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Managing knowledge exchange and identification in age diverse teams

Type of publication Peer-reviewed
Publikationsform Original article (peer-reviewed)
Author Ellwart T. Bündgens S. & Rack O. ,
Project Wissenstransfer bei altersheterogener Zusammenarbeit: Erfolgsfaktoren und Gestaltungsansätze
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Original article (peer-reviewed)

Journal Journal of Managerial Psychology
Title of proceedings Journal of Managerial Psychology

Abstract

Purpose - This paper examines the impact of individual and group level variables on knowledge exchange and identification in age diverse teams. From a diversity perspective, influences of age related diversity perceptions and diversity beliefs (level 1) are compared with effects of objective age diversity (level 2). From a management perspective, the paper goes beyond age diversity and investigates the incremental effects of team and individual characteristics from a team learning perspective. Design - Questionnaire data of 516 team members and their supervisors in 73 organizational teams were analyzed in a multilevel approach. Findings - Objective age diversity had a negative effect on knowledge exchange and identification. Beyond that, age related diversity perceptions and positive diversity beliefs on the individual level predict the effect of objective diversity. Relativizing the impact of diversity, individual characteristics (knowing the team experts, clear understanding of goals) and team characteristics (team climate, time for knowledge exchange) explain the largest proportion of variance in the dependent variables underlining the importance of team learning variables. Research Implications - Compared to objective diversity, subjective diversity perceptions and diversity beliefs are relevant predictors of processes and attitudes in heterogenic teams. Practical implications - There are multiple leverages for management strategies beyond the mostly fixed age diversity in teams on the individual and group level. Originality/Value - This paper evaluates the cross-level interplay between objective diversity, perceived subjective diversity and diversity beliefs and revalues the impact of HR-management in age diverse teams.
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