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Age Diversity And Age Climate In The Workplace

S. Boehm, F. Kunze
Published 2015 · Political Science

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Raising levels of age diversity are a corporate reality in most organizations today. Unfortunately, the effects of age diversity on various organizational outcomes including its effect on the employment relationship are not yet fully understood. This chapter strives to provide a theoretical and empirical synopsis of relevant literature in this field. First, various theoretical frameworks are discussed to explain both positive and negative effects of age diversity. These include cognitive resource models of variation as well as processes related to similarity-attraction, social identity, career timetables and prototype matching, as well as age-based faultlines. Second, a structured review is conducted which summarizes empirical findings on the effects of age diversity at different organization levels and with regard to various outcomes including performance, innovation, communication, discrimination, conflict, and turnover. Third, potential moderators of the age diversity-outcome relationship are discussed which include demographic and task characteristics, team processes, leadership behavior, age stereotypes, HR and diversity management practices, as well as diversity mindsets and age-diversity climate. The chapter concludes with an outline for future research in this important area of organizational behavior.
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