The Resource-based view: a theoretical home for older workers

Helene Mountford, Peter A. Murray

Research output: Contribution to conferenceAbstract


Governments and policy makers throughout the developed world have exhorted employers for almost two decades to discourage early retirement and retain older workers because national economies cannot afford sudden and large increases in social security costs. The economic effect of the baby boomer cohort heading for retirement has long been recognised as having economic consequences which would be difficult to manage. So governments and academics set about attempting to convince business of the necessity of older worker retention. Until the global financial crisis, there was little evidence that workers or employers were responding to this call. The growing literature on older workers (OWs) has been dominated by demographic discussions and popular thought and conjecture. A small number have been case studies and empirical research, particularly in the area of employee retirement intentions and its corollary, the incentives needed to keep OWs at work. As research on this topic increases, there is little theory in the human resources area on which to base the value of older workers and the reasons to keep them in employment. It can be argued that a case of business value was not being made sufficiently strongly to employers (ironically the youth culture introduced by the baby boomers still predominates) while OWs were still infused with the culture of early retirement.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages3
Publication statusPublished - 2010
EventOlder Workers in a Sustainable Society : Great Needs and Great Potentials - Oslo, Norway
Duration: 9 Jun 201011 Jun 2010


ConferenceOlder Workers in a Sustainable Society : Great Needs and Great Potentials
CityOslo, Norway


  • older workers
  • resource-based view
  • diversity
  • skills shortages


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