In a study of the influence of differences in employee age and the age of the employee's immediate supervisor, an age-difference variable was created and used to test 4 competing sets of predictions for performance and attitudinal outcomes within a sample of 292 high school teachers. Analyses revealed that employees who were older than their supervisors (a) reported better working relations with their supervisors, (b) evaluated their supervisors more favorably, and (c) received ratings from their supervisors that were not less favorable than other employees. The results suggest that bias does not necessarily operate against employees who are older than their supervisors and that a relational approach that is based on attribute similarity-dissimilarity offers an additional source of systematic variance that can aid in explaining individual responses.
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