Date of Award


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (College of Business)

Schools and Centres


First Supervisor

Professor Helene de Burgh-Woodman


This thesis investigates the effects of perceived age discrimination in employment practices on Australian professional men. It commences by outlining the global setting of the age discrimination phenomenon, and then draws attention to the myths and stereotypes that have engendered this unsavoury, often hidden, form of discrimination by focusing on the attitudes of recruitment agencies, private and government employers and older workers themselves. The thesis examines the literature on the multiple negative effects of discrimination, and then presents the method used, the personal interviews, the analysis and findings, and finally, the conclusion.

There is limited ethnographic research into the psychological impact and effects of the phenomenon of age discrimination, specifically on professional men. This thesis is the outcome of a set of interviews with Australian men who elicit and promote their own voice as they perceive their circumstances. As the author, I have presented considerable evidence and have contributed my own history, resulting in a reflexive autoethnography.

The research reveals that actual or perceived age discrimination is a stressor which may induce negative effects on an array of issues linked to employment. Examples of these include health and well-being, power, prestige, and affective, normative, and continuance commitment. These, in turn, produce emotional consequences such as depression, shame, frustration, unhappiness, and self-esteem issues. However, these cannot be viewed in isolation as the effects of these also touch family, the workplace, and wider society.

Included in

Business Commons