Work attitudes and decisions as a function of manager age and employee age

  • Shore L
  • Cleveland J
  • Goldberg C
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Abstract

Research has shown the importance of employee age relative to coworker age in determining attitudes, performance, and career-related opportunities. The authors used chronological and subjective measures of employee and manager age to determine whether employee age relative to the manager has an impact on these same outcome variables. One hundred eighty-five managers and 290 employees completed surveys. The strongest and most consistent age effects were observed for interactions between employee and manager chronological age. Both the magnitude and pattern of the employee-manager age interactions varied by self- and manager-rated outcome measures of work attitudes, performance and promotability assessments, and developmental experiences. Results are discussed in light of the relational demography and career timetable literatures.

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