Lauren Eyster, Demetra Smith Nightingale, and Jaclyn Nidoh
With the increasing numbers of older Americans and the need for employment at older ages, the aim of this chapter is to explore recent trends in older workers’ employment and retirement patterns by various subgroups such as age, gender, race and immigration status, income, and occupation. A discussion of how these trends may differentially affect older workers’ future opportunities for continued work or retirement will also be provided. In addition, the major U.S. government policies and programs for individuals who stay in or return to the workforce at later ages are explained. The chapter ends with a discussion on the implications of these subgroup trends and future directions for research on subgroups of older workers.
Eric D. Heggestad and Ashley M. Andrew
Personality traits and job attitudes are related to a number of important work-related outcomes. In this chapter we explore age-related changes in both the Big Five personality traits and job attitudes, with a particular focus on job satisfaction and organizational commitment. We begin by reviewing the literature on personality traits and age, which suggests that personality traits are characterized by both stability and change over the life course. We then discuss the literature on job attitudes and age. Next, we examine the relationships between personality and job attitudes, and contemplate how these relationships might be affected by age. Finally, we offer directions for future research on age, personality, and job attitudes.
Harvey L. Sterns and Anthony A. Sterns
The demarcation of work-nonwork that has been characterized by sharp retirement (e.g., ending a long-term job) is now more often characterized by individuals seeking either to continue working or opting for a dull or gradual retirement (move to a bridge job or part-time work). The growing percentage of older adults in the population is increasing the percentage of older workers; moreover, low-wage workers are older and more educated than in the recent past. The health status of the future workforce will include individuals with and without chronic disease, and predictions of improved health must be tempered by trends in the percentage of adults with obesity and obesity-related health changes. With the economic uncertainties since 2007, many older workers are finding they need to continue working longer than they had expected. These shifting financial, needs as well as an interest in continuing to contribute to society, are drawing many older workers into steady or episodic market work and volunteer work. This chapter will examine the relationship between aging and working from two psychology-of-working perspectives, the organizational perspective and the self-management perspective.
Sven Voelpel, Anne Sauer, and Torsten Biemann
From an organizational viewpoint, strategic career-development and succession-planning programs can help organizations keep valued employees, especially older ones, and reduce HR costs by developing existing workers rather than hiring new ones. They can also help organizations adapt more nimbly to changing circumstances by preserving accumulated expertise and experience while continuously refreshing skills.
Kristen M. Shockley and Winny Shen
Drawing from disciplines as varied as sociology, economics, psychology, family studies, political science, demography, and women’s studies, research on the division of labor comes from a rich, interdisciplinary tradition. Despite obvious links between division of paid and unpaid labor between spouses and work–family variables, particularly around issues of gender and parenthood, organizational scholars have been largely absent from this conversation. The purpose of this article, therefore, is to synthesize the recent division of labor literature, focusing on research from the past decade and a half (2000–2014), with the goal of highlighting connections between division of labor research and theories, constructs, and questions of interest to organizational scholars to facilitate integration and future research. Specifically, this article reviews common measurement methods, theoretical perspectives, correlates (antecedents and consequences), and macroor cross-national (i.e., values and policies) influences on the division of labor.
Isaac Prilleltensky and Graham B. Stead
Critical psychology emerged as a reaction to (a) the oppressive turn in individualism, (b) the negative repercussions of the status quo on large sectors of the population, and (c) psychology's witting or unwitting complicity in upholding the societal status quo. The critical psychology movement questions psychology, and society, on the basis of moral, epistemic, and professional shortcomings. This chapter reviews critical psychology's reservations about dominant assumptions in these three domains, and offers an alternative set of principles designed to advance well-being in persons, communities, psychological science, and professional practice. Following an alternative conception of well-being, this chapter applies it to the world of work. It reviews problematic assumptions pertaining to the moral, epistemic, and professional values impacting the world of work, and offers theoretical and practical recommendations for advancing the well-being of workers, organizations, and communities. Humanitarian work psychology and critical management studies offer valuable avenues for merging critical psychology with the world of work.
