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Reducing age stereotypes in software development: The effects of awareness- and cooperation-based diversity interventions

Schloegel, Uta; Stegmann, Sebastian; Maedche, Alexander 1; Dick, Rolf van
1 Karlsruher Institut für Technologie (KIT)


Negative age stereotypes about older employees are present across industries and they are particularly strong in technology-related jobs. They can hinder cooperation and team processes, which are of utmost importance in software development. This paper proposes and compares two interventions to reduce age stereotypes in software development. An awareness-based intervention was conducted on-the job, as a quasi-experiment with 56 participants. A cooperation-based workshop was conducted as a field experiment with 74 employees. Both types of interventions reduced bias in performance and innovation expectations favoring middle-aged over older employees. The reduction in biases held by developers was particularly strong. Only the cooperation-based intervention reduced bias toward both older and younger employees. This intervention led to a long-term (six months) reduction in bias, regarding developer performance expectations. The study extends the diversity training literature in establishing causal, long-term effects for age stereotype reduction in the field. Furthermore, it contributes to the literature by indicating that contact hypothesis can not only be applied to reduce age stereotypes toward older but also toward younger employees. ... mehr

DOI: 10.1016/j.jss.2016.07.041
Zitationen: 22
Web of Science
Zitationen: 18
Zitationen: 21
Zugehörige Institution(en) am KIT Fakultät für Wirtschaftswissenschaften – Institut für Informationswirtschaft und Marketing (IISM)
Karlsruhe Service Research Institute (KSRI)
Publikationstyp Zeitschriftenaufsatz
Publikationsjahr 2016
Sprache Englisch
Identifikator ISSN: 0164-1212, 1873-1228
KITopen-ID: 1000057796
Erschienen in The journal of systems and software
Verlag Elsevier
Band 121
Seiten 1-15
Schlagwörter Diversity training; Age stereotypes; Bias; Performance expectations; Innovation expectations; Software development
Nachgewiesen in Scopus
Web of Science
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