Age and employability: a polynomial test of age-related stereotyping

Research output: Contribution to conferenceAbstractAcademic


Purpose: Literature on (age-related) stereotyping argues that individuals who are more similar, rate each other more positively, which can have consequences for employability. Consequently, to gain more insight, this study focuses on the effect of age (dis)similarities between employees and supervisors, the effect on self-perceived and supervisor-rated employability, and the role of employability competencies also rated by the employee and the supervisor.

Design: The analyses were performed using 203 dyads of employees and their direct supervisor through polynomial regressions and are plotted in three-dimensional graphs.

Findings: The results of this study indicate mainly significantly negative slopes of the similarity and dissimilarity lines with age of the employee and age of the supervisor as independent variables, with different types (internal, external, qualitative, quantitative) of self- and other-rated perceived employability as dependent variables. With regard to the distinguished employability competencies, age did not have any relationship with occupational expertise, but we did find effects of (dis)similarity slopes and curvatures for anticipation and optimization, corporate sense, balance, and personal flexibility.

Conclusion and originality: The results indicate similarity and dissimilarity effects, mainly in the light of personal flexibility as ranked by the supervisor, but also for other indicators of employability. In sum, the effect of age on employability may be explained by age-related stereotyping and needs further in-depth studies.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - May 2019
Event19th EAWOP Congress: Working for the greater good: Inspiring people, designing jobs and leading organizations for a more inclusive society - Lingotto Conference Centre, Turin, Italy
Duration: 29 May 20191 Jun 2019
Conference number: 19


Conference19th EAWOP Congress
Abbreviated titleEAWOP 2019
Internet address


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