تصمیم گیری برای کار بعد از بازنشستگی: نقش تجربه روانشناختی از افزایش سن
|کد مقاله||سال انتشار||مقاله انگلیسی||ترجمه فارسی||تعداد کلمات|
|23971||2014||10 صفحه PDF||سفارش دهید||6590 کلمه|
Publisher : Elsevier - Science Direct (الزویر - ساینس دایرکت)
Journal : Journal of Vocational Behavior, Volume 84, Issue 3, June 2014, Pages 215–224
Due to the graying of the global labor markets, post-retirement employment is becoming increasingly important in the 21st century. To better understand older people's decisions to engage in post-retirement employment, the current study investigated the role of the psychological experience of aging. Two dimensions that capture positive aging experience (i.e., personal growth and gaining self-knowledge) and two dimensions that capture negative aging experience (i.e., physical loss and social loss) were differentiated and their relations to post-retirement employment were hypothesized. We argue that aging experience may influence the decision to work after retirement by generating both, approach and avoidance responses. Longitudinal data from the German Aging Survey (N = 551) were used to test the hypotheses. The results of structural equation modeling indicated that retirees who experienced aging as social loss and as personal growth were more likely to engage in post-retirement employment a decade later, while retirees who experienced aging as gaining self-knowledge were less likely to engage in post-retirement employment. Theoretical and practical implications of this study are discussed.
Life expectancy has increased consistently for more than one century and continues to increase further (Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development [OECD], 2011). This has resulted in important shifts in the aging process because the years of healthy life (i.e., free from morbidity and disability) have also increased (Christensen, Doblhammer, Rau, & Vaupel, 2009). People remain fit and healthy longer than ever before. As a result, retirement from ordinary work life is no longer the time to withdraw from society, but rather a time when people now remain active. A key way that individuals remain active as they age is to continue employment. The rate of older people working in Germany has doubled over the last 10 years (e.g., labor force participation rate changed from 2001 to 2011 for people aged 60–64: 23.3% to 47.3%; 65–69: 5.4% to 10.2%; 70–74: 2.7% to 4.7%; 75 +: 0.9% to 1.4%; OECD, 2013). Prolonged health and longevity have improved the aging process and post-retirement employment has become a meaningful option for older people to use their time after ending their main employment. Post-retirement employment refers to paid work beyond mandatory or median retirement age as well as pension receiving state, including part-time jobs and self-employment (Shultz, 2003). It is part of an ongoing process of psychological detachment from work in which people experience a transition from labor force participation to complete retirement (Shultz, 2003 and Wang et al., 2009). Recently, the concept of retirement has been refined as a late career development stage, in which work activities may continue to play a central role (Kim and Hall, 2013, Shultz and Wang, 2011 and Wang and Shi, 2014). While many people still decide to directly withdraw from employment when leaving their career jobs, a growing number of individuals are taking part in work beyond retirement (Cahill et al., 2007, Deller and Pundt, 2014, Eurofound, 2012 and Wang et al., 2009). Post-retirement employment is of interest to individuals, organizations and society as a whole (Griffin & Hesketh, 2008). From the societal perspective, post-retirement employment offers a potential solution to pressing population concerns. Increased longevity and low birth rates are contributing to widespread demographic shifts which are likely to create imbalances between the decreasing working and the increasing retired populations (Beehr et al., 2000, Van Dalen et al., 2010 and Wang and Shi, 2014). Such imbalances impact the financial feasibility of social pension funds. As a result, many industrialized nations are increasingly interested in individuals continuing to work beyond retirement age in order to reduce retirees' dependency on social pension funds (Deller et al., 2009 and Müller et al., 