ERIC Number: ED251948
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1984-May-21
Reference Count: 0
Normative and Structural Perspectives on Age in a Work Organization.
Lawrence, Barbara S.
Age grading, the differentiation of social groups by members' age judgments, is widely regarded to be a universal aspect of social life. Most studies have examined age structurally (demographically), rather than normatively (modally). This study presents survey data measuring employees' age judgments of managerial careers collected from an electric utility company. The study found there was a wide agreement on age boundaries for each level; however, employees' age judgments differ systematically from the company's actual age distribution. The significance of this difference is emphasized by performance differences between managers who deviate from shared age judgments and those who deviate from the age distribution. The results suggest not only that age grading occurs in work organizations, but that when judgments differ from structural reality, a normative perspective is necessary to study age as a social phenomenon. An extensive reference list, three graphs, and three tables conclude the document. (Author/MD)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: Administrators; Researchers; Practitioners
Sponsor: Administration on Aging (DHHS), Washington, DC.; National Inst. on Aging (DHHS/NIH), Bethesda, MD.; Office of Naval Research, Washington, DC.
Authoring Institution: California Univ., Los Angeles. Graduate School of Management.
Identifiers: Age Grading
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Psychological Association (Toronto, Ontario, Canada, August 24-28, 1984).