Dealing with availability and response expectations: Are older employees at an advantage and why?

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Authors

This research challenges technology-related age stereotypes by hypothesizing an age advantage in dealing with work-related information communication technology (ICT). Based on theorizing on aging at work, we suggest that older employees are better at psychologically detaching from work under high availability expectations and that they show more adaptive responsiveness to response expectations. We examined a potential age-related mechanism underlying this effect, namely internal workplace telepressure. We pursued a two-study approach. Study 1 examined data from 5,938 individuals who participated in a large-scale survey of employees in Germany. We tested age as moderator of the relationship between availability expectations and psychological detachment from work. Results supported the hypothesized age advantage effect showing that for older employees, availability expectations were less strongly related to impaired psychological detachment. Study 2, a diary study with 106 participants answering more than 500 daily surveys, supported lower telepressure as explanation for this age advantage effect. Study 2 further extended this finding to the relationship between response expectations and responsiveness, identifying both age and telepressure as predicted by age to moderate this relationship. This research shows age advantage effects in dealing with ICT demands, enhancing the understanding of the intersection between age and technology use at work.
Original languageEnglish
Article number11250
JournalAcademy of Management Proceedings
Volume2022
Issue number1
ISSN0065-0668
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 01.08.2022
Event82nd Annual Meeting of the Academy of Management - AOM 2022: Creating a Better World Together - Seattle, United States
Duration: 05.08.202209.08.2022
Conference number: 82
https://2022.aom.org/