The Future for Older Workers: New Perspectives

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No incentives were offered. McGee et al. From their examination, five dimensions of ESE emerged which they categorized as follows: 1 searching, 2 planning, 3 marshaling, 4 implementing-people, and 5 implementing — finance.


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Their dimensions differ slightly from Chen et al. Given that the focus of this study is understanding the development of self-employment interest, which occurs before any venture creation has occurred, items related to post-start-up sub-factors were omitted from further analysis i. Pre-venture activities consisting of ten items measuring search, planning and marshaling were then examined.

Following a confirmatory factor analysis refer below these items were computed into a factor which we titled entrepreneurial self-efficacy- pre-venture ESE-PV. The alpha reliability for the unidimensional scale was found to be 0. A review of the literature failed to identify specific outcome measures that deal with the outcome of being self-employed. A review of the broader career literature located several previously validated measures of outcome expectations scales that were career related.

These scales would require tailoring to reflect the context of the present research suitably. The item research outcome expectations scale ROEQ in Bieschke was used as the basis for the customization.

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Items deemed most fitting with the context of this present research were included in the final measure of outcome expectations. Outcome expectations comprise three forms, incorporating positive and negative physical — material P , social SOC , and self-evaluative SE outcomes Bandura, Preceding the scale items, it was emphasized that the questions were asking about becoming self-employed.

Consistent with the notion that outcome expectations are concerned with imagined consequences of a particular course of action Lent and Brown, , a common stem was applied before each of the statements included in the scale. In the present research, the alpha reliability for was scale was found to be 0. Participants rated on a scale from 1 strongly disagree to 7 strongly agree their level of agreement with the statements.

Older workers as a source of wisdom capital: broadening perspectives

Those with higher scores are deemed to have a more expansive FTP. In the current study, the alpha coefficient for the scale was found to be 0. In addition to the primary variables in the study, two demographic and three additional control variables were measured and included in this research. Control variables were included as the variables have been demonstrated in late-career or entrepreneurship literature to be associated with late-career employment or entrepreneurship behavior — age, gender, education, occupation, length of time with current employer Virick et al.

Engaging an older work population

A model is considered to have an acceptable fit if the RMR is less than 0. The AIC is a comparative measure of fit. Lower values indicate a better fit, consequently the model with the lowest AIC is the best fitting model. As we have only considered the three dimensions related to pre-venture activities searching, panning, and marshaling , a unidimensional and a three-dimensional model were tested against the same fit indices as McGee et al. Means, standard deviations, reliability estimates, and bivariate correlations were computed for all variables included in the study using SPSS Next a confirmatory factor analysis, using AMOS 25, was undertaken on the ESE construct to ensure that the five distinct domains search, plan, marshal, people, and finance emerged.

Following this, the bivariate correlations were examined to check whether relationships existed between the primary variables in the study at a bivariate level. To test the hypothesized relationships, a sequential mediation model was adopted whereby the relationship between the independent variables — IVs FTP and support and the dependent variable — DV interest in self-employment is sequentially mediated, first by ESE-PV and then by OE. The confidence interval CI method for the indirect effect is a bias corrected with acceleration constant for confidence interval estimation BCa based on samples.

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The data collected were screened for assumptions of normality, and missing data, before conducting any analysis. Table 1 presents the intercorrelations among the three ESE dimensions search, planning, and marshaling. A similar result was reported by McGee et al. Two models where tested — Model 1: the three-dimensional model consisting of searching, planning, and marshaling dimensions; and Model 2 — a unidimensional model resulting combining searching, planning and marshaling.

Table 2 shows the results for the CFA of the two models. Model 2 appears to show the best fit. Additionally, Model 2 reported the lowest AIC, indicating it may be the best factorial solution. Furthermore, we tested whether the unidimensional model Model 2 was significantly better than the three dimensional model Model 1.

Thus, we can conclude that a unidimensional model is the best factorial solution. The descriptive statistics means and standard deviation , scale reliability Cronbach alpha coefficients and bivariate correlations among the measured variables are reported in Table 3. Means and standard deviation, scale reliability and bivariate correlations among variables.

Age, length of time with current employer, education, gender and occupation were controlled, as they were identified in the literature as being related to the primary variables. The results are summarized in Figure 2. Hypothesis 4b indicated that FTP would be related to OE and further, hypothesis 4d predicted OE would mediate the relationship between FTP and interest in self-employment but this was not supported by the results. This study contributes to the career and entrepreneurship research in several ways. The findings contribute to our understanding of late career interest in an often overlooked group older workers , adding to the growing body of recent SCCT research among differing social classes Flores et al.

Additionally, the findings support the applicability of SCCT to late career, revealing that older individuals develop late career interests in what they believe they can do and where they anticipated a favorable outcome Bandura, Older workers are often contextualized as a homogenous group, with a focus on chronological age. However, the identification of age-specific background and personal factors which influence the development of self-efficacy and outcome expectations for late career suggest that career interest development in later life is complex and multi-faceted.

