Age, forgiveness, and meeting behavior: A multilevel study

E.-M. Schulte, N.K. Lehmann-Willenbrock, S. Kauffeld

    Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review


    Purpose: This paper aims to examine the effects of age on counteractive team meeting behaviors (e.g. complaining). Forgiveness is included as a potential buffer against these behaviors. A multilevel model is developed to test individual and team level age effects. Design/methodology/approach: A total of 313 employees nested in 54 teams completed a forgiveness questionnaire and were videotaped during regular team meetings. Findings: Multilevel modeling revealed that both individual age and average team age predicted counteractive team meeting behavior. Team level age diversity was linked to decreased counteractive behavior. Forgiveness moderated the negative link between individual age (but not team average age) and counteractive behavior. Research limitations/implications: This is the first study examining age effects in the context of counteractive meeting behavior. Although the authors' findings need to be substantiated in further research, they show that older team members engage in significantly more counteractive communication - forgiveness can help alleviate this effect. Practical implications: Teams with older team members should be sensitized to avoid counteractive behavior. Moreover, team composition should target high age diversity. Managerial interventions should also aim to facilitate forgiveness in the work environment, especially among older team members. Originality/value: Research on dysfunctional team meeting behavior is sparse, and the role of age effects has not been examined in this context. The authors identify a significant link between age and counteractive meeting behavior. This multilevel model shows differential effects of individual age, team average age, and age diversity on counteractive communication. Furthermore, a buffer against these dysfunctional behaviors is identified: forgiveness. © Emerald Group Publishing Limited.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)928-949
    JournalJournal of Managerial Psychology
    Issue number7
    Publication statusPublished - 2013


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