The IUP Journal of Organizational Behavior
IBM's Desperate Bid to Create Younger Organization Big Blue's Woes with Age Discrimination

Article Details
Pub. Date : October, 2021
Product Name : The IUP Journal of Organizational Behavior
Product Type : Article
Product Code : IJOB281021
Author Name : K B S Kumar* and Indu Perepu
Availability : YES
Subject/Domain : Arts & Humanities
Download Format : PDF Format
No. of Pages : 14

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Abstract

In 2018, US-based multinational information technology company International Business Machines Corporation (IBM) faced a series of lawsuits filed by former employees. These lawsuits accused IBM of discriminating against the employees who were over 40 years old, in order to make way for new talent and tech-savvy millennials in the workforce. The case explains the different ways that IBM used to target older employees and discriminated against them. With many employees approaching the courts and senior personnel testifying to the deep-rooted age discrimination prevailing in the company, IBM's future course of action remained uncertain. The verdict in these cases would have wider repercussions for the aging employees and age-related discrimination not only in the US but across the world.


Introduction

When people look at IBM, we're blue and we are 100 years old. So it is a question of in the eyes of people coming to join the organization, how do we show IBM as a different place to the one they have in their mind? One way to show millennials that IBM was not 'an old fuddy duddy organization' was to make itself appear 'as [a] cool, trendy organization' like Google and Amazon. To do that, IBM set out to slough off large portions of its older workforce using rolling layoffs over the course of several years.3 These were the words of Alan Wild (Wild), former vice president of HR at the US-based multinational technology company International Business Machines Corporation (IBM).


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