Zeitschrift für ArbeitsmarktForschung

, Volume 44, Issue 4, pp 295–306 | Cite as

A systemic approach to aging in the work context

Research Paper

Abstract

In this article we present the interdisciplinary, developmental and systemic approach to the study of work and aging that guides research at the Jacobs Center on Lifelong Learning and Institutional Development (JCLL). We introduce basic principles of adult development including its plasticity, multi-directionality, and embeddedness in contexts. We describe the different dynamic internal (e.g., psychological, physiological) and external contexts (e.g., organizations, labor market institutions) relevant to the work context that influence adult development. We present how the various disciplinary perspectives at the JCLL contribute to a fuller understanding of various contextual systems and their interactions with regard to the work context. Finally, we describe how a systemic approach to research on work and aging can contribute to the creation of work contexts conducive to productive development across the adult lifespan as summarized in the notion of dynamic human resource management. Importantly, we consider a wider notion of ‘productivity’ that encompasses not only economic aspects but also intellectual, motivational and emotional outputs.

Keywords

Work Aging Contextualism Systemic approach 

Ein systemischer Ansatz zum Altern im Arbeitskontext

Zusammenfassung

Der vorliegende Artikel stellt einen interdisziplinären, entwicklungsorientierten und systemischem Ansatz vor, der der Forschung zu Altern und Arbeiten bei der Jacobs Center on Lifelong Learning and Institutional Development (JCLL) zu Grunde liegt. Wir gehen hierbei auf die wichtigsten Grundsätze der Entwicklung Erwachsener ein: Plastizität, Multidirektionalität (Entwicklung bringt Gewinne und Verluste mit sich) sowie Kontextabhängigheit. Darüber hinaus beschreiben wir verschiedene dynamische interne (psychische, physiologische) und externe (z.B., Firmen, Strukturen des Arbeitsmarkts) Kontexte, die die Entwicklung Erwachsener beeinflussen und für den Arbeitskontext eine Bedeutung haben. Wir erklären wie die unterschiedlichen disziplinären Perspektiven am JCLL einen Beitrag dazu leisten, diese verschieden Kontexte der Entwicklung und deren Zusammenspiel zu verstehen und dadurch die Wechselwirkung zwischen Altern und dem Arbeitskontext zu erhellen. Schließlich legen wir dar wie ein systemischer Forschungsansatz zum Altern im Arbeitskontext einen Beitrag dazu leisten kann, Arbeitskontexte so zu gestalten, dass produktive Entwicklung über die gesamte Lebenspanne gefördert wird (im Sinne einer ‚dynamischen Personalentwicklung‘). Hierbei berücksichtigen wir eine weite Definition von ‚Produktivität‘, die nicht nur ökonomische Leistung sondern daneben auch intellektuelle, motivationale und emotionale Leistung umfasst.

