IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Older workers motivation to continue to work: five meanings of age: A conceptual review


  • Kooij, Dorien

    (Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, Faculteit der Economische Wetenschappen en Econometrie (Free University Amsterdam, Faculty of Economics Sciences, Business Administration and Economitrics)

  • Lange, Annet de
  • Jansen, Paul


Purpose: Little is known about the motivation for older workers to work and to remain active in the labor market. Research on age and motivation is limited and, moreover, conceptually diverse. In this study, we address age-related factors that influence the work motivation of older workers. More specifically, we examine how various conceptualizations of the age factor affect the direction and termination of the motivation to continue to work of older workers. Methodology: A literature review of age-related factors and motivation to continue to work. Findings: Results from 24 empirical and 9 conceptual studies indicate that most age-related factors can have a negative impact on the motivation to continue to work of older people. These findings suggest that age-related factors are important in understanding older workers’ motivation to continue to work and that further research is needed to more fully understand the underlying processes that govern how these age-related factors influence the motivation to continue to work. Research limitations / implications: Based on the aforementioned findings, we were able to formulate a research agenda for future research, namely: 1) a need for a meta-analysis on age and motivation to determine the actual effect sizes, 2) additional theoretical attention to the underlying age-related processes, 3) more psychometric studies examining the operationalization and measurement of the age-related variables, and 4) additional empirical research on age-related variables and motivation. Practical implications: Age-related factors identified in this study, such as declining health and career plateaus, should be addressed by HRM policies. HRM practices that could motivate older workers to continue to work include ergonomic adjustments and continuous career development. Originality / value of paper: Research on age and motivation is limited and conceptually diverse. This paper is one of the first studies to explore the relations between different conceptualizations of age and motivation.

Suggested Citation

  • Kooij, Dorien & Lange, Annet de & Jansen, Paul, 2007. "Older workers motivation to continue to work: five meanings of age: A conceptual review," Serie Research Memoranda 0006, VU University Amsterdam, Faculty of Economics, Business Administration and Econometrics.
  • Handle: RePEc:vua:wpaper:2007-6

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: no

    More about this item


    Aging; Age-related factors; Motivation to continue to work; HRM;

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:


    Access and download statistics


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:vua:wpaper:2007-6. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (R. Dam). General contact details of provider: .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    We have no references for this item. You can help adding them by using this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.