European Top Managers’ Age-Related Workplace Norms and Their Organizations’ Recruitment and Retention Practices Regarding Older Workers

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Purpose: Top managers guide organizational strategy and practices, but their role in the employment of older workers is understudied. We study the effects that age-related workplace norms of top managers have on organizations’ recruitment and retention practices regarding older workers. We investigate two types of age-related workplace norms, namely age equality norms (whether younger and older workers should be treated equally) and retirement age norms (when older workers are expected to retire) while controlling for organizational and national contexts.

Data and methods: Data collected among top managers of 1,088 organizations from six European countries were used for the study. Logistic regression models were run to estimate the effects of age-related workplace norms on four different organizational outcomes: (a) recruiting older workers, (b) encouraging working until normal retirement age, (c) encouraging working beyond normal retirement age, and (d) rehiring retired former employees.

Results: Age-related workplace norms of top managers affect their organizations’ practices, but in different ways. Age equality norms positively affect practices before the boundary of normal retirement age (Outcomes a and b), whereas retirement age norms positively affect practices after the boundary of normal retirement age (Outcomes c and d).

Implications: Changing age-related workplace norms of important actors in organizations may be conducive to better employment opportunities and a higher level of employment participation of older workers. However, care should be taken to target the right types of norms, since targeting different norms may yield different outcomes.
Originele taal-2Engels
Pagina's (van-tot)857-866
TijdschriftThe Gerontologist
Volume57
Nummer van het tijdschrift5
Vroegere onlinedatum21 apr 2016
DOI's
StatusGepubliceerd - okt 2017

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