What if the labor force were to be inadequate to support organizational needs due to a huge reduction in available labor primarily from Baby Boomer retirements? The literature purports such a scenario and this exploratory research addresses what a sample of retired professionals are doing and how understanding their motivations may alleviate the deficit. The central research question is what motivates retired professionals into post retirement involvements. Retired professionals contribute to communities in the spirit of fun and giving back so others are helped. Lived experiences offer learning to forestall the difficulties of a shrinking labor force. After long careers these retirees met organizational needs and personal satisfactions through new venture role transitions. Age, aging, and longevity are intrinsic yet many Baby Boomers do not expect to enter traditional, nonworking retirement. This phenomenological study used narrative inquiry interviews of retirees and learned, in the words of the study participants, it is a feeling of fulfillment to assist others. Qualitative methodology included observational notes and coding of recorded transcripts. Computer-assisted qualitative data analysis software aided the critical analytical thinking. Analysis discovered patterns and themes for knowledge synthesis. Five emergent themes are active/busy, age inclusive of family, choice/control, enjoyment/fun, and helping others. Two major patterns in this case study are participants were very involved prior to and after retirement and second, discretionary decisions. Implication for positive social change is understood as participation motivations are voluntary. Retired professionals make significant contributions to their communities, on their own terms. The significance is the enjoyment expressed repeatedly about the career and concurrently about entirely different post retirement involvements.
|Adviser||Judith L. Forbes|
|Subjects||Business administration; Management; Labor economics|
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