Why and when do learning goal orientation and attitude decrease with aging? The role of perceived remaining time and work centrality

T.A.M. Kooij, H. Zacher

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

20 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

We conducted two studies to improve our understanding of why and when older workers are focused on learning. Based on socioemotional selectivity theory, which proposes that goal focus changes with age and the perception of time, we hypothesized and found that older workers perceive their remaining time at work as more limited than younger workers which, in turn, is associated with lower learning goal orientation and a less positive attitude toward learning and development. Furthermore, we hypothesized and found that high work centrality buffers the negative association between age and perceived remaining time, and thus the indirect negative effects of age on learning goal orientation and attitude toward learning and development (through perceived remaining time). These findings suggest that scholars and practitioners should take workers’ perceived remaining time and work centrality into account when examining or stimulating learning activities among aging workers.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)146-168
JournalJournal of Social Issues
Volume72
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2016

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