56 Pages

Issue 1: Organizations and Teams Go Global

Demographic change is a pressing issue for many industrialized and developing countries today (Peeters & Groot, 2012). From an organizational perspective, the shrinking and aging of the population is most often discussed as a matter of a steady rise of the average age of the organizational workforce. Especially to practitioners in organizations, it is far less clear that the age diversity is also significantly increasing in many teams and departments. As already mentioned in the introductory chapter of this volume, there are multiple causes of growing age diversity in the workforce, including, for example, the phasing out of early retirement programs and increased longevity of workers. In Germany, for example, during the time period 1991-2011, those in the oldest age group (56-65 years) showed the greatest increase in workforce participation of all age groups, with participation in this oldest group more than doubling during the past 20 years (Garloff, Pohl, & Schanne, 2013). In contrast to earlier time periods when companies could solely rely on a homogenous youth-and middleaged-centered workforce, the trend toward a greater proportion of older workers, especially in the Western industrialized countries, requires that organizations and executives pay greater attention to developing effective strategies for integrating employees from all age groups in order to stay competitive.