Hours invested in professional development during late career as a function of career motivation and satisfaction

Martin M. Greller (Milano – The New School for Management and Urban Policy, New York, New York, USA)

Career Development International

ISSN: 1362-0436

Publication date: 1 October 2006



The study was undertaken to determine and understand the career investment behavior of workers in late career (ages 50‐70).


The common wisdom, supported by economic theory, is that human capital investments in late career workers are of negligible value. Yet, recent evidence suggests that older workers do invest in their own careers, despite barriers. Questionnaires, collected from 450 college‐educated men from age 23 to 70, measured hours invested in professional development and in maintaining work‐relevant social networks, age, job satisfaction, and career motivation.


The study found that age was not a factor in the hours spent on professional development and business networking. Career motivation was associated with the hours invested. The association was as strong for people in late career as for younger workers.

Research limitations/implications

As the factors influencing investment during late career appear to be similar to those operating at other ages, further research is needed on the job and personal circumstances that stimulate career motivation in late career workers.

Practical implications

Those who counsel older workers should help them assess and communicate the value of their human capital investments.


The paper identifies key variables for career continuity applying practical outcome measures not previously used.



Greller, M. (2006), "Hours invested in professional development during late career as a function of career motivation and satisfaction", Career Development International, Vol. 11 No. 6, pp. 544-559. https://doi.org/10.1108/13620430610692944

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Copyright © 2006, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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