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Older Employees and HealthcareResearch Paper

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¶ … environments, working with individuals who have a significant amount of life experience is considered an advantageous factor. The perception of the advantage is based on the belief that the older individuals had more work experience, a factor that accorded one an increased amount of respect. However, such respect is not always the case today in the modern business environment. In this environment, age can be perceived as a hindrance and older employees have become a candidate for work place discrimination. Such instances of work place discrimination led to the formulation of the Age Discrimination Employment Act (ADEA) in 1967, a legislative gesture that aims at mitigating discrimination in the job market with the idea that there ought not to be discrimination against age in the work place (ADEA, 1967). Understanding the contemporary developments on the issue of workplace discrimination is an important factor in understanding the state of human resources today. Understanding this trend requires different actions that include reviewing past literature on the topic, discussing the major implications of the legislation to both society and professional practice, and then drawing conclusions about the influence of the legislation and implications for the future.

Literature Review

Article 1

Background. Richardson et al. (2013) investigated the effect of age on the probability of individuals getting hired for a job. In their article, the researchers established a common correlation in which organizations shown that they were evaluating job applicants based on their ages. They discovered that employers tend to perceive elderly workers in a negative manner. The background for conducting the research on the biases of stereotypes that influences the hiring of new workers is an important consideration. Among the factors that formed the background of the study is decision making skills, health implications among other competencies associated with members of the elderly workforce.

The researchers operated under the hypothesis that the likelihood of an applicant getting hired is negatively associated with increasing age. The study used a framework of double standard to measure the hypothesis. The concept of double standards entails the application of conceptualization of a given standard as either positive or negative. The study depicted age as the general standard but proceeded to view young age positively and old age negatively when it comes to job application. The double view of the same standard constitutes the double standard. The method of research that Richardson et al. (2013) used incorporates participation of both students and working individuals. In this case, the study incorporated current employers with hiring authority and those that are preparing to enter the work force.

A total of 156 students and working class individuals opted to participate by returning the questionnaires that were issued to them. The design of the research entailed the use of a scenario-based surveys to gather data. The main apparatus of the study was the questionnaire that the participants had to answer. The interview tested the extent of the use of double standards in determining successful job applicants. The only variable factor in the study was the age. However, the researchers centered and squared the age of the applicant to create a variable that represented the quadratic component such as trainability, dependability, sociability, intellectual component to produce the ability to do a job well.

The results of the experiment proved that there was a 41% variance in hiring with regards to the organization-based sample while the student sample depicted a 56% variance. Their results indicate there is a preference for persons of 42 to 48 years when it comes to hiring and age above 66 being the lowest demographic to be considered for a job.

Article 2

Background. The article, The senior discount: bias against older career changer, by Fritzsche and Macus (2013) describes the prejudice that exists in both career entry and career transition relative to a job candidates age. The background of the study is based on the difficulty that one either experiences during their entry into a specific career or when they opt to transition from one career to another. Among the most affected parties are the individuals who opt to change their careers late in their lives. One of the hypothesis for this study is that when rating for suitability of a job, the older job applicant, with-in or between career transitions, will be rated less qualified when they rated by more ageist individuals.

A sample of 251 student participated in the study. They were presented with scenario at the begging of the study and were asked to play the role of human resource manager in the process of deciding on which applicant to be hired for a particular position. A brief description of the applicant back ground were given to them. They received information about the applicant's educational level, past job experience, age, and hobbies. All information provided was held constant except age and years of experience. Based on the information that was provided to them, the student were asked to rate how likely they would be to hire the applicant.

The study concludes that when ageist individuals rate job applicants who are transitioning between careers at an old age, they gave the job applicants the lowest rating for qualification; on the other hand when application is within the same career path, the older applicant were rated comparable to the younger applicants (although they were still rated less favorably). The study reveals organizations associate youthfulness with a sense of increased output. A slight advancement in age is associated with increased experience for the job. However, most recruiters view working with the elderly candidates in a comparatively negative light.

Article 3

The article by Kunze et al. (2011) represents one of the foremost relevant studies when discussing the topic of age and its implication to company employment. The background of their research is based on the perceived shrinkage and simultaneous aging of the populations of most developed countries, owing to a low birthrates. Such countries face challenges in their employment sector based on factors such as the forced legal retirement and the lack of skilled junior work forces.

The first hypothesis of the study is that people form affiliations with other whom they perceive to have similar demographic characteristics to them. Such an affiliation based on age often isolates the old workers from discrimination. The second hypothesis of the study is that people typically form social subgroups based on age and other factors, and have a tendency to discriminate against the other groups while they favor those to which they belong. Doing so leads to the discrimination of groups comprising of older individuals. The last theoretical argument is that there is a norm of career timetables that depicts the achievements that one ought to have made by a certain age. In this regard, it is expected that one should have completed certain career achievements by the time they are old.

Method. The collection of data in the study included soliciting participants from up to 162 companies. The companies were of different industries that ranged from service to manufacturing. The first method of collecting data was through a key-informant survey, in which only the top management participates (Kunze et al. 2011). The data was collected to ascertain age diversity, perceived age discrimination, performance and active commitment.

Results. The study confirms the initial hypothesis of the study in that age diversity has a positive relation to the perception of an age discrimination climate. The perception of age discrimination negatively relates to one's affective environment and commitment directly relates to an individual's performance. The attainment of the results were based on the three measurement tools that the study used. The measurements include; performance, age discrimination and affective commitment on the part of the aging employees.

Analysis: Reasons for discrimination

Low literacy level

The main factor that causes such discrimination is the belief that the aged job seekers have a low literacy level when compared with younger candidates. Such perceptions are based on the limited ability for the old individual to learn new aspects of the trade and incorporate them efficiently to their practice. The concern regarding the literacy levels can be thought of in a similar manner as the changes made to a syllabus over time; the thought is these factors that makes the knowledge of the elderly outdated or obsolete. Such a scenario is rampant especially in positions that heavily rely on the use of technology.

Decreased productivity

All the three articles discussed a decrease in overall productivity as a person ages. There is a perception that there is a sharp decrease of productivity that comes with old age. As one ages, their physical strength reduces as well as their intellectual capacity. These conditions make the old employees a liability as they reduce dependability, trainability and flexibility at a particular job. Companies' belief it becomes impossible to depend on them to perform either mental or physical tasks. In fact, they become a liability to the institution's resources. These limitations make most organization discriminate against older job applicants. Such discrimination, however,… [END OF PREVIEW]

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