Determinants of work motivation and work satisfaction among kibbutz aged workers

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The paper first explains why industrial societies will shortly need to increase their labour force by including persons of post current retirement age. It then presents two contrasted hypotheses to explain older workers' satisfaction with, and motivation in their work roles: Hypothesis (a), a 'focus on compensation' which suggests that older workers seek compensation for deterioration in their sensory-motor potentials; Hypothesis (b), a 'focus on relative advantage' which suggests that older workers seek to exploit their relative advantages, namely, their cognitive-emotional abilities and potentials. Reactions would be affected more by opportunities for satisfaction of psychological, higher order needs rather than opportunities for satisfying bodily needs. Validity of Hypothesis (b) is tested by a study of kibbutz workers (235) distributed about equally between the two genders and among three age groups (45-57; 58-67; 68 and over). Results of the analyses support Hypothesis (b) and its derivations. Older workers desire job characteristics that offer opportunities for satisfaction of higher order psychological needs more than they desire characteristics that offer better physical conditions and convenience at work. The former characteristics explain more than the latter characteristics, variance in 'satisfaction with work' and variance in 'motivation to contribute to job'. The discussion ends with suggestions for further study to answer questions such as: how and when to train workers to prepare them for jobs appropriate at very advanced ages beyond the currently normative retirement age; what should be the structure of jobs fit for older workers; how should they be integrated in work organizations with younger workers; where should the locus of decision regarding these questions be?

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)49-64
Number of pages16
JournalCanadian Journal of Community Mental Health
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1992

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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