Perception of Aging in the Workplace

By: Tanja Kosowski  

Regardless of the industry, populations are aging. Most countries observe an increase in senior people – numerically and relatively – in their population. This transformation is considered as one of the fundamental challenges in recent times. One may ask why studying aging in organizations is worthwhile. Questions related to aging are shared widely in and between organizations. This study addresses the perception of aging in two German organizations by managers, senior workers, and co-workers of other ages. The research is situated within the interpretative paradigm and made use of multiple case study method and critical case selection. Aging in organizations was researched in two different contexts. An organization with a rather high average age (45 years) of employees and an organization with a rather low average age of employees (30 years). The material collected so far does indicate the existence of some qualitative differences between the managers and co-workers in their perceptions of senior workers and aging in general. Further, the empirical material collected identifies several issues that were related to how positive or negative pictures about aging was constructed. Among these are, for example, the existence of rotating teams, mentoring programs, perceived job security, development perspective, higher overall diversity in terms of gender and nationality, reduced usage of temp workers, presence of peers, and external communication.

Aging, Productivity, Work, Personnel Management, Human Resource Management, Organizational Policies
Economic and Demographic Perspectives on Aging
Paper Presentation in a Themed Session

Tanja Kosowski

Research Assistant, Department of Management, Kozminski University, Poland
Warsaw, Poland