How do employers think about older workers?

Hila Axelrad, Alexandra Kalev, Noah Lewin-Epstein

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Purpose: Higher pensionable age in many countries that are part of Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) and a shrinking pension income force older people to postpone their retirement. Yet, age-based discrimination in employers' decisions is a significant barrier to their employment. Hence, this paper aims to explore employers' attitudes regarding the employment of workers aged 60–70, striving for a better understanding of age discrimination. Design/methodology/approach: The authors used a thematic analysis of semi-structured interviews with 30 managers, experts and employees in retirement age in Israel. Findings: Findings reveal a spectrum of employers' attitudes toward the employment of older workers. The authors' analytical contribution is a conceptual typology based on employers' perceived ability to employ older workers and their stated attitudes toward the employment of older workers. Social implications: The insights that emerge from this research are fundamental for organizational actors' ability to expand the productive, unbiased employment of older workers. Originality/value: By understanding employers' preferences and perspectives and the implications on employers' ability and/or willingness to employ older workers, this research will help policymakers formulate and implement policy innovations that address these biases.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)201-220
Number of pages20
JournalQualitative Research in Organizations and Management
Issue number2
StatePublished - 30 May 2022
Externally publishedYes


  • Age and ageism
  • Discrimination of older workers
  • Employer perspective
  • Thematic analysis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Business, Management and Accounting
  • Organizational Behavior and Human Resource Management


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