Lan Wang, Douglas T. Hall, and Lea Waters
This chapter discusses “identity-based retirement,” a psychosocial process of identity transition and search for meaning. We see the career as a series of short learning cycles, mini versions of the lifelong career stage model of Super (1957). Retirement is a recursive process of intentions, actions, and outcomes, through which new behaviors generalize to involvement in new roles, and new subidentities associated with retirement (Hall, 1971, 2002). This process entails communicating internally with the self and externally with significant others. Factors in the individual (self-comparisons and protean career orientation) and relational factors (developmental networks and reference groups) influence the identity and goal-setting process, making the person both the agent and the target of the change process that is retirement. Thus the necessity to be self-anchored during retirement gives people the opportunity to find personal meaning in ways that step outside of their previous working lives.
Mary Sue Richardson and Charles Schaeffer
This chapter is informed by the counseling for work and relationship perspective that posits two major contexts of work, market work and unpaid care work. Examination of the work and family literature through this lens, especially that having to do with work-family conflict and work-family expansion, reveals a general lack of attention to unpaid care work, which typically is folded into more general considerations of family. The need to pay more attention to the significance of unpaid care work is framed by a social policy context in the United States that is not supportive of unpaid care work, demographic changes, changes in the context of market work, and radical changes in the ways that adults form relationships and care for others. A dual model of working for men and women across the lifespan encompassing market work and unpaid care work is proposed for the psychology of working. This dual model of working is based on a single adult worker model for the market economy, an analysis of the linkages among market work, unpaid care work, and paid care work, and a broad definition of unpaid care work applicable to all. This chapter suggests that this dual model of working will contribute to the ability of people to co-construct lives worth living and to the amelioration of prevailing gender and social inequities.
Gender and work are intimately interwoven concepts. The gendered context of work, including sexism and discrimination, has historically excluded access to work for women; similarly, gender socialization experiences have influenced how women and men construct meaning around work. The purpose of this chapter is to utilize an inclusive, psychology-of-working framework to examine how work intersects with both female and male gender roles. The complex manner in which working and gender roles interface will be explored, along with an emphasis on understanding how socialization and sexist practices create limitations for individuals seeking and adjusting to work.
Gary P. Latham, Mary B. Mawritz, and Edwin A. Locke
The benefit of using theories in the behavioral sciences for job search is that they facilitate predicting, explaining, and influencing behavior. This chapter compares and contrasts two such theories, namely, goal setting and control theory. Empirical research, emanating from these two theories on job search, is reviewed. The chapter closes with a checklist for job seekers and suggestions for future research.
Michael J. Zickar
This chapter discusses the need for industrial-organizational (IO) psychology to be more inclusive. Historically, IO psychologists have focused on research topics that are of prime interest to management and have neglected topics that are of interest largely to workers. Topics such as personnel selection and productivity have received much more attention than topics such as unionization and making working lives more meaningful. In addition, IO psychologists have generally preferred quantitative methods instead of qualitative methods; this preference has made it more difficult for IO psychologists to understand phenomena from workers' perspectives. This article discusses the history of these biases and provides a series of suggestions for scholars to incorporate into their professional lives so that they can be more inclusive in their choice of topics, perspectives, and methodologies.
Tammy D. Allen and Kristen M. Shockley
This chapter discusses older workers and work–family issues. The chapter includes a review of research concerning both the negative and positive aspects of multiple roles and differences across the life span. Unique challenges for the older worker are discussed, followed by a review of organizational initiatives offered by employers to assist older workers. The chapter concludes with an agenda for future research.
Saba Rasheed Ali
The psychology-of-working perspective (Blustein, 2006) outlines an agenda that promotes social and economic justice. As part of this agenda, Blustein argues for an integrative approach to address the problems associated with work, social class, and poverty. The current chapter describes ways in which the psychology-of-working perspective can be used as the framework to address issues that influence access to resources that foster greater volition for work among individuals and families living in poverty. In this chapter, I also outline some of the different interventions that can address these issues and discuss how these interventions promote the tenets of economic justice and social justice espoused in the psychology-of-working perspective. The chapter includes (1) a discussion of the connection among working, wages, and poverty; (2) an overview of the historical and contemporary perspectives of the interface between vocational psychology/career counseling and poverty eradication efforts; and (3) implications that the psychology-of-work paradigm has for public policy efforts.
Spencer G. Niles and Edwin L. Herr
This chapter provides an overview of the link between public policy and the psychology of working. Specifically, it emphasizes reasons for engaging in public policy, the changing organization of work and the shifting skills requirements for employment, conflicts between work and family, the psychology of work, public policy in historical context, and related themes. The chapter highlights the fact that these themes give expression to public policy and career development. Furthermore, it provides specific policy and legislative examples to illustrate the connection between context, policy, and career services. Finally, it discusses how these themes change as the larger societies change and constantly create new practices, new policies, and new research and scholarship in career development services.
