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Burnout and older workers' intentions to retire

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  • Kène Henkens
  • Monique Leenders
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    Abstract

    Purpose – The central theme of this article is early retirement intentions and burnout among older workers. The paper aims to investigate whether there is a relationship between the burnout dimensions exhaustion, cynicism and competence and retirement intentions. Design/methodology/approach – The data were taken from a survey held among Dutch older workers (50+) and their spouses (n=2,892). Findings – The results show that a high workload, heavy physical work, lack of challenge, autonomy and social support from colleagues and managers are related to burnout complaints, although in a different way for the three dimensions. The results show that besides the effect of burnout, retirement intentions are related to the level of marital quality. Older workers who report a higher level of marital quality report a stronger intention to retire. Burnout and retirement intentions are related, but appear to have partly different predictors. While burnout can generally be explained by the work environment, non-work related factors enhance the understanding of retirement intentions. Originality/value – This study shows that actual retirement is often preceded by feelings of burnout, in particular a mental detachment from work and feelings of exhaustion.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Article provided by Emerald Group Publishing in its journal International Journal of Manpower.

    Volume (Year): 31 (2010)
    Issue (Month): 3 ( July)
    Pages: 306-321

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    Handle: RePEc:eme:ijmpps:v:31:y:2010:i:3:p:306-321

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    Related research

    Keywords: Burnout; Older workers; Retirement; The Netherlands; Work psychology;

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    1. Nicole Maestas & Xiaoyan Li, 2007. "Burnout and the Retirement Decision," Working Papers wp166, University of Michigan, Michigan Retirement Research Center.
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