Table of Contents

Handbook of Research on Sustainable Careers

Handbook of Research on Sustainable Careers

Research Handbooks in Business and Management series

Edited by Ans De Vos and Beatrice I.J.M. van der Heijden

What is a sustainable career and how can individuals and organizations develop pathways that lead to them? With current levels of global unemployment and the need for life-long learning and employability enhancement these questions assume a pressing significance. With twenty-eight chapters from leading scholars, the Handbook of Research on Sustainable Careers makes an important contribution to our understanding of sustainable careers and lays the foundation for the direction of future research.

Chapter 18: Older workers and sustainable late careers: job characteristic effects

Sara Zaniboni, Franco Fraccaroli and Donald M. Truxillo

Subjects: business and management, human resource management, organisational behaviour, strategic management


Recent demographic changes are heavily influencing workforce composition, challenging older people to be more flexible in terms of postponing their retirement. Moreover, career paths have changed dramatically over recent decades, and late-career workers need to take responsibility for the nature and course of their careers. Numerous processes and factors can lead individuals to efficient and satisfying adjustments to aging-related changes, promoting successful aging at work. However, there is little empirical and theoretical work on factors that affect late career outcomes, and with the aging of the workforce we need a deeper understanding of these aspects. This chapter makes a contribution in this direction. We describe the socio-demographic changes that drive the need for greater and more flexible participation of older workers in the job market, and a redefinition of the career path during the worker lifespan. Theories related to careers of older workers are considered, followed by an examination of different factors that can play an important role in late career paths. In particular, we illustrate the role of job characteristics and related organizational interventions that can reinforce the creation of more sustainable careers for the older workforce.

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