Outcomes of bridge employment: a mixed method examination of retirees' expectations and experiences

Mazumdar, Bishakha (2018) Outcomes of bridge employment: a mixed method examination of retirees' expectations and experiences. Doctoral (PhD) thesis, Memorial University of Newfoundland.

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There is a growing tendency among present day retirees to engage in bridge jobs before their final exit from the labour force; however, few studies examine the bridge employment experience from the perspective of the employees themselves. Although there is ample literature addressing the factors that contribute to the growth of bridge employment, minimal academic attention has been directed towards understanding the needs and expectations of actual bridge employees. This gap in literature needs to be addressed in order to design a workplace suited for the needs and abilities of this matured workforce. I conducted a mixed methods study among bridge employees to fulfill this gap and shed light on how workplaces can be more accommodative to yield the best potential of this employment arrangement. In my first study, an online survey of 195 bridge employees, I found that people who engaged in nonstandard work had better life and work satisfaction. Additionally, bridge employees’ perception of the fulfillment of the psychological contract by their organizations is associated with positive impacts on their satisfaction with life, marital adjustment quality, and key job attitudes. In my second study, I conducted in-depth interviews with 26 bridge employees. I found that there is an association between retirees’ motives for taking on bridge jobs and their expectations from these jobs. More specifically, bridge employees who were highly cognizant of life’s limitations, both in terms quality of life as one ages and of life span in general, ensured bridge jobs complemented their other priorities in life. Their expectations and satisfaction in bridge jobs largely depended on relationships with co-workers and on bridge employees’ perceptions of organizational policy. Bridge employees who did not express the realization that life is limited, seemed to approach bridge jobs as a new phase of their career, and expected organizations to create opportunities for their skills to be utilized. Utilizing the frameworks of psychological contract theory and socioemotional selectivity theory, my study provides important directions for successful recruitment and retention of bridge employees as well as for creating a supportive work environment for them.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral (PhD))
URI: http://research.library.mun.ca/id/eprint/13259
Item ID: 13259
Additional Information: Includes bibliographical references (pages 163-198).
Keywords: bridge employment, psychological contract theory, nonstandard work, socioemotional selectivity theory, motives of bridge employment, expectations in bridge employment, experiences in bridge employment, grounded theory
Department(s): Business Administration, Faculty of
Date: May 2018
Date Type: Submission
Library of Congress Subject Heading: Retirees -- Attitudes; Retirees -- Employment; Older people -- Employment; Retirement -- Public opinion

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