Keeping older workers committed and employed through formal and informal HRD initiatives

Ida Wognum, Martine Horstink

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Human resources development (HRD) initiatives are often targeted towards increasing employee organisational commitment. This specifically holds for more informal practices of learning and development, although most learning situations encompass both formal and informal elements. In this chapter a negative relationship is hypothesised between the formality level of HRD initiatives and employee commitment meaning that a higher level of formality is expected to lead to a lower level of organisational commitment. It is also hypothesised that this relationship is stronger for older workers. Although the findings do not support both hypotheses, the results are interesting. For instance, older workers having learned more formally through a new task, job or project, show significantly more continuous organisational commitment. This finding offers the opportunity to arrange new learning and development initiatives to improve older workers’ organisational commitment and prevent them from exiting the labour market early to retire. It also adds new insights to the public debate in which older workers’ knowledge development has often been narrowed to formal training.
Original languageUndefined
Title of host publicationWorking and ageing: emerging theories and empirical perspectives
Place of PublicationLuxembourg
PublisherEuropean Centre for the Development of Vocational Training (Cedefop)
Number of pages366
ISBN (Print)978-92-896-0629-5
Publication statusPublished - 2010

Publication series

PublisherCedefop / Publications Office for the European Union


  • METIS-273974
  • IR-97083

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