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The effects of age and age diversity on company productivity

by on January 4, 2013

Here’s an interesting journal article available via this link on Early View in the Human Resource Management Journal (full text is subscription only).

Authors Backes-Gellner and Veen explore age diversity (the ‘interplay of different individual ageing effects’) and its effect, if any, on company productivity.

They do this by developing a theoretical economic framework (which includes the costs and benefits of age diversity) which they then use as an analytic tool to examine the relationship between age, age diversity within an organization and its productivity. Their finding is that ‘an increase in average age has a positive effect on company productivity’.

They conclude: ‘Our results run somewhat counter to general intuition, as we find that innovative companies with more creative tasks gain an increase in productivity with increasing age and age diversity, whereas companies with non-innovative tasks often suffer productivity losses. These results show that ageing is not necessarily a threat to the competitiveness of companies or nations. On the contrary, it may even be a chance to enhance competitiveness if company strategies and types of tasks are adjusted to reflect a changing workforce.’

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