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Older workers and organizational change: corporate memory versus potentiality


  • Philip Taylor
  • Libby Brooke
  • Christopher McLoughlin
  • Tia Di Biase


Purpose - Drawing on the recent work of Sennett and others who considered the position of older workers in dynamic economies subject to rapid change, this paper aims to examine the perceived fit between employees of different ages and their employing organizations in four Australian workplaces. Design/methodology/approach - Analysis of qualitative data, collected among workers and managers in four Australian organizations, was performed. Findings - Results suggests that potentiality tended to be prized as an asset over corporate memory. While managers were frequently paternalistic towards their older employees, ageing human capital was often devalued as managers tried to balance operational budgets and organizations sought to remain responsive to changing market demands. Originality/value - The paper discusses the implications for the prolongation of working lives.

Suggested Citation

  • Philip Taylor & Libby Brooke & Christopher McLoughlin & Tia Di Biase, 2010. "Older workers and organizational change: corporate memory versus potentiality," International Journal of Manpower, Emerald Group Publishing, vol. 31(3), pages 374-386, June.
  • Handle: RePEc:eme:ijmpps:v:31:y:2010:i:3:p:374-386

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Brad Jorgensen & Philip Taylor, 2008. "Older Workers, Government And Business: Implications For Ageing Populations Of A Globalising Economy," Economic Affairs, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 28(1), pages 17-22, March.
    2. Philip Taylor & Peter Urwin, 2001. "Age and Participation in Vocational Education and Training," Work, Employment & Society, British Sociological Association, vol. 15(4), pages 763-779, December.
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