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Women's retirement meanings: context, changes, and organizational lessons

Women's retirement meanings: context, changes, and organizational lessons Purpose – This paper seeks to identify the meanings associated with retirement for a longitudinal sample of women immediately prior to and following their official retirement. Contextual factors which shape those meanings are also described. Design/methodology/approach – In‐depth interviews, based on a series of interview guides were conducted with a sample of 14 women in their pre‐ and post‐retirement years. The data were coded using a grounded theory approach and typology classification schemes. Findings – Retirement was alternately conceptualized as a new period of life affording freedoms and growth, as a natural final phase, as a frightening period due to losses, and/or as a pinnacle of accomplishment or relief. The contextual influences of family, friends, and unique attributes of one's profession (e.g. having jobs with transferrable skills and/or having physically demanding jobs) help create meanings. Finally, meanings were found to shift over time in concert with changing contexts. Research limitations/implications – Women have a wide range of responses to their own retirement. The stereotype that they will easily replace the work role with family and/or household roles does not hold for all. Practical implications – By truly understanding the particulars of each employee's situation, managers can assist employees in the transition into retirement such that it is a smooth one. Managers might also be able to more immediately identify employees, who would be willing to return to the organization in a consulting or short‐term capacity following retirement. Originality/value – The longitudinal data offers a unique vantage point, such that meanings can be traced over time in a way that has not yet been documented in empirical work. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Gender in Management: An International Journal Emerald Publishing

Women's retirement meanings: context, changes, and organizational lessons

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Publisher
Emerald Publishing
Copyright
Copyright © 2011 Emerald Group Publishing Limited. All rights reserved.
ISSN
1754-2413
DOI
10.1108/17542411111154895
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Purpose – This paper seeks to identify the meanings associated with retirement for a longitudinal sample of women immediately prior to and following their official retirement. Contextual factors which shape those meanings are also described. Design/methodology/approach – In‐depth interviews, based on a series of interview guides were conducted with a sample of 14 women in their pre‐ and post‐retirement years. The data were coded using a grounded theory approach and typology classification schemes. Findings – Retirement was alternately conceptualized as a new period of life affording freedoms and growth, as a natural final phase, as a frightening period due to losses, and/or as a pinnacle of accomplishment or relief. The contextual influences of family, friends, and unique attributes of one's profession (e.g. having jobs with transferrable skills and/or having physically demanding jobs) help create meanings. Finally, meanings were found to shift over time in concert with changing contexts. Research limitations/implications – Women have a wide range of responses to their own retirement. The stereotype that they will easily replace the work role with family and/or household roles does not hold for all. Practical implications – By truly understanding the particulars of each employee's situation, managers can assist employees in the transition into retirement such that it is a smooth one. Managers might also be able to more immediately identify employees, who would be willing to return to the organization in a consulting or short‐term capacity following retirement. Originality/value – The longitudinal data offers a unique vantage point, such that meanings can be traced over time in a way that has not yet been documented in empirical work.

Journal

Gender in Management: An International JournalEmerald Publishing

Published: Jul 19, 2011

Keywords: Retirement; Career development; Longitudinal; Aging; Gender; Women

References