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Hanging on or bowling along? Thriving, surviving and performing in late career

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conference contribution
posted on 2015-12-15, 10:12 authored by Stanimira Taneva, John Arnold
Both the human resources (HR) and the traditional career development literatures tend to portray late career as a time of inertia, with policies being designed to enable people to survive in the workplace until they (and their employer) are rescued by retirement – a rescue service that arrives later than it once did. In this presentation we examine the approaches taken by older workers to their jobs and the factors that appear to help or hinder the extent to which they feel they are (i) surviving and (ii) thriving at work. We also comment on the generalizability or otherwise of our findings across sectors and countries. 698 older workers, mostly aged over 55, in the health and IT sectors in UK and Bulgaria completed an online questionnaire which included validated measures of a number of key constructs, as well as some newly-developed ones. We report on the strategies the older workers use to deal with their work, the job characteristics and HR policies they experience, the extent to which they feel they are thriving, surviving, and performing. Finally, we comment on the implications of our findings for the ways in which organizations, including universities, utilise and support their numerous older workers.



  • Business and Economics


  • Business

Published in

Inaugural Age-Friendly Universities Conference 2015 - "Engaging Ageing"


TANEVA, S. and ARNOLD, J., 2015. Hanging on or bowling along? Thriving, surviving and performing in late career. Inaugural Age-Friendly Universities Conference 2015 - "Engaging Ageing", The Helix, DCU, Dublin, Ireland, 2nd-3rd November 2015.


  • AM (Accepted Manuscript)

Publisher statement

This work is made available according to the conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International (CC BY-NC-ND 4.0) licence. Full details of this licence are available at: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/

Publication date



This is an adaptation of a paper presented at the inaugural Age-Friendly University conference, at Dublin City University, 2-3 November 2015.


  • en


Arnold, John


Dublin, Ireland

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