ERIC Number: ED267346
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1985-Aug
Reference Count: 0
Age and Obsolescence: A Review and Discussion.
Arvey, Richard D.; Fossum, John A.
It has been suggested that older workers may be particuarly vulnerable to the obsolescence process. One definition of obsolescence directly implies that the obsolescence construct is a function of two elements, the job and the person. New technologies, new products, and new methods and procedures can result in job changes which in turn can compel changes in worker requirements. Workers may engage in updating behaviors to maintain their evolving jobs. Organizational, job, individual, and motivational factors may all work to affect these updating behaviors and person changes. The few studies that exist on the topic of age and obsolescence suggest that older workers tend to be more prone to obsolescence than do younger workers. This finding may be due to motivational elements in contrast to ability differentials between age cohorts. If age differences in obsolescence are due to motivational factors, there are several organizational interventions which might be helpful: (1) insure that updating and skill acquisition opportunities are available to employees; (2) inform workers of expected job requirement changes; (3) help to minimize risk factors in updating; (4) help to maximize rewards for skill acquisition; and (5) view skill acquisition from a long-term perspective. If these strategies are followed, age-obsolesence relationships due to motivational factors might be reduced or eliminated. (NRB)
Publication Type: Information Analyses; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Convention of the American Psychological Association (93rd, Los Angeles, CA, August 23-27, 1985).