2013). From the organizational perspective, the shrinking size of the labor force will result in vital skill shortages, leading organizations to be interested in post-retirement employment as a means to retain the skills and knowledge of experienced older workers (Mariappanadar, 2013 and Shultz and Wang, 2011). This retention of human capital, combined with the reduced burden on social pension funds, suggests that increased frequency of post-retirement employment will result in enormous economic benefits (Griffin & Hesketh, 2008). From the individual perspective, post-retirement employment appears to contribute to greater psychological well-being and life-satisfaction (e.g., Kim and Feldman, 2000, Wang, 2007 and Warr et al., 2004). Similarly, longitudinal research by Zhan, Wang, Liu, and Shultz (2009) demonstrated improved physical and mental health outcomes for employed retirees. Post-retirement employment may also be beneficial by providing a structured daily routine, supplemental income, and support during the transition and adjustment to retirement (Herzog et al., 1991 and Wang, 2007). While the potential individual, organizational and societal benefits of post-retirement employment are apparent, little is known about what factors lead individuals to pursue work after retiring (Griffin & Hesketh, 2008), especially the psychological factors, such as the aging experience (Dittmann-Kohli et al., 1997). Because post-retirement employment means to work when one is old, it is most obvious that the age itself is an important factor to one's decision to work or not to work post-retirement. Besides, with increasing age people experience positive and negative changes. New experiences are compared to the past, while prior experiences help to interpret upcoming events and to make decisions in the future, which influences individual's behaviors and actions (Bandura, 1986). The manner in which individuals experience the process of aging—their psychological aging experience—can influence their decisions about the future, including their choice to work after retirement. Although previous research has theorized that aging-related cognitions can shape people's behaviors and outcomes (e.g., Lerner and Busch-Rossnagel, 1981, Markus and Herzog, 1992, Steverink et al., 2001 and Wurm et al., 2007), there is no empirical research about how the aging experience shapes individuals' decisions about post-retirement employment. The few studies that have taken aging experience into account have concentrated either on health (Wurm et al., 2007) or on subjective well-being (Steverink et al., 2001). For this reason, the purpose of the present study is to investigate the decision to work after retirement and the role of the psychological experience of aging. In doing so, we emphasize two aims. First, we aim to investigate the psychological aging experience as a multidimensional construct, taking both positive and negative aging experiences into account. Previous research has mainly focused on positive aging experience that fosters positive outcomes and negative aging experience that fosters negative outcomes (e.g., Steverink et al., 2001 and Wurm et al., 2007). In this study, we propose two mechanisms that describe when positive and negative aging experiences foster post-retirement employment and when they hinder post-retirement employment, depending on the fit between the aging experience dimension and the outcome variable. The second aim is to examine post-retirement employment as an actual behavior. Heretofore, empirical studies have focused on individuals' intentions to work post-retirement (e.g., Lim and Feldman, 2003, Mariappanadar, 2013 and Weckerle and Shultz, 1999). Recently, Wöhrmann, Deller, and Wang (2013) have identified a decrease in physical demands and an increase in social support at work as key determinants of older worker's intention to work post-retirement. However, these studies were limited by examining post-retirement employment intentions rather than the actual behavior to work after retirement. In sum, to address the above-mentioned research gaps, the present study examines the relationship between different dimensions of the psychological aging experience and actual post-retirement employment using longitudinal data from the population-representative German Aging Survey.