Lisa Y. Flores
The world of work has been one of the key contexts for the manifestation of the pernicious impact of racism. Using a multicultural and psychology of working perspective, this chapter reviews literature across various disciplines on the work experiences of people of color to illuminate their career narratives. The effects of racism on work disparities, psychological and physical health, occupational health, job satisfaction, and other work-related outcomes among workers of color in the United States are explored. In addition, research that has applied cultural and race-based frameworks to understanding the effects of culture on work-related variables among people of color is reviewed. Finally, research with people of color that has addressed the psychology of work's three functions of work-work for survival and power, work for social connection, and work for self-determination-is highlighted. Recommendations regarding future vocational research, practice, and policies that can assist people of color in their journey toward seeking work that fulfills their individual needs are provided.
Douglas T. Hall and Philip H. Mirvis
This chapter explores changing definitions of careers in terms of work, work identity, and career success. It enlarges the concept of career space by considering how nonwork activities-in one's home and personal life, in social networks, and in the community-can all contribute to self-development and self-image and ultimately to a sense of psychological success in one's career. It also expands the concept of career time by opening the relationship between chronological age and career stage to show how people today move in and out of the paid workforce, and across work roles, occupations, and organizations, to put together a boundaryless career. This poses psychological and economic challenges but opens new possibilities for development of self and identity. The chapter examines the personal and environmental resources needed for people to successfully navigate this new career space/time landscape.
Meghna Virick and Frances McKee-Ryan
This chapter provides an overview of research on underemployment among laid-off workers, with a particular focus on workers who are more vulnerable to underemployment based on age, gender, and minority status. This review identifies issues, problems, and gaps in the current research and outlines directions for future research, specifically highlighting the importance of examining career outcomes of underemployed workers.
Kimberly A. French and Ryan C. Johnson
This chapter provides a historic overview of the work–family field from the 1970s through today. Several reviews and timelines are compiled to identify themes throughout each time period. To supplement published resources, interviews with prominent work–family scholars were conducted to identify key trends and issues, and to obtain a more personal view into the lives of some of work–family’s most influential minds. The review covers a broad range of topics across time, including the evolution of societal trends and legislation, key organizations and foundations, popular topics, theoretical developments, and methodological techniques. The chapter concludes with the interviewed work–family scholars’ future visions for the work–family field.
Graham B. Stead
The psychology of working is examined in relation to social constructionism. Social constructionism focuses on discourse, language, relationships, and culture; in this chapter, social constructionism is related to how the psychology of working might be constructed, not discovered or objectively determined, as a means of offering alternative perspectives to vocational psychology. This chapter reflects on social constructionism, its development and applicability to the psychology of working, epistemology, language and discourse, power/knowledge, the relational self, and narrative, and addresses common criticisms of social constructionism. Possible research directions utilizing social constructionism are provided.
Mary Z. Anderson and James M. Croteau
This chapter examines LGBT issues in explicit relationship to the psychology of working. It presents an overview of the two most developed areas of LGBT vocational psychology: LGBT workplace discrimination/climate and LGBT workers' management of sexual identity. Within each area, the chapter discusses select recent theoretical and empirical literature that deepens current understandings and promotes movement toward an inclusive LGBT psychology of working. It illustrates and makes recommendations for future scholarship that promotes such movement. Major recommendations include (a) continuing methodologically rigorous study of LGBT workplace climate and sexual identity management, (b) continued focus on the broad context of workplace climate with particular attention to action-oriented identification of factors that contribute to hospitable workplaces, (c) continued scholarly focus on a breadth of workplace sexual identity management constructs, including study that promotes understanding of day-to-day behaviors, ongoing strategies, and motivations underlying expression of sexual identity, and (d) expanding scholarship that interrupts the current predominance of an LGBT vocational psychology that is exclusively focused on, and derived from, the work lives of White, middle- and upper-class, lesbian women and gay men. Accomplishing this last recommendation will require a significant shift in perspective to intentionally prioritize understanding the experiences of workers who are not professionals and/or highly formally educated, workers who are people of color, and workers who are bisexual and transgender. Drawing on the broader LGBT psychology literature, this chapter offers multiple specific suggestions for developing more inclusive scholarship.