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The influence of age-awareness versus general HRM practices on the retirement decision of older workers

Sophie HENNEKAM (ESC La Rochelle School of Business)
Olivier Herrbach (University of Bordeaux 4, Pessac, France)

Personnel Review

ISSN: 0048-3486

Article publication date: 2 February 2015

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to examine the perception of HRM practices and the retirement decision of older workers with a low occupational status in the creative industry in the Netherlands using social identity theory.

Design/methodology/approach

In total, 30 semi-structured in-depth interviews were conducted by telephone. The sample consisted of workers with a low occupational status, aged 50 or above, in the creative industry in the Netherlands, all member of the trade union of this industry.

Findings

The relationship between HRM practices and retirement decisions is complex and contradictory. In line with social identity theory, it was found that HRM practices designed for older workers were perceived as a stamp that they belonged to a devalued social group. However, they do want organizations to accommodate their needs, but in a way that they do not feel to require special attention.

Originality/value

The findings show that older workers want organizations to adapt the workplace to their needs, but that the provision of age-specific practices could prevent them from constructing a positive social identity. HR practices can only make older workers extend their working lives if they are provided to all workers regardless occupational status or age.

Keywords

Citation

HENNEKAM, S. and Herrbach, O. (2015), "The influence of age-awareness versus general HRM practices on the retirement decision of older workers", Personnel Review, Vol. 44 No. 1, pp. 3-21. https://doi.org/10.1108/PR-01-2014-0031

Publisher

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Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2015, Emerald Group Publishing Limited