Why Young Bosses Shouldn’t Listen to Their Elders

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Illustration: Kagan McLeod

Younger managers—those ages 23 to 48—face rejection by subordinates over their age, finds a new study conducted by researchers at the University of Amsterdam and Jacobs University Bremen, and published in the Journal of Organizational Behaviour.

In a field study of 83 teams of 690 individuals led by young leaders, some miffed subordinates actually opted to resign rather than keep working under their less-aged superiors, creating a negative environment in the organization at large. So it’s important for less grey-haired managers to earn the acceptance of the group—one wrong move, and you could be held responsible for the loss of long-serving and well-liked colleagues

The solution? Whippersnappers shouldn’t involve underlings in decision-making, say researchers, as it hurts their status further. Instead, offer praise for their work—after the fact.

This article is from the June 2016 issue of Canadian Business. Subscribe now!

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