Brazilian managers’ ageism: a multiplex perspective

Arménio Rego*, Andreia Vitória, António Tupinambá, Dálcio Reis Júnior, Dálcio Reis, Miguel Pina e Cunha, Rui Lourenço-Gil

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Citations (Scopus)


Purpose: The purpose of this paper is to explore the Brazilian managers’ attitudes toward older workers, and how those attitudes explain HRM decisions in hypothetical scenarios. Design/methodology/approach: Brazilian managers (n=201) reported their attitudes toward older workers and their decisions in scenarios involving an older vs a younger applicant/worker. Findings: In spite of expressing positive attitudes toward older workers, a significant number of managers chose a younger one even when the older worker is described as more productive. To build a better understanding of how attitudes predict decisions, it is necessary to identify attitudinal profiles and the interplay between attitudinal dimensions, rather than simply studying each dimension separately. Attitudinal profiling also shows that some managers discriminate against younger workers, a finding, that is, ignored when (only) regressions are taken into account. The managers’ attitudes and behavioral intentions relate with their age. Evidence does not support the double jeopardy effect against older women workers. Research limitations/implications: The sample is small. The scenarios cover a reduced number of HRM decisions. The data about attitudes and decisions were collected simultaneously from a single source. The findings may be influenced by idiosyncrasies of the context. Future studies should also consider real situations, not hypothetical ones. Practical implications: Efforts must be made (e.g. via training and development) to raise managers’ awareness about the consequences of ageism in organizations. Originality/value: Empirical studies about managers’ perceptions/attitudes toward older workers are scarce. Studies in the Brazilian context are even scarcer.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)414-433
Number of pages20
JournalInternational Journal of Manpower
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2018


  • Ageism
  • Brazil
  • Gender similarity bias
  • Managers’ attitudes towards older workers


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