نتیجه گیری انگلیسی
In the current paper, we examined four dimensions of aging experience (physical loss, social loss, personal growth, and gaining self-knowledge). Physical loss and social loss were two dimensions that capture negative aging experience; personal growth and gaining self-knowledge were two dimensions that capture positive aging experience. We controlled for age, gender, education, subjective health, subjective economic status, and the previous employment status. Among the control variables, retirees who previously worked and had better subjective health were more likely to engage in post-retirement employment. These findings were consistent with previous research (Griffin and Hesketh, 2008, Kim and Feldman, 2000 and Wang et al., 2008). We found no significant effects for age, gender, education and subjective economic status, though limited variance for education and economic status may be the cause of these null effects. Further, the age effect was likely eliminated by including the previous employment status to the model simultaneously. Both variables share common variance in explaining post-retirement employment, which reflects the retirement institution in Germany where the pension age is fixed by law. Regarding the aging experience, retirees who experienced aging as social loss were more likely to engage in post-retirement employment. Although social loss is a dimension that captures negative aging experience, an approach mechanism likely occurred because employment can provide social support among older people (Aquino et al., 1996). Retirees with more experience in this dimension are likely to engage in employment to compensate for their experienced loss of social contacts and feelings of being less needed. Further, we found that retirees who experienced their own aging process as personal growth were more likely to engage in post-retirement employment. This dimension describes a very positive view towards aging and is therefore likely to enhance positive outcomes (Wurm et al., 2007). Therefore, consistent with the approach mechanism we theorized, retirees with more experience in this dimension are likely to engage in employment to further expand their professional knowledge and skills. For these individuals, post-retirement employment serves as an instrument for further personal development. We also found that retirees who experienced their aging process as gaining self-knowledge were less likely to engage in post-retirement employment. Although gaining self-knowledge is a dimension that captures positive aging experience, an avoidance mechanism likely occurred because retirees with more aging experience in gaining self-knowledge may be more aware of their limitations, leading them to seek out activities where these limitations are not problematic. Additionally, non-work activities may afford more opportunities to continue self-discovery. As such, continuing working after retirement may prevent retirees in this dimension of aging experience from fully realizing the benefits of their aging process, leading them to avoid post-retirement employment. The current study did not find the hypothesized negative relationship between the experience of physical loss and post-retirement employment. Although the experience of physical loss was significantly and negatively related to post-retirement employment (r = − .12, p < .01), the results of the SEM did not show a significant effect above the included control variables and other predictors in the current study. This null effect is likely due to controlling for subjective health. Although the experience of physical loss refers to more than a decrease in health (i.e., being less energetic and fit), according to their correlation (r = − .22, p < .01), both variables might share common variance in predicting post-retirement employment. The incremental effect of other aspects of physical loss may not be strong enough to show a substantial influence on employment decisions. This finding is consistent with Wurm et al.'s (2007) suggestion that there is a reciprocal relationship between the experience of physical loss and health issues. 6.1. Theoretical and practical implications The results of the current study extend research on post-retirement employment. Although many individual attributes (i.e., demographic characteristics, health and financial circumstances, attitudes towards retirement, knowledge, skills, and abilities) that impact the retirement process have been considered in previous empirical studies (Shultz and Wang, 2011 and Wang and Shultz, 2010), research has largely overlooked how people's experiences with the ongoing process of aging impact retirement experiences and behaviors. The current study focused on this issue and provides some important theoretical and practical implications. Theoretically, the current study clearly distinguished four dimensions of aging experience and showed their different effects on post-retirement employment. Previous research has often relied on using subjective age identification (i.e. “How old do you feel?”) as a proxy for such aging experience, limiting researchers' ability to comprehensively assess what it means to grow old for retirees. Our findings suggest that ignoring the multidimensionality of aging experience may overlook the complex impact of the aging process on post-retirement activities, especially when different aging experiences may drive individuals to approach or avoid post-retirement employment. Our findings further extended previous research that showed positive aging experience fostered positive outcomes and negative aging experience fostered negative outcomes. In particular, we enriched previous theorizing associated with the impact of aging experience by proposing an approach mechanism and an avoidance mechanism depending on the opportunity for employment to meet individuals' needs during their aging process. Supporting this conceptualization, our findings suggest that an approach mechanism manifests when post-retirement employment supports an individual's positive aging experiences or relieve his or her negative aging experiences. In contrast, an