Age stereotypes and discriminatory attitudes towards older workers: An East-West comparison

Warren C.K. Chiu, Andy W. Chan, Ed Snape, Tom Redman

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articlepeer-review

328 Citations (Scopus)


This study compared age stereotypes among 567 respondents sampled in the UK and Hong Kong and examined how these stereotypes were related to discriminatory attitudes at work. Compared to the Hong Kong sample, UK respondents saw older workers as more effective at work, but less adaptable to change. As expected, respondents' own age was predictive of positive age stereotypes, although for supervisors this relationship was moderated in the case of perceptions of work effectiveness. Stereotypical beliefs were found to significantly affect respondents' attitudes towards the training, promotion and retention of older workers, their willingness to work with older workers, and their support for positive discrimination. Findings also suggest that anti-age discrimination policies in the respondent's organization had a positive impact on beliefs about the adaptability of older workers and possibly also on attitudes towards providing them with training. Implications of the findings were discussed in light of the existing socio-political environment in the UK and Hong Kong.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)629-661
Number of pages33
JournalHuman Relations
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - May 2001
Externally publishedYes

User-Defined Keywords

  • age discrimination
  • age stereotypes
  • equal opportunities
  • human resource management


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