Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Exploring younger workers' metastereotypes in relation to impression management behavior at work
by Ryan, Katherine Marie, Ph.D., George Mason University, 2010, 126; 3406658
Abstract (Summary)

The extension of employment past traditional retirement age, contrasted with the recent proliferation of MBAs in their 20s has made age a salient and often contentious factor in organizations (Zemke, Raines & Filipczak, 2000). Research on stereotypes of older workers dominates the existing age-diversity literature and very little attention has been directed toward younger members of the workforce. The current study applies and expands recent advances in research on metastereotypes (i.e., beliefs people think that others hold about their group; Vorauer, Main, & O’Connell, 1998) in order to understand the influence of metastereotypes (content and consciousness) on younger workers’ attitudes and impression management behaviors, as well as the role of affect in linking metastereotypes to these outcomes. Chronic self-consciousness about being age-stereotyped (metastereotype consciousness) strongly affected younger workers’ satisfaction with their older co-workers, and this relationship was partially mediated by negative affect. Furthermore, when they believed that older workers stereotyped them as less warm and less competent (metastereotype content), younger workers were more likely to experience negative affect and less likely to engage in impression management behaviors at work. This research contributes to our understanding of the antecedents and consequences of metastereotypes, particularly as they apply to the experiences of younger workers. The implications of these findings for the age-diversity literature and age-diverse workplace interactions are also discussed.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: King, Eden B.
School: George Mason University
School Location: United States -- Virginia
Source: DAI-B 71/05, Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Social psychology, Management, Occupational psychology, Organizational behavior
Keywords: Age diversity, Impression management, Metastereotypes, Younger workers
Publication Number: 3406658
ISBN: 978-1-109-74003-5
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