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Age, resistance to change, and job performance : Testing for a common stereotype

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version abrégée Purpose - In light of the increasingly aging workforce, it is interesting from both a theoretical and practical perspective to empirically investigate the commonly held stereotype that older workers are more resistant to change (RTC). Thus, the main purpose of this paper is to investigate the age/RTC relationship, considering tenure and occupational status (blue-/white-collar employees) as additional boundary conditions. Furthermore, we investigate the relationship between RTC and individual performance, thereby introducing RTC as a mediator in the age/job performance relationship.

Design/methodology/approach - Study hypotheses are tested among a sample of 2,981 employees from diverse companies. Structural equation modeling with bootstrapping procedures is applied to investigate the moderated-indirect model.

Findings - Contrary to common stereotypes, employees’ age is negatively related to RTC. Tenure and occupational status are further identified as boundary conditions for this relationship. Moreover, RTC also shows an association with individual job performance, which allows for the establishment of an indirect-mediation mechanism from age to job performance via the intermediation of RTC. These results can be explained using current life span concepts, particularly the Selective Optimization with Compensation (SOC) model.

Research limitations/implications - Hypotheses were tested in a cross-sectional data set, which does not allow for conclusions of causality.

Originality/value - This study contributes to the age stereotyping literature that has thus far neglected the age/RTC relationship. Furthermore, the age/job performance literature is extended by introducing RTC as an important mediating factor. In sum, this study should help provide a more positive and more differentiated picture of older employees in the workplace.
   
Genre Journal paper
   
mot-clé
   
langue English
kind of paper journal article
date de sortie de la publication 1-10-2013
journal Journal of Managerial Psychology
maison d'édition Emerald (Bradford UK)
ISSN 0268-3946
ISSN (online) 1758-7778
DOI 10.1108/JMP-06-2013-0194
émission du journal 28
numéro du journal 7/8
page(s) 741-760
Review Double-Blind Review
   
citation Kunze, F., Böhm, S. A., & Bruch, H. (2013). Age, resistance to change, and job performance: Testing for a common stereotype. Journal of Managerial Psychology, 28(7/8), 741-760, DOI:10.1108/JMP-06-2013-0194.