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Aging in the 21st century workplace: The career motivation of mature workers


Aging in the 21st century workplace: The career motivation of mature workers

Leithman, Gillian (2016) Aging in the 21st century workplace: The career motivation of mature workers. PhD thesis, Concordia University.

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The current thesis examined the late career motivation of older workers. Specifically, I sought to explore the willingness of mature employees to share their knowledge and experience with younger colleagues, and their intention to continue working as opposed to retiring. Three studies were conducted using qualitative and quantitative approaches. The objective of the first qualitative study was to investigate how people felt about sharing their knowledge with their younger counterparts and whether or not this motivation changed as people transitioned from work to retirement. Findings based on 16 interviews indicated that the majority of participants wanted to share their knowledge however, this desire could only be actualized in an organizational environment that valued older workers. Results also suggested that individual motives such as the need for achievement, power and affiliation have an impact upon the decision to continue working or retire.
Using the propositions that emerged from Study 1, The Late Career Motivation Scale was developed in Study 2. One hundred and eighty two participants completed a survey measure, and an exploratory factor analysis revealed a four-factor model: two factors focused on reasons for retirement, and two factors focused on reasons for continued work.
In Study 3, I used an online survey to examine the links between the organizational environment and knowledge sharing behaviour, as well as the relationships between individual motives and the likelihood of continued work. The factors of the Late Career Motivation Scale were proposed as mediators between the predictor and outcome variables. One hundred and forty seven participants filled out the on-line survey. Findings revealed that having supportive colleagues predicted knowledge sharing behaviour. Moreover, this relationship was mediated by workplace generativity and the affiliation motive. In addition, achievement motivation was related to the intention to continue working, whereas the power motive was not. Overall, findings indicate that mature employees want to share their knowledge with their younger counterparts, however, an organizational environment that nurtures and values expertise is essential for knowledge sharing to occur. Practical implications are discussed.

Divisions:Concordia University > School of Graduate Studies > Individualized Program
Item Type:Thesis (PhD)
Authors:Leithman, Gillian
Institution:Concordia University
Degree Name:Ph. D.
Program:Individualized Program
Date:April 2016
Thesis Supervisor(s):Dyer, Linda
ID Code:981107
Deposited On:16 Jun 2016 15:53
Last Modified:23 Jul 2019 20:44
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