Facilitating age diversity in organizations – part I: challenging popular misbeliefs

Guido Hertel, Beatrice van der Heijden, Annet H. de Lange, Jürgen Deller

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

    31 Citations (Scopus)


    Purpose – In recent years, significant demographic changes in most industrial countries have tremendously affected the age distribution of workers in organizations. In general, the workforce has become more age-diverse, providing significant and new challenges for human resource management and leadership processes. The current paper aims to address age-related stereotypes as a major factor that might impede potential benefits of age diversity in organizations. Design/methodology/approach – After a brief review of potential detrimental effects of age-related stereotyping at work, the authors discuss the validity of typical age stereotypes based on new findings from large-scale empirical research with more than 160,000 workers overall. Findings – Although the research summarized in this review is based on large samples including several thousand workers, the cross-sectional nature of the studies does not control for cohort or generational effects, nor for (self-)selection biases. However, the summarized results still provide important guidelines given that challenges due to age diversity in modern organizations today have to be dealt with regardless of the concrete origins of the age-related differences. Originality/value – This is one of the first reviews challenging popular misbeliefs about older workers based on large-scale empirical research
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)729-740
    JournalJournal of managerial psychology
    Issue number7/8
    Publication statusPublished - 2013


    • IR-88259
    • METIS-299640


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