Older Workers in an Ageing Society
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Older Workers in an Ageing Society

Critical Topics in Research and Policy

Edited by Philip Taylor

Prolonging working lives is high on the agenda of policy makers in most of the world’s major industrialized nations. This book explains how they are keen to tackle issues associated with the ageing of populations, namely the funding of pension systems and predictions concerning a dwindling labour supply. Yet the recent history of older workers has primarily been one of premature exit from the labour force in the form of redundancy or early retirement. Add to this a previously plentiful supply of younger labour and it is clear that much of industry will be unprepared for the challenges of ageing workforces.
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Chapter 10: Restyling human resources management of older information technology workers in an environment of daunting risk

Elizabeth Brooke


This chapter considers the application of human resources management (HRM) theory and concepts to the employment of older workers in small to medium-sized information technology (IT) firms. It asks whether these theories are still adequate as the nature of IT business changes and global competition for labour intensifies. New human resources management theories are facilitating expedient, just-in-time flexible workforces as underpinnings of these IT firms, which include new HRM theorists of the new economy (see Castells, 2000; Carnoy, 2000; Benner, 2002). This chapter is based on findings of case studies of small and medium-sized information technology firms in Australia and Canada, which formed part of an international study, ‘Workforce Ageing in the New Economy’(WANE) funded by the Canadian Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC) in 2002–06.

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