July 25, 2016 09:10 - 10:40

Handling job complexity: how to differentiate the effect of experience from the effect of age

[Speaker] Schmidt, Matthias:1
[Co-author] Schmidt, Tino:2, Hoff, Andreas:1
1:University of Applied Sciences Zittau/Goerlitz (Germany), 2:Brandenburg University of Technology (Germany)

Although meta-analyses show zero correlations between age and job performance on average negative stereotypes and prejudices toward older employees are still very popular. But there are also performance characteristics related to crystallized intelligence and personality that are widely seen as stable or growing over job biography: knowledge, experience, handling of complexity, conscientiousness and social skills (Lindenberger & Staudinger 2006). But: Should work tasks really be designed differentiated for people of different ages? This
study expected that the impact of learning-promoting job design on competence is stronger than the impact of age. For that purpose a sample of n=904 from different sectors was asked to assess characteristics of work tasks as well as competence-related personal characteristics (developmental objectives, self-efficacy, and work ability). The Results refer to a significant positive impact of job design on all considered personal characteristics. Age is significantly positively related to methodical competence, self-efficacy and involvement.
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