Perceptions of age discrimination in hotel employment

Rights statement
Awarding institution
  • University of Strathclyde
Date of award
  • 2008
Thesis identifier
  • T11916
Qualification Level
Qualification Name
Department, School or Faculty
  • Age discrimination is regarded by many individuals and organizations to be a problem. Indeed, the UK government has stated that it is "bad for the individual, bad for business and bad for the economy". However, relatively little research has been undertaken into age discrimination. To address this lack of research, this thesis investigates age discrimination in the workplace with a focus on hotel employment in Ireland and the UK. The study reports on evidence from a survey regarding managers' perceptions of older workers and from thirty three interviews with older employees and HR managers in the UK and Ireland. Despite the paucity of research and literature concerning age discrimination in hotel employment, there is a wide range of research and literature regarding age discrimination in the workplace and organisational employment policies and practices. In terms of workplace equality, four major types of social justice are examined: relative deprivation, distributive justice, procedural justice and retributive justice. Furthermore, liberal, radical and managing diversity approaches to equality are investigated and theories to ageing analysed. Human resource management policies and practices, especially in relation to the hospitality industry, are examined as these may perpetuate and legitimise age discrimination. The main findings from this thesis suggest that major differences exist in the age diversity of a hotel's workforce with older workers being under-represented in certain properties. Moreover, a number of organizational employment policies and practices were found to potentially disadvantage older workers and HR managers in the UK and Ireland possessed a poor knowledge of workplace equality initiatives. The varied experiences of older employees themselves highlight the heterogeneous nature of this group. The majority of older workers stated that, with some reservations, they felt they were treated fairly by management but a lack of IT skills, in particular, limited development opportunities for older workers.
Resource Type
Date Created
  • 2008
Former identifier
  • 769469