Age and generations in everyday organisational life: neglected intersections in studying organisations
by Charlotta Niemistö; Jeff Hearn; Marjut Jyrkinen
International Journal of Work Innovation (IJWI), Vol. 1, No. 4, 2016

Abstract: This paper highlights and critically analyses age and generation-related issues and their intersections with other social divisions in working life, and their importance for how work, careers, organisations and related work innovations are constructed. We draw mainly on qualitative data from nine case organisations in Finland and focus on the following questions: 1) What aspects of age and generational relations are articulated in the case organisations studied?; 2) How do age and age-generations intersect with other social divisions in workplaces? We work from the data in forming and recognising thematic groupings, and identify five main forms of discursive talk about age and generation: physical restrictions; retirement issues; age diversity as a strength; lack of a particular age group; along with silence on age or age as a non-issue. As such, the dynamics and intersections about and around age and generation in organisations are complex, multi-dimensional, and often contradictory and ambiguous. Building on an online survey (n = 122) and through interviews (n = 53) and qualitative fieldwork in nine organisations, we contribute to empirical, policy, intersectional, and theoretical areas and debates on age, generations and intersectionality at work, organisations and work innovation.

Online publication date: Tue, 30-Aug-2016

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