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An exploratory study into work motivation of older workers in professional services roles in Ireland

McLoughlin, Cróna (2016) An exploratory study into work motivation of older workers in professional services roles in Ireland. Masters thesis, Dublin, National College of Ireland.

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Purpose: The study explores work motivation of older professional services workers in Ireland. Specifically, it examines individuals who are termed, “older workers”, defined as 50+, and investigates what motivates them.

Context: Changing demographics that include an increased aged population is impacting work places, with employees prolonging their working years. People are expected to live longer and greater emphasis will be put on both working and saved earnings for retirement. Individuals and organisations need to understand motivations for this cohort and plan and develop practices accordingly.

Literature: The existing literature provides a range of views on older workers, regarding their motivation and potential contribution. Consistent is the agreement that this cohort require consideration within the labour market to maximise engagement and productivity, with work motivation being a key factor.

Methodology: An inductive qualitative approach is used. Semi structured interviews were carried out, with a sample of 8 participants from professional service roles in Ireland. Thematic Analysis was then used to analyse the data.

Findings: The key findings that emerged from the research are of a highly motivated group, interested in continued development and challenges, and seeking opportunities to contribute in their chosen professions. Significant is the ongoing extrinsic motivation for financial security, which including the comments from the participants, the researcher suggests is an impact from the recent recession.

Originality: Whilst there has been research on motivations for older workers, the majority pertains to other geographic regions other than Ireland. The literature indicates that the national context is a factor and, therefore, an understanding of work motivation for older workers, from an Irish context, is of interest and value.

Item Type: Thesis (Masters)
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HD Industries. Land use. Labor > HD28 Management. Industrial Management > Human Resource Management > Performance Management > Motivation
H Social Sciences > HD Industries. Land use. Labor > Issues of Labour and Work > Older Workers
Divisions: School of Business > Master of Arts in Human Resource Management
Depositing User: Caoimhe Ní Mhaicín
Date Deposited: 02 Nov 2016 11:18
Last Modified: 02 Nov 2016 11:18

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