Keith James

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (M.S.) in Psychology



Physical Description

1 online resource (viii, 133 p.) : ill. (some col.)


Employees -- Rating of -- Age factors, Communication in management -- Age factors




As the nature of work is rapidly changing, organizations in developed nations all over the world are experiencing shifts in the age composition of their workforces. These changes, which include an aging workforce that is becoming increasingly age-diverse, indicate that organizational researchers and practitioners need to be better aware of how age differences manifest themselves in the workplace and what implications this has for effective employee management. In the current study it is proposed that employees of different ages react differently to various elements of a formal performance feedback event. Specifically, Carstensen's developmental Socio-emotional Selectivity Theory is used as a theoretical backing for explaining how and why employees of different ages perceive and react to performance feedback differently based on their perceptions of the valence, content quality, and delivery quality of the feedback. The results show evidence of age differences in feedback reactions, with younger adults being particularly concerned with information that will benefit them in the future and older adults being particularly concerned with information that conveys a positive relationship with one's supervisor. These findings have both conceptual and practical implications as we seek to build workplace aging theory and find ways to better manage and retain valuable employees of all ages in a changing world of work.


Portland State University. Dept. of Psychology

Persistent Identifier