Ageing International

, Volume 43, Issue 2, pp 141–157 | Cite as

Re-Employability of Older People in Khon Kaen Municipality (KKM)

  • Narong KiettikunwongEmail author


The employability of older people is a key issue worldwide due to changing demographics. This study aimed to investigate employers’ demand for re-employing older people, specifically in two major areas: 1) the current employers’ behavior or experience as well as attitude towards older employees, and 2) what will stimulate the employment of older people. The data were gathered by face-to-face interviews employing a structured questionnaire from 301 owners of or the CEOs of business establishments in Khon Kaen Municipality (KKM), Thailand. These were selected from business establishments in KKM proportionally via a stratified sampling procedure, by business sector, legality classification and size. More than half of those businesses with older employees were pleased with them, larger manufacturing businesses retain most of the older employees, and no indication was found that these employers discharge their employees even if they reach official retirement age, nor do older employees stay with an organization for shorter periods of time than any other employees. Furthermore, we found no significant difference in level of satisfaction between the manufacturing sector and the commercial sector. Formal business operators (e.g. limited liability partnerships, limited companies, etc.) were more satisfied with their older employees rather than informal ones. Additionally, size of corporation was related to the level of satisfaction. Lastly, the most desired intervention measures were intermediary mechanisms to link potential employers closer to potential employees. Preferred choices of government incentives to boost the employment of older people, by both business sector are tax incentives and wage subsidies.


Aging Thailand Khon Kaen Intergenerational relationships Employment Economic growth 



This research was conducted with financial support from the Rockefeller Foundation through the Social Survey Center (SSC) of the College of Local Administration, Khon Kaen University (KKU). The implementation of this project was undertaken with technical advice from Professor Hirofumi Ando and Associate Professor Pennee Narot of the College of Local Administration, KKU. Khon Kaen Municipality (KKM), the Khon Kaen Chamber of Commerce and the Federation of the Thai Industries, Khon Kaen office provided significant inputs to the survey.


This study was funded by the Rockefeller Foundation (no grant number).

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of Interest

Author declares that he has no conflict of interest.

Informed Consent

Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study.

Ethical Treatment of Experimental Subjects (Animal and Human)

All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.