avoidance mechanism may manifest when post-retirement employment is expected to prevent one from achieving positive aging experiences or lead to negative aging experiences. Overall, our findings highlight the importance of considering very specifically how retirees experience their own aging process in understanding their behavior to engage in post-retirement employment. Practically, our findings suggest that organizations that want their skilled workers to engage in post-retirement employment may have various options. First, the benefits of post-retirement employment should be promoted according to different aging experiences (e.g., promote the idea of social support at work and opportunities to develop). Second, when recruiting from internal human resources, organizations should concentrate on people who personally experience aging as personal growth. Managers should be educated in appropriate strategies to identify these individuals and encourage them to stay for post-retirement employment, such as by conducting pre-retirement interviews and helping individuals to form retirement plans. Third, organizations should design the work for older workers to enable personal development rather than stagnation and enable social exchange rather than isolation. When doing so, the individual needs and desires of older workers should be considered, as personal development is a unique process that differs from person to person according to their own professional experiences. The current study also suggests that local communities might benefit by implementing programs for newly (and nearly) retired people, in which exchange of aging experiences is promoted and opportunities to fulfill their individual needs are clarified. Post-retirement employment and its benefits should be promoted as one alternative to meaningfully use the time in retirement. Different possibilities and their concrete prospects to engage in post-retirement employment should be discussed (e.g., job platforms, self-employment). 6.2. Limitations and future research The current study had several limitations. Most of these limitations are directly related to the data used. First, the potential for selective drop-out, which is typical for longitudinal studies, may limit the generalizability of the study findings. However, Schöllgen, Huxhold, and Schmiedek (2012) have shown that the selectivity effects in the attrition over time in the German Aging Survey were quite weak. Second, the post-retirement employment participation rate among the study participants was low (8.4%, n = 46), which may lead to underestimation of the potential effects. The results of this study should thus be considered lower bound estimates for the influence of the aging experience on post-retirement employment decisions. Third, the longitudinal data were collected with a lag of twelve years. Within this large time interval, there might have been changes in aging experience and post-retirement work status, which could not be captured by the current study. A collection of longitudinal data with a shorter time interval can provide additional information regarding the dynamics of the behavior to engage in post-retirement employment. Fourth, large population surveys tend to face a bandwidth-measurement quality dilemma. By trying to accommodate a broad array of constructs of interests (wide bandwidth), the level of measurement quality in assessing those constructs may suffer. The four aging experience dimensions were measured with a four-item short scale each. Consequently, one dimension (i.e., gaining self-knowledge) had relatively lower reliability. Though the analysis methods used controlled for the downward-bias of unreliability on construct relationships, unreliable measurement still reduces the precision with which relationships can be estimated. Future research should focus on the measurement quality of aging experience by developing new items and improving scale reliabilities. Fifth, in the current study, post-retirement employment was investigated as a dichotomous variable. However, as pointed out by previous researchers (e.g., Davis, 2003 and Wang et al., 2008), post-retirement employment may include different types of employment (in the same career field vs. a different field) as well as different work hour schemes (part-time vs. full-time). The current study was not able to incorporate such fine-grained investigation on post-retirement employment types because either no relevant information was available in the data set or the resulted size of the subgroups was too small. As such, future research is needed to explore differentiated effects of aging experience regarding various types and work hour schemes of post-retirement employment. Sixth, the results are limited in generalizability because the data were based on a German sample only. Further research should take place in different cultural settings in order to sort out the potential effects of retirement and pension policy. Different theoretical approaches may be able to explain the relationship between psychological aging experience and post-retirement employment. For example, although contradictory to our current finding, retirees who experience aging as gaining self-knowledge may be more likely to engage in post-retirement employment because they are more knowledgeable about their strengths. Future research should explore the underlying mechanisms through which different antecedents influence post-retirement employment. Wöhrmann et al. (2013) have pointed out that outcome expectations are highly relevant for post-retirement planning activities. These outcome expectations might be very helpful in further conceptualizing and operationalizing the approach and avoidance mechanisms we theorized in the current paper to link aging experience to post-retirement employment. Additionally, self-efficacy is likely to influence these relationships examined in the current study (Dittmann-Kohli et al., 1997 and Wöhrmann et al., 2013). Therefore, future investigations on potential moderators and mediators may be helpful in order to explain the current findings' relationship in more detail.