Assessments of fit and usability of work-life supports in the context of diversity and perceptions of fairness | Improving Team Functioning and Performance in Age-Diverse Teams: Evaluation of a Leadership Training
Jungmann, F., Wegge, J., Liebermann, S.C., Ries, B.C. and Schmidt, H. Improving Team Functioning and Performance in Age-Diverse Teams: Evaluation of a Leadership Training, Work, Aging and Retirement, Volume 6, Issue 3, July 2020, pp.175–194.
The ongoing demographic change in most European countries increases the proportion of older employees and the prevalence of age diversity in work groups. As the diversity literature supports theories predicting negative effects of age diversity in teams, practical interest is growing how to influence these groups to perform at their best. In this article, we present a model of productivity in age-diverse teams, which we used as the platform for conceptualizing a new training for leaders. The training aims at improving attitudes toward older employees, appreciation of team diversity, and performance in age-diverse teams. We evaluated this training in a public administration in Germany with a training–waiting control group design (47 leaders, 221 employees) including a follow-up measure after 1 year.
Results revealed that the training increased appreciation of age diversity and reduced age stereotypes in leaders. Team members’ ratings of age stereotypes and conflicts were also positively influenced, in particular for younger team members who suffer most from working in age-diverse teams. Thus, the newly developed training is a recommendable intervention for leaders of age-diverse teams.
Halvorsen , C.J., Saran, I. & Pitt-Catsouphes, M. (2020): Assessments of fit and usability of work-life supports in the context of diversity and perceptions of fairness, Community, Work & Family.
There is a robust literature that examines outcomes associated with work-life supports. Scholars have considered the ‘fit’ between employee needs and the supports available while others have examined the ‘usability’—or the potential consequences of using—work-life supports. In this article, we suggest that ‘fit’ and ‘usability’ could be related to both employees’ own demographic, social, and cultural identities, as well as perceptions of fairness at the workplace. While scholars have focused on organizational justice and workplace fairness for quite some time, the context of diversity—in its many forms—has rarely been included in this conversation or has simply been added as a series of controls in statistical analyses without regard to diversity’s various forms. In response, we review the work-life literature to consider the broad context of diversity as well as various domains of workplace fairness.
We then present a conceptual framework that aims to guide future work-life research on the fit and usability of work-life supports in the context of diversity and perceptions of fairness.
We also offer research propositions to stimulate future scholarship and present findings from an exploratory study to illustrate the importance of considering the context of diversity in studies on workplace fairness.