  1. Alavinia, S. M., De Boer, A. G. E. M., Van Duivenbooden, J. C., Frings-Dresen, M. H. W., & Burdorf, A. (2008). Determinants of work ability and its predictive value for disability. Occupational Medicine, 59(1), 32–37.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Armstrong-Stassen, M., & Ursel, N. D. (2009). Perceived organizational support, career satisfaction, and the retention of older workers. Journal of Occupational and Organizational Psychology, 82(1), 201–220.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Baldassar, L., Baldock, C., & Wilding, R. (2006). Families caring across borders. New York: Springer.Google Scholar
  4. Banister, J., Bloom, D. E., & Rosenberg, L. (2012). Population aging and economic growth in China. In M. Aoki & J. Wu (Eds.), The Chinese Economy, International Economic Association series (pp. 114–149). London: Palgrave Macmillan.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Bloom, D. E., Chatterji, S., Kowal, P., Lloyd-Sherlock, P., McKee, M., Rechel, B., & Smith, J. P. (2015). Macroeconomic implications of population ageing and selected policy responses. The Lancet, 385(9968), 649–657.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Bongaarts, J. (2004). Population aging and the rising cost of public pensions. Population and Development Review, 30(1), 1–23.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Börsch-Supan, A., Kneip, T., Litwin, H., Myck, M., & Weber, G. (Eds.). (2015). Ageing in Europe. Berlin: Walter de Gruyter.Google Scholar
  8. Bowling, A. (2008). Enhancing later life: How older people perceive active ageing? Aging & Mental Health, 12(3), 293–301.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Breslin, F. C., & Smith, P. (2005). Age-related differences in work injuries: A multivariate, population-based study. American Journal of Industrial Medicine, 48(1), 50–56.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Brooke, L., & Taylor, P. (2005). Older workers and employment: Managing age relations. Ageing and Society, 25(3), 415–429.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Brown, J. (2002). Training needs assessment: A must for developing an effective training program. Public Personnel Management, 31(4), 569–578.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Campbell, J. C. (2014). How policies change: The Japanese government and the aging society. Princeton: Princeton University Press.Google Scholar
  13. Canduela, J., Dutton, M., Johnson, S., Lindsay, C., McQuaid, R. W., & Raeside, R. (2012). Ageing, skills and participation in work-related training in Britain: Assessing the position of older workers. Work, Employment and Society, 26(1), 42–60.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Christensen, K., Doblhammer, G., Rau, R., & Vaupel, J. W. (2009). Ageing populations: The challenges ahead. The Lancet, 374(9696), 1196–1208.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Cochran, W. G. (1977). Sampling techniques (3rd ed.). Somerset: John Wiley & Sons.Google Scholar
  16. Comas-Herrera, A., Wittenberg, R., Costa-Font, J., Gori, C., Di Maio, A., Patxot, C., & Rothgang, H. (2006). Future long-term care expenditure in Germany, Spain, Italy and the United Kingdom. Ageing and Society, 26(2), 285–302.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Costa, G., & Di Milia, L. (2008). Aging and shift work: A complex problem to face. Chronobiology International, 25(2–3), 165–181.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. D'Addio, A. C., Keese, M., & Whitehouse, E. (2010). Population ageing and labour markets. Oxford Review of Economic Policy, 26(4), 613–635.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Department of Business Development. (n.d.). Business Data Warehouse. Retrieved July 06, 2017, from
  20. Galasso, V. (2008). The political future of social security in aging societies. Cambridge: MIT Press.Google Scholar
  21. Gruber, J., & Wise, D. (2000). Social security programs and retirement around the world. In Polachek, S.W., & Tatsiramos, K. In Research in labor economics (pp. 1–40). Bingley: Emerald.Google Scholar
  22. Hamada, K., & Kat, H. (Eds.). (2007). Ageing and the labor market in Japan. Cheltenham: Edward Elgar.Google Scholar
  23. Harper, S., & Hamblin, K. (Eds.). (2014). International handbook on ageing and public policy. Cheltenham: Edward Elgar Publishing.Google Scholar
  24. Hedge, J. W., Borman, W. C., & Lammlein, S. E. (2006). The aging workforce. Washington, DC: American Psychological Association.Google Scholar
  25. Holzmann, R., Robalino, D. A., & Takayama, N. (Eds.). (2009). Closing the coverage gap: Role of social pensions and other retirement income transfers. Washington, DC: World Bank Publications.Google Scholar
  26. Jitapunkul, S., & Wivatvanit, S. (2008). National policies and programs for the aging population in Thailand. Ageing International, 33(1–4), 62–74.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Kanfer, R., & Ackerman, P. L. (2004). Aging, adult development, and work motivation. Academy of Management Review, 29(3), 440–458.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Knodel, J., & Chayovan, N. (2008). Older persons in Thailand: A demographic, social and economic profile. Ageing International, 33(1–4), 3–14.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Knodel, J., Teerawichitchainan, B.P., Prachuabmoh, V., & Pothisiri, W. (2015). The situation of Thailand’s older population: An update based on the 2014 Survey of Older Persons in Thailand. Research collection School of Social Sciences (paper no. 1763). Retrieved from
