, Volume 121, Issue 3, pp 403-417
Date: 26 Apr 2013

Organizational Value for Age Diversity and Potential Applicants’ Organizational Attraction: Individual Attitudes Matter

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Abstract

Using diversity climate theory and research, this paper examines the relationships among an organization’s actions which indicate a value for age diversity and potential applicants’ reactions toward that organization. Specifically, we investigate the interactive effects of an organization’s age diversity, an organization’s age diversity management practices, and potential applicants’ individual attitudes toward age diversity on two outcome variables, organizational attractiveness and expected age discrimination. We conducted an experimental survey study with a sample of 244 German employees likely to be in the job market again in their careers. Organizational age diversity and age diversity management practices were positively related to organizational attractiveness and negatively related to expected age discrimination. Results also support a three-way interaction of an organization’s age diversity, an organization’s age diversity management practices, and potential applicants’ attitudes toward age diversity on both dependent variables. The findings demonstrate the importance of considering individual attitudes toward age diversity in assessing the effectiveness of an organization’s age diversity and age diversity management practices.

Tanja Rabl and María del Carmen Triana contributed equally to this study.