Schlüsselwörter

Arbeiten Altern Kontextualismus Systemischer Forschungsansatz 

Literatur

  1. Baltes, P.B.: Theoretical propositions of lifespan developmental psychology: on the dynamics between growth and decline. Dev. Psychol. 23, 611–626 (1987) CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Baltes, P.B., Lindenberger, U., Staudinger, U.M.: Life-span theory in developmental psychology. In: Lerner, R.M. (ed.) Theoretical Models of Human Development, 6th edn. Handbook of Child Psychology, vol. 1, pp. 569–664. Wiley, New York (2006) Google Scholar
  3. Baron, S., Schömann, K.: Strengthening self-confidence in training competence. In: RN 1 “Ageing in Europe”. 9th Conference of the European Sociological Association, Lisbon (2009) Google Scholar
  4. Bowen, C.E., Staudinger, U.M.: Images of aging in the work context are related to employee turn-over intentions (2011, submitted) Google Scholar
  5. Bowen, C.E., Noack, C.M.G., Staudinger, U.M.: Aging in the work context. In: Schaie, K.W., Willis, S. (eds.) Handbook of the Psychology of Aging, 7th edn., pp. 263–278. Elsevier, San Diego (2010) Google Scholar
  6. Bronfenbrenner, U.: The Ecology of Human Development: Experiments by Nature and Design. Harvard University Press, Cambridge (1979) Google Scholar
  7. Chandola, T., Brunner, E., Marmot, M.: Chronic stress at work and the metabolic syndrome: prospective study. Br. Med. J. 332, 521–525 (2006) CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Fasang, A., Aisenbrey, S., Schömann, K.: Pension consequences of divorce: evidence from Germany and Britain. J. Marriage Fam. (2011, submitted) Google Scholar
  9. Feuerhahn, N., Kühnel, J., Kudielka, B.M.: Effort-reward-imbalance in combination with over commitment impairs self-rated health and supervisor-rated job performance. Paper presented at the 9th Conference of the European Academy of Occupational Health Psychology, Rome, Italy, March 2010 Google Scholar
  10. Greve, W., Staudinger, U.M.: Resilience in later adulthood and old age: resources and potentials for successful aging. In: Cicchetti, D., Cohen, A. (eds.) Developmental Psychopathology, 2nd edn., pp. 796–840. Wiley, New York (2006) Google Scholar
  11. Hertzog, C., Kramer, A.F., Wilson, R.S., Lindenberger, U.: Enrichment effects on adult cognitive development. Psychol. Sci. Public Interest 9(1), 1–65 (2009) Google Scholar
  12. Hess, T.M., Germain, C.M., Swaim, E.L., Osowski, N.L.: Aging and selective engagement: the moderating impact of motivation on older adults’ resource utilization. J. Gerontol., Ser. B, Psychol. Sci. Soc. Sci. 64B, 447–456 (2009) CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Kanfer, R., Ackerman, P.L.: Aging, adult development and work motivation. Acad. Manage. Rev. 29(3), 440–458 (2004) Google Scholar
  14. Kessler, E.-M., Staudinger, U.M.: Intergenerational potential: effects of social interaction between older adults and adolescents. Psychol. Aging 22(4), 690–704 (2007) CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Lerner, R.M.: On the Nature of Human Plasticity. Cambridge University Press, New York (1984) CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Levy, B.R., Zonderman, A., Slade, M.D., Ferrucci, L.: Negative age stereotypes held earlier in life predict cardiovascular events in later life. Psychol. Sci. 20, 296–298 (2009) CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Lindenberger, U., Kray, J.: Kognitive Entwicklung. In: Filipp, S.-H., Staudinger, U.M. (eds.) Entwicklungspsychologie des mittleren und höheren Erwachsenenalters, pp. 299–341. Hogrefe Verlag, Göttingen (2005) Google Scholar
  18. Maurer, T.J.: Career-relevant learning and development, worker age, and beliefs about self-efficacy for development. J. Manag. 27(2), 123–140 (2001) Google Scholar
  19. Muehlig-Versen, A., Bowen, C.E., Staudinger, U.M.: Can openness to experience be promoted in older adulthood? The importance of personal characteristics and stimulating contextual factors (2011, submitted) Google Scholar
  20. Ng, T.W.H., Feldman, D.C.: The relationship of age to ten dimensions of job performance. J. Appl. Psychol. 93(2), 392–423 (2008) CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Noack, C.M.G., Staudinger, U.M.: Organizational age climate: first conceptualization and measurement approach (2011, submitted) Google Scholar
  22. Noack, C.M.G., Bowen, C.E., Staudinger, U.M.: Will you still need me when I’m 64? Images of aging in the work context and employees’ organizational commitment (2011a, submitted) Google Scholar
  23. Noack, C.M.G., Baltes, B.B., Staudinger, U.M.: Older worker meta-stereotypes and successful aging in the workplace: adaptiveness of selection, optimization, and compensation strategy use under constrained external resources (2011b, submitted) Google Scholar
