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Inhaltsbereich: Institut für Arbeitsmarkt- und Berufsforschung

Age diversity and innovation: Do mixed teams of old and experienced and young and restless employees foster companies innovativeness?

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Abstract

"In Germany, the labour force is ageing rapidly. At the same time, age heterogeneity within companies is rising. The literature on diversity argues that heterogeneity can have a positive as well as a detrimental effect on team outputs. Our paper sheds light on the impact of age diversity on the likelihood of a company to create product or process innovations. Based on our analysis of the Linked Employer-Employee-Data from the Institute for Employment Research (IAB) over the 2009-2013 period, we focus on different indicators of age diversity within a company's workforce (variety, separation and disparity). We find that a rise in the average age of a company's workforce has a negative impact on innovation, but age diversity measured by the standard deviation of age or the average age gap increases the probability of a company to create innovations. In addition, the uniformity of the age distribution does not affect innovativeness. Different results for age and tenure diversity suggest a higher importance of generalised human capital for creativity processes compared to company-specific knowledge gained during employment within a company." (Author's abstract, IAB-Doku) ((en))

Author

  • Hammermann, Andrea
  • Niendorf, Matthias
  • Schmidt, Jörg

Bibliographical information

Hammermann, Andrea; Niendorf, Matthias; Schmidt, Jörg (2019): Age diversity and innovation: Do mixed teams of old and experienced and young and restless employees foster companies innovativeness? (IAB-Discussion Paper, 04/2019), Nürnberg, 31 p.
 

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