Value of Age Diversity – Declarations and Practice in Polish Organizations
The present article relates to management of age diverse teams in organisations and enterprises located in Poland. Managing diversity is an active and conscious process leading not only to a lack of discriminatory conduct but above all to making full use of the potential of the team. The potential resulting from the diversity of knowledge, skills and experience. The diversity of the age of the team members is in fact a differentiation of this exact type, which in addition allows for not only using but also transferring unique competences and rich experience. Past studies promoting age diversity management often emphasized the need to implement such solutions due to ‘demographic coercion’. Without denying the consequences of demographic changes, the present study focuses not on necessity (weak age management practices) but on the possibility to use the diversity of the team to achieve the goals of the organization (strong age management practices). The need for such research is often emphasized in the literature (Kunze, Boehm and Bruch, 2011, 2013; Bieling, Stock and Dorozalla, 2015) The main aim of the study presented in this article was to examine the awareness of the value of age diversity among the human resources management professionals employed by enterprises and organizations located in Poland, as well as to confront it with the actual activities related to management of age diverse teams in these organizations. The test results indicate that, while most respondents declare their awareness of the value of age diverse teams, they are definitely less likely to implement actual activities related to the management of such teams. It can therefore be concluded that the most common form of management in this area is weak age diversity management practice characterized by only fulfilling legal requirements related to non-discrimination.