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career research blog

The latest career research insights to grow your career

Filtering by Tag: older workers

Subjective life expectancy predicts retirement intentions

Noemi Nagy

Subjective life expectancy (SLE) is the age a person thinks they will live. Latest research from Australia examined whether SLE plays a role in retirement decisions of employees. The results of the 1-year longitudinal study show that SLE predicted intended retirement age and amount of retirement preparation. Furthermore, SLE predicted actual retirement a year later. People who expect to live longer, are apparently less motivated to retire early than those with shorter subjective life expectancy.

Griffin, B., Hesketh, B., & Loh, V. (2012). The influence of subjective life expectancy on retirement transition and planning: A longitudinal study. Journal of Vocational Behavior, 81(2), 129-137.

Unexpected correlates of bullying at work

Noemi Nagy

Organizations are expected to loose approximately 6 billion $ per year because of bullying, yet there is a lack of research that explains how bullying affects employees. A recent study from France showed that workplace bullying causes a psychological contract breach between employees and employers. This in turn leads to decreased job and life satisfaction. Interestingly, the effects were the strongest for older women. Female late career employees are at especially high risk for workplace bullying.

Kakarika, M., Gonzalez, H., & Dimitriades, Z. (2017). That wasn't our deal: A psychological contract perspective on employee responses to bullying. Journal of Vocational Behavior, 100, 43-55.

Generational differences at work might just be a cliché

Noemi Nagy

"I see no hope for the future of our people if they are dependent on the frivolous youth of today..." (Hesioud, 8th century BC).

The perception of generational differences at the workplace is likely as old as workplaces themselves. However, research evidence accumulates that generational differences are more likely stereotypes than actually existing differences. A study from the USA concluded that stereotypes serve as shortcuts for understanding the environment, and shortcuts are welcome in a busy world. Overall, however, there is no solid theoretical or empirical evidence supporting generationally based differences at work.

Constanza, D. P. & Finkelstein, L. M. (2015). Generationally Based Differences in the Workplace: Is There a There There?. Industrial and Organizational Psychology, 8, 308-323. doi:10.1017/iop.2015.15

Generation Gap might be an important resource for companies

Noemi Nagy

Older employees may be more resilient workers and able to help younger colleagues rattled by the economic crisis, according to a study by the Center on Aging & Work. While employees generally report a declining engagement at work in times of financial hardships, older workers were more resistant against such hardships compared to younger employees.

Pitt-Catsouphes, M., & Matz-Costa, C. (2008). The multi-generational workforce: Workplace flexibility and engagement. Community, work and Family11(2), 215-229.

Unemployed individuals over the age of 50 need to make more job applications

Claire Johnston

Older unemployed individuals still have a strong desire to work, but compared to younger unemployed workers, they make fewer job applications and search less intensively for a job. Older unemployed individuals may also limit their employment opportunities by expecting high wages according to a study conducted in Belgium. These results suggest that increasing job-search activities and adjusting salary expectations are useful strategies for older job seekers.

Journal of Vocational Behavior

Late-career employees need to take their careers in their own hands

Noemi Nagy

In order to maintain their health, motivation, and work ability, older employees should proactively manage their careers, as researchers from the Netherlands revealed in a recent study. The authors found that by changing tasks and relationships at work (so called job crafting) aging workers could adjust their jobs to their changing goals and motives, thus improving current as well as future person-job fit.

Kooij, D. T. (2015). Successful aging at work: The active role of employees. Work, Aging and Retirement1(4), 309-319.



Manager’s age plays an important role in discrimination against older workers

Noemi Nagy

Older workers are judged more positively by managers of similar age, according to a recent study from Italy. The age of an HR manager influences his/her attitudes towards older and younger workers. In the beforementioned study, HR managers judged workers close to their own age more favorably than other employees.

Principi, A., Fabbietti, P., & Lamura, G. (2015). Perceived qualities of older workers and age management in companies: Does the age of HR managers matter? Personnel Review44(5), 801-820.

You perform as old as you feel – not as old as you are

Noemi Nagy

Older employees who feel younger than their actual age have higher organizational performance outcomes, according to a study from Germany. The researchers conclude that subjective age - a psychological factor that can be influenced - plays a bigger part for a successful career than actual chronological age.

Kunze, F., Raes, A., & Bruch, H. (2014). Subjective Age in Organizations – Performance Consequences and Antecedents. In Academy of Management Proceedings, 2014(1), 12006.