The lidA conceptual framework on work, age and work participation

The lidA conceptual framework on work, age, and work participation compiles determinants of employment participation among older employees in eleven domains and highlights important interdependencies among them. The underlying assumption of the framework is that influences from these eleven domains contribute to how long and to what extent a person in advanced working age remains in an employment status. Each domain covers a number of corresponding influential factors.

The conceptual framework illustrates four central characteristics of work participation among older workers: complexity, processuality, individuality and structure dependence.

The variety of domains and their contextual relationships, indicated by arrows, clearly show the complexity of work participation at an advanced working age. Furthermore, the exit from work is generally not a sudden event, which is why work participation should be perceived as a process. This processuality becomes clear when, for example, the gradual withdrawal, the decision-making process and the life course perspective are taken into consideration. Personal factors also strongly influence work participation (individuality). Various domains of the conceptual framework reflect this micro-level-view - such as health, motivation, private life, social status, and finances. The conceptual framework also takes the structural dependence of work participation into consideration, as institutional conditions as well as a changing society and employment market also have an influence on this.

In the conceptual framework we understand work participation as the extent, duration, and quality of employment in the particular phase of life in which both employment and ending employment are realistic alternatives. The objective of the lidA conceptual framework is to understand the work participation of older employees better and to stimulate an interdisciplinary approach on the subject matter (see also Hasselhorn, Ebener & Müller 2015).

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