Thriving in late career: the role of the psychological experiences of vitality and learning in the relationships between work design characteristics and individual work outcomes

We propose a model of work design in late career that will be tested in two quantitative studies with overall 800 older workers (aged 55 years and over) from two industrial sectors in the United Kingdom (healthcare and information and communication technologies). Our conceptual model integrates current theories around life-span development, positive organisational behaviour, job design, work performance, well-being, and late career. Our aim is to explore the potential benefits of flexible work design in late career for both employers and employees in terms of various aspects of employees’ individual performance. We suggest that certain job design and broader work characteristics will have positive or negative effects on the individual work outcomes in late career. Most of these effects will be mediated (fully or partially) by employees’ experiences of thriving at work, demonstrated through two main types of orientations (vitality and learning) and will be best interpreted within a life-span developmental framework.