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Evaluating Six Common Stereotypes About Older Workers with Meta-Analytical Data


Thomas W. H. NG, School of Business and Economics, The University of Hong Kong, Pok Fu Lam, Hong Kong;


This study evaluates the cumulated empirical evidence on 6 common age stereotypes. These stereotypes suggest that older workers are: (a) less motivated, (b) generally less willing to participate in training and career development, (c) more resistant and less willing to change, (d) less trusting, (e) less healthy, and (f) more vulnerable to work-family imbalance. The meta-analysis included 418 empirical studies (N= 208,204) and examined the relationships of age to 39 variables representing the content domain of age stereotypes. The only stereotype consistent with empirical evidence is that older workers are less willing to participate in training and career development activities. The paper concludes with implications for future theory development and management practice.

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