  24. Noethen, D., Völpel, S.C.: A multilevel investigation of predictors of sharing and seeking knowledge in teams. Paper presented at the Academy of Management Annual Meeting, Montreal, Canada, August 2010 Google Scholar
  25. Podsakoff, P.M., MacKenzie, S.B., Paine, J.B., Bachrach, D.G.: Organizational citizenship behaviors: a critical review of the theoretical and empirical literature and suggestions for future research. J. Manag. 26, 513–563 (2000) Google Scholar
  26. Posthuma, R.A., Campion, M.A.: Age stereotypes in the workplace: common stereotypes, moderators, and future research directions. J. Manag. 35, 158–188 (2009) Google Scholar
  27. Schömann, K., Geerdes, S., Zacher, H., Godde, B., Staudinger, U.M.: Cumulative occupational mobility as a treatment in propensity score matching (2011, in preparation) Google Scholar
  28. Schulz, M., Stamov Roßnagel, C.: Informal workplace learning: an exploration of age differences in learning competence. Learn. Instr. 20, 383–399 (2010) CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Siegrist, J.: Effort-reward imbalance at work and health. In: Perrewe, P.L.G.D.C. (ed.) Historical and Current Perspectives on Stress and Health, pp. 261–291. Elsevier, Amsterdam (2002) CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Stamov Roßnagel, C., Biemann, T.: Aging and work motivation: a task-level self-regulation perspective (2011, submitted) Google Scholar
  31. Stamov Roßnagel, C., Hertel, G.: Older workers’ motivation: against the myth of general decline. Manage. Decis. 48, 894–906 (2010) CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Staudinger, U.M.: Personality and aging. In: Johnson, M., Bengtson, V.L., Coleman, P.G., Kirkwood, T. (eds.) Handbook of Age and Ageing, pp. 237–244. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge (2002) Google Scholar
  33. Staudinger, U.M.: Konsequenzen des demographischen Wandels für betriebliche Handlungsfelder: Eine interdisciplinäre Perspektive. Z. Betriebswirtsch. 58, 537–560 (2006) Google Scholar
  34. Staudinger, U.M.: Dynamisches Personalmanagement als eine Antwort auf den demographischen Wandel. In: Demographischer Wandel als unternehmerische Herausforderung. Report from the 60th German Conference on Business Administration, pp. 35–48. Schäffer-Poeschel, Stuttgart (2007) Google Scholar
  35. Staudinger, U.M.: Produktives Leben im Alter. In: Petermann, F., Schneider, W. (eds.) Enzyklopädie der Psychologie, vol. 7, pp. 885–915. Hogrefe, Göttingen (2008) Google Scholar
  36. Staudinger, U.M., Kocka, J.: More years, more life. English translation of the recommendations of the Joint Academy Initiative on Aging “Gewonnene Jahre”. (Altern in Deutschland Bd. 9). Nova Acta Leopoldina N. F., Bd. 107, Nr. 371. Wissenschaftliche Verlagsgesellschaft mbH, Stuttgart (2010) Google Scholar
  37. Staudinger, U.M., Marsiske, M., Baltes, P.B.: Resilience and reserve capacity in later adulthood: potential and limits of development across the lifespan. In: Cicchetti, D., Cohen, D.J. (eds.): Risk, Disorder, and Adaptation. Developmental Psychopathology, vol.  2, pp. 801–947. Wiley, New York (1995) Google Scholar
  38. Staudinger, U.M., Roßnagel, C., Voelpel, S.: Strategische Personalentwicklung und demographischer Wandel: eine interdisziplinäre Perspektive. In: Schwuchow, K., Gutmann, J. (eds.) Jahrbuch Personalentwicklung 2008 – Ausbildung, Weiterbildung, Management Development, pp. 295–304. Luchterhand, München (2008) Google Scholar
  39. Van Dalen, H.P., Henkens, K., Schippers, J.: Productivity of older workers: perceptions of employers and employees. Pop. Dev. Rev. 36(2), 309–330 (2010) CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. Voelcker-Rehage, C., Godde, B., Staudinger, U.M.: Cardiovascular and motor fitness are both related to cognition in old age. Eur. J. Neurosci. 31, 167–176 (2010) CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. Wickrama, K.A.S., Surjadi, F.F., Lorenz, F.O., Elder, G.H. Jr.: The influence of work control trajectories on men’s mental and physical health during the middle years: mediational role of personal control. J. Gerontol., Ser. A, Biol. Sci. Med. Sci. 63B, 135–145 (2008) Google Scholar
  42. Zacher, H., Geerdes, S., Schoemann, K., Godde, B., Staudinger, U.M.: Career mobility and employee adaptability: a lifespan/life course perspective (2011, in preparation) Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Institut für Arbeitsmarkt- und Berufsforschung 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Jacobs Center on Lifelong Learning and Institutional DevelopmentJacobs University BremenBremenGermany

Personalised recommendations