Research Handbooks in Business and Management series
Edited by Ans De Vos and Beatrice I.J.M. van der Heijden
Chapter 18: Older workers and sustainable late careers: job characteristic effects
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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