Academic journal article Career Development Quarterly

Using Work Values to Predict Post-Retirement Work Intentions

Academic journal article Career Development Quarterly

Using Work Values to Predict Post-Retirement Work Intentions

Article excerpt

Traditionally, retirement has been conceptualized as a withdrawal from the labor force and society. In this understanding, work and work-related activities end with the moment of retirement. However, a growing number of individuals who have retired from their main employment continue with some type of work to remain active (Fasbender, Deller, Wang, & Wiernik, 2014). Recently, retirement has been redefined as a late-career developmental stage in which post-retirement work activities play a central role (Kim & Hall, 2013; Wang & Shi, 2014). In the current study, we define retirement as a stage that begins with age of eligibility for a pension. In Germany, the retirement age is gradually rising from 65 to 67 years, which is similar to the age of eligibility for Social Security in the United States (Wöhrmann, Deller, & Wang, 2014b). However, people who are receiving a pension can voluntarily decide whether to work after entering retirement (Wöhrmann et al., 2014b). Individuals' participation in the labor force and society helps them to realize their interests, capabilities, and needs to maintain their quality of life (World Health Organization, 2002). Furthermore, post-retirement work might help to address the increasing challenges that many industrialized nations are facing as a result of demographic change, such as skill shortages or strained pension systems (Deller, Liedtke, & Maxin, 2009; Mariappanadar, 2013).

On one hand, research has already revealed various factors that influence retirement decision making and post-retirement work (e.g., demographic characteristics, education, health, financial circumstances; for a review, see Wang & Shi, 2014). On the other hand, several studies have focused on work values and their possible generational differences (Parry & Urwin, 2011). However, to our knowledge, the role of work values in retirement decision making and post-retirement work has not been empirically studied.

In line with recent literature on retirement (Kim & Hall, 2013; Fasbender, Wang, Voltmer, & Deller, 2016; Wang & Shi, 2014), our theoretical approach is based on the protean career theory developed by Hall and colleagues (e.g., Hall, 2002, 2004; Hall, Briscoe, & Kram, 1997). Protean career theory states that individual work values are crucial for career-related decision making (e.g., Briscoe & Hall, 2006; Hall, 2002; Wang & Shi, 2014). In this context, we define post-retirement work as a late-career stage characterized by individuals engaging in work and work-related activities beyond retirement age. Post-retirement work involves different types of work activities, including paid and voluntary work activities (Griffin & Hesketh, 2008). Paid work activities refers to various forms of work inside and outside the career field (Gobeski & Beehr, 2009). According to employers, paid post-retirement work can be categorized as working for the same employer, working for another employer, or being self-employed (Fasbender & Deller, 2015; Wöhrmann, Deller, & Wang, 2013). Voluntary work activities refers to formal volunteering for civic organizations and informal volunteering for family and friends (Herzog & Morgan, 1992; Wang & Shi, 2014). People are likely to decide whether and in which type of employment they would like to engage according to their values (Brown & Crace, 1996).

In the current study, we aimed to explore the relationship between work values and post-retirement work intentions. We differentiated four types of post-retirement work intentions (i.e., voluntary work, same-employer paid work, other-employer paid work, self-employed paid work) to help in understanding which work values corresponded to which type of post-retirement work intention. In doing so, we investigated work values within the universal structure of human values elaborated by Schwartz and colleagues (e.g., Schwartz & Bilsky, 1987; Schwartz et al., 2012) and applied them to the work context. …

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