Comparisons of cognitive ability and job attitudes of older and younger workers

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Title Comparisons of cognitive ability and job attitudes of older and younger workers
Author Brough, Paula; Johnson, Greer; Drummond, Suzie Elizabeth; Pennisi, Shannon; Timms, Carolyn May
Journal Name Equality Diversity and Inclusion
Year Published 2011
Place of publication United Kingdom
Publisher Emerald Group Publishing Ltd
Abstract Purpose – Advancing knowledge about effectively managing the ageing workforce and ensuring economic sustainability for a growing retired cohort is a recognised priority for organisational health researchers, employers and governments. The purpose of this paper is to test social perceptions that older workers’ cognitive performance and job attitudes compare adversely to their younger colleagues. Design/methodology/approach – The research assessed samples of older and younger workers in objective tests of cognitive abilities and subjective job attitudes. An opportunity sampling method was employed to recruit a heterogeneous group of participants in Australia (n ¼ 172). Findings – No significant differences in cognitive ability between the groups were identified; older workers were as cognitively skilled for their job as their younger colleagues. No significant group difference for perceptions of social support, job commitment, job satisfaction or turnover intentions was identified. Research limitations/implications – The cross-sectional research design adopted by this research prevented a more detailed examination of the data in terms of causal relationships. While the cognitive testing provided objective rather than subjective data and, therefore, is not as susceptible to response biases such as common method variance, the small sample who undertook the cognitive testing is acknowledged as a research limitation. Social implications – This research has implications for the reduction in unemployment of older workers and directly addresses the social issues of an ageing labour force. Originality/value – The paper demonstrates that stereotypical assumptions concerning inadequate performance and low job commitment commonly attributed to older workers are not in fact indicative of all ageing employees.
Peer Reviewed Yes
Published Yes
Alternative URI http://dx.doi.org/10.1108/02610151111116508
Volume 30
Issue Number 2
Page from 105
Page to 126
ISSN 2040-7149
Date Accessioned 2011-09-26
Date Available 2012-02-10T01:39:44Z
Language en_US
Research Centre Behavioural Basis of Health; Griffith Health Institute; Griffith Institute for Educational Research
Faculty Arts, Education and Law
Subject Technical, Further and Workplace Education
URI http://hdl.handle.net/10072/42176
Publication Type Journal Articles (Refereed Article)
Publication Type Code c1

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