Special Issue Article
Age diversity, age discrimination climate and performance consequences—a cross organizational study
Article first published online: 14 DEC 2010
Copyright © 2010 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
Journal of Organizational Behavior
Special Issue: Contemporary empirical advancements in the study of aging in the workplace
Volume 32, Issue 2, pages 264–290, February 2011
How to Cite
Kunze, F., Boehm, S. A. and Bruch, H. (2011), Age diversity, age discrimination climate and performance consequences—a cross organizational study. J. Organiz. Behav., 32: 264–290. doi: 10.1002/job.698
- Issue published online: 19 JAN 2011
- Article first published online: 14 DEC 2010
- Manuscript Accepted: 26 FEB 2010
- Manuscript Revised: 20 JAN 2010
- Manuscript Received: 30 NOV 2008
This paper deals with the emergence of perceived age discrimination climate on the company level and its performance consequences. In this new approach to the field of diversity research, we investigated (a) the effect of organizational-level age diversity on collective perceptions of age discrimination climate that (b) in turn should influence the collective affective commitment of employees, which is (c) an important trigger for overall company performance. In a large-scale study that included 128 companies, a total of 8,651 employees provided data on their perceptions of age discrimination and affective commitment on the company level. Information on firm-level performance was collected from key informants. We tested the proposed model using structural equation modeling (SEM) procedures and, overall, found support for all hypothesized relationships. The findings demonstrated that age diversity seems to be related to the emergence of an age discrimination climate in companies, which negatively impacts overall firm performance through the mediation of affective commitment. These results make valuable contributions to the diversity and discrimination literature by establishing perceived age discrimination on the company level as a decisive mediator in the age diversity/performance link. The results also suggest important practical implications for the effective management of an increasingly age diverse workforce. Copyright © 2010 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.