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A model of older workers' intentions to continue working

Kate Shacklock (Department of Employment Relations and Human Resources, Griffith Business School, Brisbane, Australia)
Yvonne Brunetto (School of Commerce and Management, Southern Cross University, Sydney, Australia)

Personnel Review

ISSN: 0048-3486

Article publication date: 8 February 2011




This study aims to conceptualise the notion of “older workers' intentions to continue paid working” (OWICW) and to validate a scale for measuring the impact of work‐related factors on older workers' intentions to continue in employment.


The theoretical framework for this investigation was the meaning of working (MOW) model. The study uses a cross‐sectional, survey‐based, self‐report strategy to gather data.


The findings were that OWICW is a function not only of factors previously tested (health and financial factors), but also of four work‐related variables – the importance of working to the individual, the flexibility of working arrangements, the individual's interests outside of work, plus management and organisational factors (such as supervision, bureaucracy and the work environment).

Practical implications

The implications of these findings include providing a framework to begin addressing the challenge of retaining valued older workers so as to attend to the growing shortage of labour across OECD countries.


This paper extends the Meaning of Work model to explain the impact of work‐related factors on the intentions of older workers to continue in employment, and at the individual level of analysis.



Shacklock, K. and Brunetto, Y. (2011), "A model of older workers' intentions to continue working", Personnel Review, Vol. 40 No. 2, pp. 252-274.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2011, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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