Ageism, or discrimination based on assumptions about abilities and cognitive understanding based on a worker’s age, still prevails in the modern workplace, often disguised as business decisions, lack of advancement opportunities, and continuing mandatory retirement ages. Additionally, negative assumptions about younger workers also exist, some of which harm young workers in the workplace. All forms of ageism have negative effects on the workplace, such as disrupting morale, being dismissive of the experiences and value that older workers contribute, and in return set precedence for other forms of discrimination. Ageism can impact everyone in the workplace. Although the passage of anti-discrimination legislation has curtailed some of the more obvious forms of discrimination, the psychological underpinnings behind age- discriminatory behavior still exist and must be mitigated to ensure a fair playing field for all people. In this study, the researcher examined ways a worker can be discriminated against based on assumptions about age and explores ways discriminatory behavior can be mitigated. Furthermore, the full extent to which anti-discrimination legislation has provided a positive, and occasionally negative impact is also discussed. Discrimination never truly goes away; it only changes form. When the psychological motivators behind discrimination are not properly addressed, managers themselves might harbor discriminatory assumptions about their workers. A quantitative method was employed to identify factors and determine the best ways to combat factors that contribute to age discrimination. The findings indicated that some forms of ageism can be combatted by using certain forms of cognitive conditioning and self-assessment for hiring managers. All of the participants were hiring managers who took part in cognitive exercises designed to gain information about their opinions, but also induce a self-reflective means of evaluating their own prejudices. The evidence indicated that some factors, such as gender, do not play as large of a role as previously assumed, but that the age of the manager does play a small role in age discrimination in hiring. It was concluded that ageism does still exist, but that these assumptions can be countered effectively, which implies that better sensitivity and managerial training could be beneficial for hiring managers.
|Commitee:||Bakari, Marie, Kimmel, Sharon|
|Department:||Business and Technology Management|
|School Location:||United States -- California|
|Source:||DAI-A 79/09(E), Dissertation Abstracts International|
|Subjects:||Business administration, Management, Aging|
|Keywords:||Age discrimination, Ageing, Hiring practices, Human resource management, Managing older workers, Perspective taking|
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