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Happily ever after? Explaining turnover and retirement intentions of older workers in The Netherlands

Maria Münderlein (Department of Sociology, Faculty of Social Science, Erasmus University Rotterdam, Rotterdam, The Netherlands)
Jan F. Ybema (TNO Work & Employment, Hoofddorp, The Netherlands)
Ferry Koster (Department of Sociology, Faculty of Social Science, Erasmus University Rotterdam, Rotterdam, The Netherlands)

Career Development International

ISSN: 1362-0436

Article publication date: 25 November 2013

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Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to provide an empirical test of theories proposed in the literature stating that turnover and retirement (two kinds of work withdrawal) involve different employee decisions. It also aims to provide a more general theoretical framework understanding turnover and retirement intentions integrating insights from different theories.

Design/methodology/approach

Research hypotheses are tested using the Study on Transitions in Employment, Ability and Motivation (STREAM). This dataset includes information from approximately 15,000 respondents in The Netherlands. Respondents between the age of 45 and 64 were the target group in order to model transitions in the labor market for older workers. This dataset provides a unique opportunity to test turnover and retirement intentions.

Findings

First, the results show that personal characteristics such as income, age or health, add more to the explanation of retirement intentions compared to turnover intentions and that work characteristics provide a better explanation of the turnover intention compared to retirement intention. Second, by focusing more closely on retirement intentions, the results show that organizational motivators can increase older workers' labor market participation.

Research limitations/implications

First, it is acknowledged that the study investigates intentions rather than actual behavior. Second, given that the data are cross sectional, we cannot make claims about causality. Finally, some of the measures can be improved in future studies.

Originality/value

This paper aims at integrating different perspectives on two kinds of work withdrawal (turnover and retirement) into one theoretical model.

Keywords

Acknowledgements

The authors would like to thank all colleagues of both the Erasmus University Rotterdam and TNO Work & Employment, who commented on earlier versions of this paper. Financial support from Stichting Instituut GAK is gratefully acknowledged.

Citation

Münderlein, M., F. Ybema, J. and Koster, F. (2013), "Happily ever after? Explaining turnover and retirement intentions of older workers in The Netherlands", Career Development International, Vol. 18 No. 6, pp. 548-568. https://doi.org/10.1108/CDI-01-2013-0004

Publisher

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Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2013, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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