The findings extend current theory on the complex role of age in the development of self-employment interest in several ways. The model of interest in self-employment for older workers synthesize two historically disparate streams of research investigating career interest and entrepreneurial intentions, in the context of older workers. This novel approach to the examination of self-employment in a career development context provides important insights into the pre-venture, interest development stage and thereby the identification of age-specific barriers and supports to the development of ESE and OE in older individuals.

Earlier work on the role of ESE in the entrepreneurial context has focused on it positive influence on entrepreneurial intentions and action. Less research has been devoted to its antecedents. The inclusion of age-related psychosocial FTP and sociocultural support factors in the model shed light on the intersection between age older age , the contextual environment, and development of self-employment interest. Prior research on entrepreneurship has tended to overlook the role of OE in the development of entrepreneurial intentions Chen et al.

In the career literature, it is generally argued that OE is principally influenced by self-efficacy Lent et al. However, the current findings suggest that OE may be influenced by different personal and background factors than ESE. The results also provide support for the view that in the case of costly decisions both self-efficacy and outcome expectations influence interest Lent et al.

For instance, an individual with high self-efficacy for entrepreneurship may not develop an enduring interest if they anticipated a negative outcome e. This present finding draws attention to the complex interaction between age and entrepreneurship and reinforces the argument that older workers are a heterogeneous group Bal and Jansen, Lastly, the role of social support as an antecedent to OE reinforces the argument that gray entrepreneurship needs external support and approval to be encouraged. The findings are relevant to practitioners involved in late-career counseling or seeking to nurture interest in self-employment in later life.

The results reveal, that despite accumulated knowledge and life experience, support from referent individuals is a salient factor in the development of ESE-PV and OE, for older individuals. Consequently, it is recommended that age-tailored interventions are developed where the aim is to encourage self-employment among older workers.

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Ageism and Mistreatment of Older Workers

For example, including referent individuals, such as partners and family, in initiatives encouraging older entrepreneurship would be useful. This might include extending entrepreneurial education programs to partners and family. Consequently, interventions increasing the awareness of the positive benefits of entrepreneurship when older may increase individual outcome expectations by garnering support from referent individuals.

Utilizing older entrepreneurs as peer mentors can also raise awareness of the positive outcomes from self-employment and increase self-efficacy through role-modeling. Older individuals with an expanded FTP may be more open to extending their working lives through self-employment as they are more willing to invest in relationships, activities, and goals that have a longer-term return on investment, behaviors which are consistent with early venture creation and development of ESE. Therefore, it would be beneficial to target individuals with an expanded FTP for business start-up programs.

The findings are also relevant to employers. Older workers with an interest in self-employment offer both a risk and an opportunity for organizations.

Older workers with strong entrepreneurial interests may retire pre-maturely to pursue their self-employment interests. This may lead to a loss of skills and expertise. It may also lead to a loss of business revenue and missed opportunity if innovative ideas are adopted outside of the business. Therefore, organizations seeking to strengthen their entrepreneurial orientation should not overlook older workers.

By identifying older workers with a strong ESE-PV, organizations will be able to tap into their entrepreneurial potential and develop opportunities for them to satisfy their entrepreneurial interests in the organization. Likewise, where organizations are seeking to enhance older workers entrepreneurial potential they could develop human resource management initiatives to address age norms related to innovation and entrepreneurial behavior in the organization and provide support networks for older workers to be entrepreneurial.

There are several limitations that should be noted considering the present findings. Current generalisability is limited to professional workers. As such, future research could examine the formation of self-employment intentions among non-professional workers such as tradespeople, sales workers and laborers, for example. It also must be acknowledged that not all people will act upon their interest in self-employment. A longitudinal study which examines the transition from interest to goals and finally self-employment action would be of interest. Future studies could examine in detail the transition from organizational careers to self-employment and the proximal contextual factors that influence this transition over time.

The originality of using the SCCT framework to study gray entrepreneurial behavior suggests replication of the results is required.


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Secondly, while this study was precisely designed to assess key dimensions and to control for important factors, further research should examine whether other personal or contextual age-related factors might affect the variables and relationships included in the model. Despite the practicality of a cross-sectional design for understanding the self-employment interest of older workers, new longitudinal analysis is required to establish stronger causal interpretations are required.

For instance, because background contextual factors and ESE and OE were measured at the same this, inferences about temporal ordering of these constructs cannot be assumed. However, the study was designed based on previous theoretical models and existing empirical evidence, suggesting that background contextual factors lead to career self-efficacy and outcome expectations Lent et al. Future research could take a longitudinal approach including the examination of the moderating factors theorized by SCCT to influence the relationship between interest and choice goals Lent et al.

In conclusion, workforce aging and the need to retain older workers in economic activity beyond what has been normal retirement age, highlight the importance of understanding what factors influence late career choice. Self-employment has become an important career choice for older workers evidenced by the increased uptake of entrepreneurship by people over 45 years of age.

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This research has contributed to our understanding of the social cognitive antecedents of self-employment interest among older workers.

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