpower, vol. 41 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0143-7720

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Article
Publication date: 28 March 2019

Mohamed Mousa and Rami M. Ayoubi

The purpose of this paper is to focus on three Egyptian public business schools in an attempt to explore the effect of inclusive/exclusive talent management on the…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to focus on three Egyptian public business schools in an attempt to explore the effect of inclusive/exclusive talent management on the organizational downsizing of academics and the mediating role of responsible leadership.

Design/methodology/approach

A total of 330 academics were contacted and given a set of questionnaires. After three follow-ups, a total of 240 responses were collected with a response rate of 72.73 percent. Multiple regressions were employed to show how much variation in organizational downsizing can be explained by inclusive/exclusive talent management and responsible leadership.

Findings

The findings highlighted a very weak statistical association between academics’ inclusive talent management and organizational downsizing, whereas a strong statistical association has been discovered between exclusive talent management and organizational downsizing. Statistical analysis showed that responsible leadership has no role in mediating the relationship between inclusive/exclusive talent management of academics and their downsizing.

Research limitations/implications

The authors have focused on only three Egyptian public business schools, the matter that may limit opportunities to generalize the results of this study to private business schools and other faculties in Egypt. Future research could use a double source method.

Practical implications

By preparing a set of academic competences, business schools will be able to classify their academic staff into talented and non-talented, and accordingly they can initiate their tailored downsizing strategies. Furthermore, undertaking a responsible strategy of downsizing, which includes and is not limited to justifying the need to decrease academic staff numbers to guarantee post-redundancy care practices for laid-off academics may alleviate many of the negative psychological, societal and economic consequences of downsizing.

Originality/value

This paper contributes by filling a gap in HR management and higher education literature, in which empirical studies on the relationship between talent management and academics’ organizational downsizing have been limited until now. This may create better research opportunities for cross-disciplinary papers that should be done by HR, higher education and leadership scholars.

Details

Journal of Management Development, vol. 38 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0262-1711

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 14 October 2013

Hila Axelrad, Israel Luski and Malul Miki

The purpose of this article is to examine the existence of biased stereotypes about older workers. What are the economic implications of such biased stereotypes? Finally…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this article is to examine the existence of biased stereotypes about older workers. What are the economic implications of such biased stereotypes? Finally, what policy measures are required in order to achieve efficiency in the labor market?

Design/methodology/approach

The authors grouped 25 opinions about older workers into three categories of stereotypes. The first category dealt with the productivity of older staff. The other two categories addressed their reliability and adaptability. The authors then questioned 312 Israeli respondents about the degree to which they agreed or disagreed with the opinions. Finally, the authors examined theoretically the economic effects of biased stereotypes about older workers.

Findings

The study demonstrates that individual and organizational characteristics affect employers' attitudes. Age was a significant factor in all three categories. The older the respondent, the fewer prejudices he or she had against older workers. Other characteristics such as gender, interaction with older workers, the nature of the respondent's work in the organization, the age of the employees, and the size of the organization were all significant, but not always, and not in all three categories. The findings imply that there are biased stereotypes about older workers, so the allocation of workers is distorted, which leads to a failure of the market.

Originality/value

The results strengthen the economic justification for policy intervention to correct the distorted level of employment of older workers in the labor market.

Details

International Journal of Social Economics, vol. 40 no. 12
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0306-8293

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 11 May 2015

Debora Jeske and Christian Stamov Roßnagel

The authors contribute to the literature by contrasting the cognitive with a contextual view on learning and development to address preconceptions about aging in order to…

Abstract

Purpose

The authors contribute to the literature by contrasting the cognitive with a contextual view on learning and development to address preconceptions about aging in order to broaden employers’ views on learning and performance across the working life and careers of their employees. The authors furthermore identify a number of opportunities that exist to support and sustain learning capability and performance in older workers. The paper aims to discuss these issues.

Design/methodology/approach

The authors conducted a selective literature search to identify literature that best exemplifies both the cognitive and contextual view.

Findings

Age-related declines in performance are observed on very specific and limited tasks, unlikely to be encountered in the workplace. Due to its focus on assessing limits and age differences, such studies will not normally take experience, job and personal resources into account – these are more likely to be present in the workplace. The authors find that much of the more applied evidence suggests older workers can perform at a similar level to their younger colleagues – when the workplace or training context does not restrain them from using their own strategies and resources to complete tasks.

Research limitations/implications

The current overview of research that is more representative of the more cognitive view outlines a number of issues regarding the transferability as well as generalisability of these well publicised findings. Many of the laboratory-based cognitive ageing research focuses on “testing the limits” of cognitive processing and efficiency. This paradigm is not compatible with the specific tasks and learning that takes place in the workplace, which led us to a more contextual view.

Practical implications

The authors provide several starting points for broader and more inclusive training and development, particularly the role of supervisory practices, climate, self-efficacy and learning competency, resources and strategies.

Originality/value

Taking a more contextual view may foster a re-evaluation of how inclusive current managerial practice, policies and current development initiatives are. Distinguishing job and personal resources can help in identifying the aspects that can be influenced by workers themselves and those aspects that are the primary responsibility of organisations and their managers.

Details

Education + Training, vol. 57 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0040-0912

Keywords

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