Supporting late career development in times of global population ageing

Wednesday, 04 January 2017

supporting late career development

The need for research on work and ageing has become one of the Economic and Social Research Council’s (ESRC) priority areas related to economic performance and sustainable growth. As such, tackling demographic changes has been defined as the challenge of the 21st century.

Dr Ulrike Fasbender, Senior Lecturer in Human Resources Management and Co-Director of Oxford Brookes’ Centre for Diversity Policy Research and Practice (CDPRP) discusses her new project on ‘Late career development of older workers’.

Based on the European agenda of ‘Extending Working Lives’, I am ‘translating’ the political intentions into individual and organisational practice. In particular, I am conducting research on career management over the life-span referring to individual career planning and development on the one hand, and organisational practices that facilitate individual career development on the other hand.

The removal of the Default Retirement Age in 2011 has opened new ways of late career and retirement planning because people have more choice about when to stop working. This increased flexibility goes along with the need for individuals and the organisations they are working for to plan their retirement.

Against this background, the CDPRP is planning new research to investigate older workers’ late career development. Based on previous research on late career intentions (e.g.Fasbender, Deller, Wang, & Wiernik,2014; Fasbender, Wang, Voltmer & Deller, 2016; Wöhrmann, Fasbender, & Deller, 2016), we shed light on older workers’ life and career goals in understanding their transitions to retirement.

In particular, we are interested in older workers’ individual ageing experience, the meaning work holds for them, and their late career aspirations and desire to retire in relation to organisational support and hindrance factors.

Dr Ulrike Fasbender, Senior Lecturer in Human Resources Management, Oxford Brookes University

In particular, we are interested in older workers’ individual ageing experience, the meaning work holds for them, and their late career aspirations and desire to retire in relation to organisational support and hindrance factors.

To address the complexity in which older workers’ late career development takes place, we are planning to set up a mixed-method design consisting of a cross lagged study and focus groups leading to a broader scope of coaching interventions.

Based on the study findings, we contribute to the improvement of individual and organisational career and retirement management strategies by identifying potential ways of facilitating older workers’ life and career goals.

You can read more detail about this project in the Autumn 2016 edition of Research Forum magazine.

REA logo 2016

Dr Ulrike Fasbender is a recipient of the University’s inaugural Research Excellence Awards and the funding is enabling her to undertake this project. The Awards were launched last year as part of Oxford Brookes’ commitment to supporting research-active academics and in supporting the aims of the recently revised  Research and Knowledge Exchange Strategy 2016-2020.

Keep reading the University’s  news pages for further information on the winners of the Research Excellence Awards.