Developing and validating an instrument for measuring managers’ attitudes toward older workers

Arménio Rego, Andreia Vitória, Miguel Pina e Cunha, António Tupinambá, Susana Leal

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)


Three studies were carried out to develop and validate an instrument for measuring managers’ attitudes toward older workers. In the first study we explore (a) managers’ attitudes toward older workers, and (b) retirees’ perceptions about their last experiences before retirement. In the second study, 51 items emerging from the first study and from the literature were developed. The corresponding questionnaire was then applied to a sample of 224 Portuguese managers who were also invited to make decisions in three scenarios involving younger and older workers. The third study replicated the second one with a sample of 249 Brazilian managers. The main findings are: (a) five types of managers’ attitudes toward older workers were identified (adaptability, value of older workers’ competencies, organizational conscientiousness, social capital/generosity and performance); (b) these attitudes predict how managers select older vs. younger workers in hiring and selecting employees to participate in training; (c) the empirical patterns identified in the Portuguese and Brazilian samples are similar; (d) in spite of recognizing positive qualities in older workers, managers discriminate against them; (e) managers develop different attitudinal profiles toward older workers, which has consequences for how they make decisions about those workers.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1866-1899
Number of pages34
JournalInternational Journal Of Human Resource Management
Issue number13
Publication statusPublished - 2017


  • age discrimination
  • Aging workforce
  • attitudinal profiles
  • managers’ attitudes
  • older workers
  • retirees’ perceptions


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