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Ageing International

, Volume 40, Issue 4, pp 393–412 | Cite as

When Age Stereotypes are Employment Barriers: a Conceptual Analysis and a Literature Review on Older Workers Stereotypes

  • P. DordoniEmail author
  • P. Argentero
Article

Abstract

Literature has shown that age stereotypes are contextual barriers for workers’ occupational wellbeing. The current paper provides a conceptual analysis and a systematic review of research literature on age stereotypes toward older workers and it highlights how age stereotypes represent possible employment barriers into the ongoing aging workforce. Using a systematic review methodology, 18 publications were identified (published in English language since 2000 to 2014 in relevant peer-reviewed journals). The main findings of selected empirical studies indicated that: a) there is the need to focus HR management policies on older workers; b) age stereotypes toward older workers are multidimensional and there is the simultaneous existence of both positive and negative stereotypical beliefs; c) managers’ age stereotypes can affect several organizational outcomes. Self-categorization theory and intergroup bias are recommended as promising theoretical approaches for studying age stereotypes toward older workers and their cognitive identification with the age group.

Keywords

Age stereotypes Older workers Employment barriers Ageing 

Notes

Conflict of interest

Authors state that in the present paper there is no conflict of interest.

Informed Consent

Obtained from all individual participants included in the study. For this type of study formal consent is not required.

Ethical Treatment of Experimental Subjects (Animal and Human)

This article does not contain any studies with human or animal subjects performed by any of the authors.

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© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Brain and Behavioral Sciences, Applied Psychology UnitUniversity of PaviaPaviaItaly

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