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Mature age job seekers: the role of proactivity

Hannes Zacher (School of Psychology, The University of Queensland, Brisbane, Australia)
Angelika Bock (Department of Psychology, Ludwig-Maximilians-University, Munich, Germany)

Journal of Managerial Psychology

ISSN: 0268-3946

Article publication date: 4 November 2014

Abstract

Purpose

In the context of demographic and economic changes, helping mature age job seekers find employment is imperative. The purpose of this paper is to examine mature age job seekers’ proactive personality as a moderator of the relationship between age and job search intensity; and to examine job search self-efficacy as a mediator of this moderation effect. It was hypothesized that the generally negative relationships between age and job search self-efficacy and intensity are weaker among job seekers with a more proactive personality.

Design/methodology/approach

In total, 188 job seekers between 40 and 64 years completed an online questionnaire. Data were analyzed using structural equation modeling.

Findings

Consistent with previous research, age was negatively related to job search intensity. Proactive personality was positively related to job search intensity and moderated the relationship between age and job search intensity. Extending previous research, proactive personality also positively predicted job search self-efficacy and moderated the relationship between age and job search self-efficacy which, in turn, positively predicted job search intensity.

Research limitations/implications

Potential limitations of the study include the cross-sectional design, sample selectivity, and the omission of possibly important control variables.

Practical implications

Practitioners, organizations, and societies concerned with helping mature age job seekers find employment could provide additional support to those with a less proactive personality and low job search self-efficacy.

Originality/value

This study extends previous research by showing that mature age job seekers’ job search self-efficacy mediates the moderating effect of proactive personality on the relationship between age and job search intensity.

Keywords

Citation

Zacher, H. and Bock, A. (2014), "Mature age job seekers: the role of proactivity", Journal of Managerial Psychology, Vol. 29 No. 8, pp. 1082-1097. https://doi.org/10.1108/JMP-05-2012-0158

Publisher

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Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2014, Emerald Group Publishing Limited