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Article
Publication date: 21 September 2021

Valerie Egdell, Gavin Maclean, Robert Raeside and Tao Chen

For many nations, their workforces are ageing. The purpose of this paper is to explore the concerns and attitudes of employers to employing older workers and what…

Abstract

Purpose

For many nations, their workforces are ageing. The purpose of this paper is to explore the concerns and attitudes of employers to employing older workers and what information they require.

Design/methodology/approach

A questionnaire survey of workplaces was undertaken in the Fife region of Scotland, which in economic and demographic terms is representative of wider Scotland and other nations in Northern Europe. Descriptive analysis was undertaken to give insight into concerns and actions taken regarding ageing workforces.

Findings

Most workplaces perceive more advantages to employing older workers than challenges. Many have adapted training and work practices, but many have not. The majority surveyed believe that existing policies and strategies are sufficient. This points to the need for national and local government and employer associations to become more active to persuade workplaces to better manage future workplaces.

Research limitations/implications

Generalisability is problematic and the small sample restricted the scope of statistical analysis.

Practical implications

The authors were unable to judge the severity of how an ageing workforce impacts on workplace performance, as employers found it difficult to conceptualise and identify the impact of ageing from market and economic pressures.

Social implications

Resulting from population ageing the workforce of many societies are becoming older, this will impact on workplace relations and the social identity of those over the age of 50 years.

Originality/value

Little research has been undertaken to assess workplaces awareness of, and how to adapt to, an ageing workforce, and research is required to inform and guide management strategy of employers.

Details

International Journal of Sociology and Social Policy, vol. ahead-of-print no. ahead-of-print
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0144-333X

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Book part
Publication date: 1 August 2017

Catherine Earl, Philip Taylor, Chris Roberts, Patrick Huynh and Simon Davis

Population ageing, coupled with economic uncertainty and a shifting workforce structure, has directed the attention of public and organizational policy makers toward the…

Abstract

Population ageing, coupled with economic uncertainty and a shifting workforce structure, has directed the attention of public and organizational policy makers toward the potential contribution of older workers and skilled migrants in meeting labor supply shortages in ageing populations. This chapter presents labor supply and demand scenarios for 10 OECD countries and examines trends in the labor force participation of older workers against the backdrop of changes to the nature of work in an era of globalization, casualization, and, increasingly, automation. Brief analysis of each country’s situation and policy responses indicates that China, Japan, and Korea stand out as being at particular risk of being unable to maintain growth without undertaking drastic action, although their areas of focus need to differ. A limitation of the study is that GDP projections used in labor demand analysis were based on historical rates and represented past potential and a long-run average of historic economic output. Future research might also undertake comparative analysis of case studies addressing different potential solutions to workforce ageing. A key implication of the study is that there is a need to take a blended approach to public policy regarding older workers in a changing labor market. Where migration has historically been a source of labor supplementation, this may become a less viable avenue over the near future. Future shortfalls in labor imply that economies will increasingly need to diversify their sources of workers in order to maintain economic growth. For public policy makers the challenge will be to overcome public antipathy to migration and longer working lives.

Details

Age Diversity in the Workplace
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78743-073-0

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Article
Publication date: 1 February 2005

Bradley Jorgensen

This paper aims to investigate a workforce policy response to the ageing workforce, emerging social and demographic trends, ongoing and rapid change, the growth in

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to investigate a workforce policy response to the ageing workforce, emerging social and demographic trends, ongoing and rapid change, the growth in complexity and the changing nature of work.

Design/methodology/approach

The main method for constructing this paper is analysis of selected texts rather than the more conventional empirical studies. The approach is that of scenario construction, guided by the criteria established by Nowotny et al. Evidence is gathered of emergent trends that affect management practices and structures now and in the foreseeable future. These trends are identified and woven into a commentary that links them in a focus on the priorities for Australian organizations.

Findings

The findings from this research suggest that “command‐based” management structures of the bureaucracy, given emergent trends, present as an impediment to organizational success. Rather, a workforce policy reform agenda for both understanding and managing noted historical conditions in a coherent way is proposed.

Practical implications

The conclusions of this paper are significant for large organizations faced with the dynamism of the modern era and the difficulties associated with emerging demographic and social trends. They suggest a workforce policy reform agenda for both understanding and managing these historical conditions in a coherent way.

Originality/value

This paper deals with a topic that is exercising policy makers in all the developed economies. It offers practical advice to assist the development of workforce policy to better manage emergent trends.

Details

Foresight, vol. 7 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1463-6689

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Article
Publication date: 3 October 2016

Nnamdi O. Madichie and Margaret Nyakang’o

The purpose of this paper is to investigate the need for a Strategic Workforce Plan (SWP) in a public sector organization (PSO) confronting an ageing workforce situation.

