Comparing subjective and chronological age diversity | Older workers’ post-retirement plans depend on type of motivation

Comparing subjective and chronological age diversity

Florian Kunze  Stephan A. Boehm  Heike Bruch (2021). It matters how old we feel in organizations: Testing a multilevel model of organizational subjective‐age diversity on employee outcomes. Journal of Organizational Behaviour 42(4): 448-463 – Open Access


This study contributes to the emerging literature on age diversity effects at the organizational level of analysis by comparing the role of chronological‐age diversity versus subjective‐age diversity. We hypothesize a multilevel model in which organizational‐level subjective‐age diversity is negatively related to bonding social capital within organizations, which, in turn, contributes to heightened employee engagement and lowered turnover intentions. The assumed relationships are tested in a multilevel sample of 96 German small‐ and medium‐sized companies with 16,274 employees participating. We gathered data from four different sources to circumvent common source problems and received support for most of the proposed relationships. Given the potentially detrimental effects of high subjective‐age diversity in the workplace, the paper concludes with practical recommendations on how to manage subjective‐age diversity in companies proactively.

Older workers’ post-retirement plans depend on type of motivation

Hanna van Solinge, Marleen Damman, Douglas A Hershey  (2021) Adaptation or Exploration? Understanding Older Workers’ Plans for Post-Retirement Paid and Volunteer Work. Work, Aging and Retirement. 7(2): 129–142.


Numerous investigations have sought to understand the types of individuals who engage in post-retirement work. However, little is known about why older adults are motivated to engage. The aim of the present article is to examine the extent to which two possible mechanisms—adaptation (adjusting to the loss of work role) and exploration (retirement as opportunity to engage in activities in line with personal values)—play a role in explaining planning for paid work or volunteering after retirement. Analyses are based on large-scale survey data collected in 2015 among older workers in the Netherlands (N = 6,278). Results show that the large majority of older Dutch workers have plans for post-retirement paid and/or volunteer work. Moreover, both mechanisms appear to contribute to the understanding of post-retirement work plans, yet in different ways. Specifically, older workers who expect to miss latent work functions are more likely to have plans for post-retirement work, with their general values guiding the type of work they gravitate toward. Having plans for post-retirement paid work was more prevalent among older workers who attached more importance to personal growth, whereas having plans for volunteer work was more prevalent among older workers who had a stronger social orientation. Moreover, results suggest that men, more often than women, translate the anticipated loss of latent work functions into plans for post-retirement paid work. These insights regarding the motivational antecedents of post-retirement work plans are highly relevant in light of policy discussions of active and healthy aging.