CROW has conducted research with colleagues from over twenty countries, both within and outside of Europe. Our most notable projects are the following:
Age Diversity: Applying the Capabilities Approach to Retirement and Career Development across the Life Course
This research is sponsored by the Research Grant Council (RGC). Its aim is to explore the choices workers have with regards to how and when they retire, thereby fostering workplaces in which people can pursue longer, healthier and more productive careers. The United Nations, World Health Organization and European Union are recommending that employers find ways to broaden the choices workers have late in their careers through human resource policies such as flexible working time, lifelong learning, job rotation, and working in age mixed teams.A wealth of research suggest that when older workers have flexibility over their retirement transitions, there are mutual benefits for the worker (who can maintain the benefits of work, such as income, social networks and identity) and her/his employer (who can better workforce plan and retain the skills of the retiring individual). Although the “phased retirement” option is popular with older workers and employers, it is seldom used in Hong Kong. Often, this is because neither older workers nor their managers are aware of the choices which are available to them. This project explores retirement choices and outcomes in the UK and Hong Kong involving six case studies in the private, public and voluntary sectors. The CROW and Lingnan University teams have developed an online diagnostic tool with which employers can use to explore the options available to older employees who would like to delay retirement.
**ELDer Employees in companies experiencing Restructuring: Stress and well-being ADAPT Association for International and Comparative Studies in Labour Law and Industrial Relations **
This European Union sponsored project involved Professor Malcolm Sargeant and Dr. Matt Flynn who worked with colleagues from Italy, Finland, Spain, Austria and Germany. During a period of economic austerity and job cuts, the project looked at the relationship between organisational change and the health and well-being of older workers. The project resulted in a survey of over 1500 older workers who are members of the public sector union UNISON which explored the experiences of public sector employees who have experienced a job change and the resulting impact on their physical and mental health.
The Experience of Older Workers in Japan and the UK: a comparative study
This British Council project was led by Dr. Matt Flynn and Dr Heike Schroder of Middlesex University, Professor Atsuhiro Yamada of Keio University and Dr. Masa Higo of Andersen University. The project explored institutional and cultural factors which have led to Japan having the world’s highest real retirement age and lessons which could be learned for UK employers and government. The project involved interviews with eighty older workers in the two countries. ** Age Diversity in the Workplace: a comparative perspective**
Professor Michael Muller Camen, Dr. Matt Flynn and Dr. Heike Schroeder of, Middlesex University investigated age management practices in the UK and Germany, two contrasting Varieties of Capitalism. The project involved 73 interviews with stakeholders from government, unions, age advocacy groups and five case study organisations. It has resulted in two Human Relations articles as well as other papers and book chapters.
Knowledge Management in the Automotive Industry
This European Social Fund project looked at the management of older workers in European automotive sectors and strategies for retaining their skills and knowledge. The team developed and tested knowledge management approaches that can map, organise and store older workers’ experiences and examples of good practices in a repository ready for use by every employee in the company. It will also develop and test new working arrangements and organisational models that make the best use of older workers’ skills and knowledge ** The Effects of Gender and Qualifications on Older People’s Employability**
Professor Stephen McNair, Lynda Owen-Hussey and Dr. Matt Flynn conducted this study which explored the gender dimension of extended working lives. It included 25 life course biographical interviews and was conducted for HE-ESF.