ERIC Number: ED354417
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1992-Apr
The Impact of Perceived Worker Age on Treatment of Experienced and Inexperienced Poor Performers.
Barnes-Farrell, Janet L.; Ross, Cheryl L.
Although there have been numerous studies of age discrimination in the workplace, little research has addressed the issue of corrective actions taken against poorly performing older workers. This study was conducted to examine the effects of both age and tenure on corrective actions recommended for poor performers. Subjects (N=84) were working age adults drawn from three sources: undergraduate psychology students, Masters of Business Administration students, and employees from a large manufacturing plant in the northeast. Subjects were presented with an experimental packet which contained a memo from a hypothetical manager commenting on a subordinate's recent poor performance. Each memo described the performance of a younger (mean perceived age=32.1) or older (mean perceived age=58.6) employee who had either recently been hired or who had been with the company for several years. Subjects were asked to indicate how they would respond to the employee's poor performance by choosing the most appropriate corrective actions previously scaled in terms of their perceived change orientation. Results of the study indicated that employee age has no effect on the change orientation of corrective actions chosen for poor performers. This contradicts previous research which suggests that subjects recommend corrective actions with higher change orientations for younger workers than for older workers. (ABL)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Eastern Psychological Association (63rd, Boston, MA, April 3-5, 1992).