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Sustaining the Work Ability and Work Motivation of Lower-educated Older Workers: Directions for Work Redesign


  • Jos Sanders
  • Luc Dorenbosch
  • Rob Gründemann
  • Roland Blonk


This study examines directions for work redesign which might lead to the creation of sustainable jobs for lower-educated older workers (45 years or over, ISCED 0-2) and thus motivate and enable them to extend their working lives. We use longitudinal data on 1,264 older Dutch workers collected by the Netherlands Working Conditions Cohort Study to analyse the characteristics of the work of lower-educated older workers and how these differ from those of higher-educated older workers. The aim is to determine whether work redesign initiatives directed to these characteristics might have the desired effect of enhancing work ability and/or work motivation. This study is unique in its focus on lower-educated older workers as a target group for active ageing policies at the EU, national and company HR levels, and also in its focus on work redesign rather than the training or improvement of the health of workers. Our findings suggest that redesigning social work characteristics can be a first step in developing sustainable jobs for lower-educated older workers. Moreover, a redesign of contextual work characteristics also seems promising.

Suggested Citation

  • Jos Sanders & Luc Dorenbosch & Rob Gründemann & Roland Blonk, 2011. "Sustaining the Work Ability and Work Motivation of Lower-educated Older Workers: Directions for Work Redesign," management revue. Socio-economic Studies, Rainer Hampp Verlag, vol. 22(2), pages 132-150.
  • Handle: RePEc:rai:mamere:1861-9908_mrev_2011_2_sanders

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    Cited by:

    1. David R. Mann & David C. Stapleton & Jeanette de Richemond, 2014. "Vocational Factors in the Social Security Disability Determination Process: A Literature Review," Mathematica Policy Research Reports e92e1bd992284b7280e7c17ae, Mathematica Policy Research.

    More about this item


    work redesign; older workers; lower educated workers; work ability; job characteristics;

    JEL classification:

    • J24 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Human Capital; Skills; Occupational Choice; Labor Productivity
    • J28 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Safety; Job Satisfaction; Related Public Policy
    • J81 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Labor Standards - - - Working Conditions


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