  30. Kulik, C. T., Ryan, S., Harper, S., & George, G. (2014). Aging populations and management. Academy of Management Journal, 57(4), 929–935.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Lee, R. D., & Mason, A. (Eds.). (2011). Population aging and the generational economy. Cheltenham: Edward Elgar Publishing.Google Scholar
  32. Leibold, M., & Voelpel, S. C. (2007). Managing the aging workforce. Somerset: John Wiley & Sons.Google Scholar
  33. Leombruni, R., & Villosio, C. (2005). Employability of older workers in Italy and Europe. In N. Van den Heuvel, W. Herremans, P. Van der Hallen, C. Erhel, & P. Courtioux (Eds.), Active ageing (pp. 81–104). Antwerpen: Garant.Google Scholar
  34. Lutz, W., Sanderson, W., & Scherbov, S. (2008). The coming acceleration of global population ageing. Nature, 451(7179), 716–719.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Maurer, T. J., Barbeite, F. G., Weiss, E. M., & Lippstreu, M. (2008). New measures of stereotypical beliefs about older workers' ability and desire for development: Exploration among employees age 40 and over. Journal of Managerial Psychology, 23(4), 395–418.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. National Economic and Social Development Board. (n.d.). Social and Quality of Life Database System. Retrieved July 13, 2017, from
  37. National Research Council & Committee on Population. (2001). Preparing for an aging world. Washington, DC: National Academies Press.Google Scholar
  38. National Research Council, & Committee on Population. (2013). Aging and the macroeconomy: Long-term implications of an older population. Washington, DC: National Academies Press.Google Scholar
  39. National Statistical Office Thailand. (n.d.). Statistical services. Retrieved July 06, 2017, from
  40. Olshansky, S., Goldman, D. P., Zheng, Y., & Rowe, J. W. (2009). Aging in America in the twenty-first century: Demographic forecasts from the MacArthur Foundation research network on an aging society. The Milbank Quarterly, 87(4), 842–862.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. Principi, A., Jensen, P. H., & Lamura, G. (Eds.). (2014). Active ageing. Bristol: Policy Press.Google Scholar
  42. Rechel, B., Grundy, E., Robine, J. M., Cylus, J., Mackenbach, J. P., Knai, C., & McKee, M. (2013). Ageing in the European Union. The Lancet, 381(9874), 1312–1322.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. Robroek, S. J., Schuring, M., Croezen, S., Stattin, M., & Burdorf, A. (2013). Poor health, unhealthy behaviors, and unfavorable work characteristics influence pathways of exit from paid employment among older workers in Europe: A four year follow-up study. Scandinavian Journal of Work, Environment & Health, 39(2), 125–133.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  44. Saraceno, C. (Ed.). (2008). Families, ageing and social policy. Cheltenham: Edward Elgar.Google Scholar
  45. Sasat, S., & Bowers, B. J. (2013). Spotlight Thailand. The Gerontologist, 53(5), 711–717.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  46. Silverstein, M. (2008). Meeting the challenges of an aging workforce. American Journal of Industrial Medicine, 51(4), 269–280.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  47. Stenner, P., McFarquhar, T., & Bowling, A. (2011). Older people and ‘active ageing’: Subjective aspects of ageing actively. Journal of Health Psychology, 16(3), 467–477.Google Scholar
  48. Suwanrada, W. (2008). Poverty and financial security of the elderly in Thailand. Ageing International, 33(1–4), 50–61.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  49. Tamiya, N., Noguchi, H., Nishi, A., Reich, M. R., Ikegami, N., Hashimoto, H., & Campbell, J. C. (2011). Population ageing and wellbeing: Lessons from Japan's long-term care insurance policy. The Lancet, 378(9797), 1183–1192.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  50. Villosio, C., Di Pierro, D., Giordanengo, A., Pasqua, P., & Richiardi, M. (2008). Working conditions of an ageing workforce. Luxembourg: Office for Official Publications of the European Communities.Google Scholar
  51. Walker, A. (2002). A strategy for active ageing. International Social Security Review, 55(1), 121–139.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  52. Welford, A. T. (1951). Skill and age. Oxford: Geoffrey Cumberlege, Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  53. World Health Organization. (2012). World health day 2012: Ageing and health. Geneva: World Health Organization.Google Scholar
  54. World Health Organization. (2015). World report on ageing and health: Summary. Geneva: Author.Google Scholar
  55. Zaninotto, P., Falaschetti, E., & Sacker, A. (2009). Age trajectories of quality of life among older adults: Results from the English longitudinal study of ageing. Quality of Life Research, 18(10), 1301–1309.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.College of Local AdministrationKhon Kaen UniversityKhon KaenThailand

Personalised recommendations