In the name of meritocracy: manager's perceptions of policies and practices for training older workers

Cambridge Univ Press
Publication Type:
Journal Article
Ageing & Society, 2014, 34 (6), pp. 992 - 1018
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Workplaces, managers and employers who are seeking to maintain the standing, capacities and productivity of their workplaces are now facing two crucial facts: (a) an ageing workforce and (b) all workers, regardless of age, need to adapt to the changing requirements for workplace performance. These facts mean that managers and supervisors need to confront issues found in the changing demographics of their own workforce. That is, as the portion of workforces aged over 45 years (i.e. older workers) increases, it is these workers who are available to be employed, and supported in sustaining their ongoing employability. To address these issues requires understanding of particular workers' capacities and aspirations and then acting to develop further their capacities based on new understanding, and rebutting social sentiments about these workers that are often value-laden, contradictory and biased. The case here is made through drawing on literature and analyses of interview data of Australian managers of older workers, that the current logic of management relies upon deeply held and widely shared beliefs of age-blind meritocracy and equal opportunity rather than informed views.
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