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An examination into the prevalence of ageist beliefs towards older workers as held by recruiters and HR Professionals within a multinational retail organisation located in Ireland.

O’Dwyer, Laura (2021) An examination into the prevalence of ageist beliefs towards older workers as held by recruiters and HR Professionals within a multinational retail organisation located in Ireland. Masters thesis, Dublin, National College of Ireland.

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Abstract

Purpose: This research aims to assess whether recruiters and HR professionals within a multinational retailer located in Ireland, henceforth known as Company X, subscribe to age-related beliefs. Beliefs present either positively or negatively based on literature reviewed. This study will also examine why any beliefs identified through the research may persist within Company X, and where such beliefs originate.

Literature: Literature reviewed displays many reasons that employers may hold age-related beliefs. Literature suggests that most age-related beliefs held by participants of this research are positive beliefs. Literature shows ambiguity exists surrounding the definition of an older worker.

Methodology: Exploratory mixed methods approach, combining an online survey and semi-structured interview was utilized. 64 survey responses were completed and analysed, as well as two semi-structured interviews with HR managers of Company X. Chi-Square and Kendall’s tau-b correlation tests were used to analyse survey data while thematic analyses was undertaken to produce findings from the interviews.

Findings: Findings indicate that participants within Company X adhere to positive age-related beliefs, as seen in survey responses to questions 7, 10, 14 and 20. This is again observed through the qualitative themes of productivity, loyalty, and personality perceptions of older workers. Findings also report that only managers of Company X engage in unconscious bias training rather than all staff members. Additionally, organizations who are financially successful appear to provide more opportunities to train older workers and have lower levels of negative age-related beliefs than that of less successful organizations.

Contribution to the literature: This thesis has identified that recruiters and HR professionals within Company X hold certain age related beliefs. Literature contributions include examining this research area through an Irish context as well as specifically questioning HR professionals. This thesis has added to the geographic, retail, and ageing population related nature of previously published literature.

Conclusion: Research participants employed by Company X do believe in positive age-related beliefs and require further commitment to implementing unconscious bias training. This must be done in order to acknowledge and combat these beliefs to support older workers and increase inclusivity within the workplace.

Item Type: Thesis (Masters)
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HV Social pathology. Social and public welfare > Discrimination > Age discrimination
H Social Sciences > HD Industries. Land use. Labor > HD28 Management. Industrial Management > Human Resource Management
D History General and Old World > DA Great Britain > Ireland
H Social Sciences > HD Industries. Land use. Labor > HD28 Management. Industrial Management > Human Resource Management > Recruitment
H Social Sciences > HD Industries. Land use. Labor > Specific Industries > Retail Industry
Divisions: School of Business > Master of Arts in Human Resource Management
Depositing User: Clara Chan
Date Deposited: 26 Jan 2022 16:21
Last Modified: 26 Jan 2022 16:21
URI: http://norma.ncirl.ie/id/eprint/5338

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