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to investigate the need for a Strategic Workforce Plan (SWP) in a public sector organization (PSO) confronting an ageing workforce situation.

Design/methodology/approach

The study is based upon an action research protocol with a view to initiating change through SWP developed in-house at a PSO that is arguably the custodian of workplace diversity.

Findings

The findings reveal a general consensus on the ageing workforce challenges at the PSO requiring the need to revisit the status quo on the recruitment and retention strategies as well as succession planning and talent management practices within the organization.

Research limitations/implications

The study highlights the case of a PSO that has set about addressing the workplace demographic challenge by involving employees to become more reflexive in their engagement within the organization, which serves the dual purpose of “custodian” and “role model” for the country.

Originality/value

The challenge of an ageing workforce is not common occurrence in developing countries such as Kenya. However the manifestations of this unusual occurrence, and attempts to “nip things in the bud”, using an internally generated SWP with a view to changing the status quo is a demonstration of organizational learning and employee buy-in.

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Book part
Publication date: 7 November 2017

Alan Beazley, Chris Ball and Kate Vernon

Ageing demographics are impacting employers around the world and, for many organisations, there are strong business reasons to develop strategies for managing the age…

Abstract

Ageing demographics are impacting employers around the world and, for many organisations, there are strong business reasons to develop strategies for managing the age profiles of their workplaces. Societal ageing is not necessarily bad news for business: older workers can be a valuable resource for employers in terms of skills, in-house knowledge and flexibility. Further, as populations age, businesses are delivering goods and services to an ageing market, and older workers can be a valuable resource. While ageing demographics can provide opportunities for the business community, there are significant challenges facing employers. For example, balancing the career interests and expectations of older and younger workers will necessitate new approaches to workforce planning, performance management and team building. As skilled workers become more scarce, employers need to also find ways to make better use of the talents and capabilities of older unemployed people. This chapter is written by representatives of employer networks in Europe and Asia. We discuss innovative approaches to age diversity of organisations on both continents. These include approaches to phased retirement, lifelong learning, flexible retirement and mentoring. In the final section, we suggest a research agenda which will generate practical knowledge for businesses which want to better manage workplace ageing. A business-focused research agenda includes improving the understanding of generations in the East and West, the intersection of age and other forms of diversity, lifelong learning, joblessness and providing the business case for businesses of different forms.

Details

Managing the Ageing Workforce in the East and the West
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78714-639-6

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Article
Publication date: 1 May 1997

P. Ekamper

The population of The Netherlands will, as in other industrialized countries, continue to age in the coming decades. So far, the working‐age population has not been…

Abstract

The population of The Netherlands will, as in other industrialized countries, continue to age in the coming decades. So far, the working‐age population has not been affected, but the ageing process is set to leave its mark on the labour force in the next 25 years. An ageing labour force and possible future policy measures in this area will have important repercussions for individual organizations. Research into future trends has shown that the percentage of people aged over 50 in public service will increase from 15 per cent in 1995 to 35 per cent in 2010. Policy measures aimed at stimulating the labour force participation of the elderly will boost this percentage even further. The elderly employees not only hold the highest positions, but also they withdraw from the workforce in limited numbers. Unless the number of jobs is increased, opportunities for promotion and entry into the Civil Service are likely to decline. The only way to counteract an ageing workforce ‐ even if only to a limited degree ‐ is to encourage the retirement of elderly employees and/or to significantly boost the number of jobs within the organization. Such measures would run counter to current political trends. An alternative would be to reassess the position of the elderly within the organization.

Details

International Journal of Manpower, vol. 18 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0143-7720

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Article
Publication date: 4 February 2014

Iiris Aaltio, Hanna Maria Salminen and Sirpa Koponen

The purpose of this study is to identify the different research strands concerning studies related to human resource management (HRM) and ageing employees. More…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this study is to identify the different research strands concerning studies related to human resource management (HRM) and ageing employees. More specifically, the paper analyses how age and gender are understood and conceptualized in these studies.

Design/methodology/approach

An integrative literature review concerning ageing employees and HRM with special reference to gender is the approach taken in this paper.

Findings

Recent studies relating to HRM and ageing employees were categorized and analysed. The paper concludes that there is a need for a more holistic understanding of the concept of age in studies related to ageing employees and HRM and also argues that the intersection of age and gender is under-researched in the field of HRM.

Practical implications

Based on literature review the paper outlined directions for how gender-neutral age management studies may be extended. A pluralist understanding of age and gender would help to understand the different needs and expectations that ageing employees may have in terms of HR practices and policies. Institutional practices and legislation can promote equality, but organizational contexts, both internal and external, should be scanned in order to recognize possible ageist or age-blind practices. Ageing women in particular have the burden of being recognized in terms of chronological stereotyped changes that might damage their work and career.

