Fr-SYM-2644-7 - Outgroup Competence, Intergroup Anxiety And Willingness To Hire Older People: Testing The Moderating Role Of Intergenerational Contact

Friday May 19   04:15 PM to 05:15 PM (1 hour)
Labor market issues
Outgroup competence, intergroup anxiety and willingness to hire older people:
Testing the moderating role of intergenerational contact
U. Fasbender 1,*, M. Wang 2
1Oxford Brookes University, Oxford, United Kingdom, 2University of Florida, Gainesville, United States
Main Abstract Content: Purpose: The purpose of this study is to investigate the role of intergenerational contact in shaping hiring decisions. We investigated outgroup competence and intergroup anxiety as predictors of decision-makers’ willingness to hire older people and whether these relationships are moderated by intergenerational contact frequency and quality.
Design/methodology: Potential participants were recruited using professional social networks within the UK. We used structured online questionnaires to collect the data. The final sample consisted of 232 employees hiring power.
Results: Multiple regression analysis indicated that intergroup anxiety was negatively related to decision-makers’ willingness to hire older people. Intergenerational contact frequency exacerbated the relationship between intergroup anxiety and willingness to hire older people; whereas intergenerational contact quality buffered the negative relationship. In addition, we found that intergenerational contact quality facilitated the positive relationship between perceived outgroup competence and willingness to hire older people.
Limitations: The cross-sectional design does not allow determining causal inferences. Also, common-method bias may be a concern.
Research/practical implications: Future research could address different forms of intergenerational contact as a means to understand relations between younger and older workers, in particular with regard to hiring decisions. With regard to practice, the present study suggests that workplace interactions should be natural, cooperative, productive, and pleasant and to some degree perceived as voluntary.
Originality/value: The study findings extend previous research on older worker employment; in particular, they demonstrate how intergenerational contact frequency and quality can be powerful means to influence age-related hiring decisions.


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