Contributed Symposium

Is it all downhill after 50? Wisdom and Ageing in Organisations

[Speaker] McKenna, Bernard:1
1:The University of Queensland Business School (Australia)

The ageing workforce is a concern not just for western countries but also in China and Iran, for example. Although often seen as a negative, it is proposed that, properly implemented, older workers can contribute to the wisdom of an organisation. While generational work differences do exist and change with age (Smola & Sutton, 2002), there is evidence that younger workers value mentorship. Thus, while rapid information processing and fluid intelligence declines with age, older workers' experience and accumulated knowledge provide valuable organizational competencies (Salthouse 2012). Pleasingly, older leaders with high generativity maintain highly effective leadership (Zacher et al. 2011). Furthermore, older workers can provide a positive work environment because of positive job attitudes and higher job satisfaction (Walter & Scheibe, 2013; Carstensen et al 1999). This paper considers how ageing workers may provide wise leadership (Rooney, McKenna & Liesch, 2010) in terms of contemporary neo-Aristotelian theory.
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