Understanding life roles impact on late life Kaleidoscope career intentions

Marjorie O'Neill, Denise Jepsen

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference abstract


Improved health care and increased life expectancy have resulted not only in extended working lives but also extended roles as child, parent, grandparent, spouse and friend. Existing career theories, both traditional and modern, tend to not adequately account for the careers of contemporary older workers. This paper reports two studies focused on career choices of older workers. Study one consists of 17 interviews with hospital pharmacists, demonstrating the influence of non-work life roles on late life career choices. These interviews demonstrate a frequent desire to increase the leisure or other non-work life roles. Results show that carer responsibilities, particularly related to adult children caring for ageing parents, play an influential role in late life career choices. Furthermore, older workers’ kaleidoscope career intentions may be influenced by their different life role commitments. Study two, a survey of 215 direct care workers, confirms life roles’ impact on individuals’ kaleidoscope career intentions. Taken together, these findings confirm that career theory needs to be updated to account for extended life expectancy and consequent extended life roles, including the worker and adult child life roles. This research has considerable implications for both the expansion of careers theory and the development of public and business policies aimed at retention of human resources in a health industry that needs them.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationAcademy of Management proceedings
EditorsGuclu Atinc
PublisherAcademy of Management
Number of pages1
Publication statusPublished - 2015
EventAcademy of Management Annual Meeting (75th : 2015) - Vancouver, BC, Canada
Duration: 7 Aug 201511 Aug 2015

Publication series

NameAcademy of Management Proceedings
ISSN (Print)0065-0668
ISSN (Electronic)2151-6561


ConferenceAcademy of Management Annual Meeting (75th : 2015)
CityVancouver, BC


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