Originality/value

Research on ageing employees and HRM with special reference to gender is limited and therefore an integrative literature review is needed.

Details

Equality, Diversity and Inclusion: An International Journal, vol. 33 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2040-7149

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Article
Publication date: 22 February 2008

Bradley Jorgensen and Philip Taylor

The purpose of this paper is to assess risks and prospects for older workers and to provide a number of recommendations designed to marshal the interests of employees

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to assess risks and prospects for older workers and to provide a number of recommendations designed to marshal the interests of employees, business and government.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper examines the terrain of competing interests and dynamic complexities of workforce ageing, by elaborating on the topic of economic globalisation, the policy approaches adopted by government, the actions taken by industry and the working and life preferences of older workers.

Findings

In the absence of a deep understanding of the current relationship between demographic ageing, the labour market and economic globalisation, the policy aspirations of government face the prospect of limited success. The currently popular premise, that ageing populations go hand‐in‐hand with ageing workforces, appears to be contradicted by much of the available evidence, which points to rather more complex scenarios, in which outcomes are uncertain, but clearly where late career workers may not necessarily fare well.

Originality/value

The paper brings analysis to the area of ageing populations and the labour market in the context of globalization – a complex and important topic that is usually dealt with far too simply.

Details

Foresight, vol. 10 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1463-6689

Keywords

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Book part
Publication date: 7 November 2017

Matt Flynn, Yuxin Li and Anthony Chiva

There has been a growing interest amongst academics, researchers employers and governments/policymakers on ageing workplaces and workforces. As populations age and pension…

Abstract

There has been a growing interest amongst academics, researchers employers and governments/policymakers on ageing workplaces and workforces. As populations age and pension ages rise, older workers are finding themselves having to delay or postpone their retirement and organisations are looking for ways to enable them to do so in sustainable work. Workplace ageing is impacting both European and Asian societies and governments and employers are taking nationally specific approaches to age-related human resource management, social and public policies. In Europe, national governments are being led by the European Union in developing social and public policies to support older workers in maintaining employment through lifelong learning, flexible working, health management and job rotation. Tiger economies have focused on the ‘working pensioner’ pension rules which enable older workers to phase into retirement. China is facing rapid ageing but still maintains early retirement as a way to help older workers move out of physically and mentally demanding work. In addition to providing an outline for the remainder of the book, we also present a survey of older employees undertaken in the United Kingdom and Hong Kong which explores experiences in work, workplace relationships, skills and retirement plans. The survey is used as a common resource for the remaining chapters.

Details

Managing the Ageing Workforce in the East and the West
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78714-639-6

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 9 May 2016

Silvia Angeloni and Elio Borgonovi

Although the world is rapidly ageing, the alarming explosion of youth unemployment seems to have removed the workforce ageing issue as a priority from the policy agenda…

Abstract

Purpose

Although the world is rapidly ageing, the alarming explosion of youth unemployment seems to have removed the workforce ageing issue as a priority from the policy agenda. The purpose of this paper is to test and investigate the main needs and willingness to work among the older population, as well as the main advantages for organizations employing older workers.

Design/methodology/approach

The main research objectives were: first, to explore the effect of demographic and socio-economic predictors on an older person’s intention to work; and second, to focus on the main advantages that should induce organizations to retain older workers in their workplace. The paper is based on a survey and an interdisciplinary review of the literature.

Findings

The study indicated that educational level led to improved active behaviours in the labour market. In other words, people who obtained a higher level of education showed a greater likelihood to desire a prolongation of working life, while lower educational attainment may have lessened the willingness and capacity of older people to remain in the workforce. The main benefits for organizations with older workers are highlighted.

Research limitations/implications

The survey has a number of limitations: the sample is small and was completed with reference to a single country, making it difficult to generalize results beyond this country study; the questionnaire relied solely on a few areas, while it would be better to gather additional information; the survey only targeted retired people, while it would have been interesting to also collect answers from workers nearing retirement. The association between individuals’ educational levels and their intention to work in later life suggests that continued development of educational programmes for workers could favour greater retention in the workplace.

Practical implications

As the ageing population is an increasing phenomenon, the participation of older people in the labour force and lifelong learning should become commonplace in the perspective of a more equitable society. The main challenge is to rethink retirement, by abolishing the mandatory retirement age and by providing more flexible work options.

Social implications

Changes in national system and corporate strategies are required to meet the economic challenges of ageing populations.

Originality/value

This study advances research on age management because it provided evidence that educational background plays a fundamental role in determining the willingness to return to work. In addition, the paper proposes a new integrated approach of sustainable social change.

Details

Journal of Management Development, vol. 35 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0262-1711

Keywords

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