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A visiting research seminar by Dr Dorien Kooij

Motivating ageing workers: The role of HR practices and job crafting

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The Division of Psychology and the Organising as Practice research group, part of Nottingham Business School, Nottingham Trent University, are hosting a research seminar by one of the top scholars in ageing and HRM in Europe - Dr Dorien Kooij from Tilburg University in the Netherlands.

  • From: Wednesday 8 June 2016, 12 pm
  • To: Wednesday 8 June 2016, 2 pm
  • Location: N51, Newton building, Main Entrance, Nottingham Trent University, City Campus, Goldsmith Street, Nottingham, NG1 4BU
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Since workforces are ageing across the world, it is important for organisations to know how they can motivate their ageing workers. In this presentation, Dr Kooij would like to present three studies conducted on motivating ageing workers, and particularly on the role of HR practices and job crafting. Based on lifespan theories that propose that goal focus shifts with age, Dr Kooij argues that work motives also change with age, and therefore the influence of HR practices might also change with age. Although studies that focus on HR practices for older workers suggest many HR practices as beneficial for older workers, much of this literature is theoretical and prescriptive in nature. Therefore, Dr Kooij has integrated HR practices for older workers within existing research on HR practices and structured these HR practices by categorising them into theoretically meaningful HR bundles. Furthermore, she examined how the influence of these bundles of HR practices on work engagement changed with age over time.

Ageing employees can also play an active role themselves. Lifespan theories argue that people are not passive responders to the ageing process, but exercise agency in dealing with the biological, psychological, and social changes that occur across the life span. Since multiple studies demonstrated that employees also exercise agency at work, Dr Kooij examined older workers as active shapers or crafters of their job. Job crafting is a specific form of proactive work behaviour defined as the self-initiated changes individuals make in the task or relational boundaries of their work aimed at improving person-job fit. Job crafting thus offers workers a means to continuously adjust their job to intrapersonal changes that are part of the ageing process, thereby increasing their ability and motivation to continue working. Therefore, Dr Kooij conducted an interview study to examine how older workers job craft, and whether they engage in different job-crafting activities than younger workers. In addition, she examined whether a job-crafting workshop could increase job-crafting behaviours and thus person-job fit, particularly among older workers.

Dorien Kooij is an assistant professor at the Department of Human Resource Studies at Tilburg University. She worked as HR policy-maker, HR advisor, and Junior HR consultant (2004 – 2006) and holds a PhD (2010) from the VU University Amsterdam, Department of Organisational Behavior and Development. Her research focuses on ageing at work, and in particular on HR practices for older workers and on how and why work motivation changes with ageing. Her work has been published in international peer-reviewed journals including Journal of Organizational Behavior, Journal of Management Studies, Work & Stress, and European Journal of Work and Organizational Psychology. She has also published for policy-makers and practitioners and has provided her expertise related to ageing at work and older workers to national, funding, and policy bodies. Her successful research has culminated in several awards, such as the HRM Network Best Dissertation Award 2011.

Booking information

If you would like to attend this lecture, please contact Maria Karanika-Murray.

Location details


N51, Newton building, Main Entrance


Nottingham Trent University
City Campus
Goldsmith Street

Past event

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