THE PROCESS OF RETIREMENT: A REVIEW AND RECOMMENDATIONS FOR FUTURE INVESTIGATION

Authors


  • Some of the work on this manuscript was completed while the author was visiting professor of management at Oregon State University. This paper is based on a proposal receiving honorable mention in the competition for the 1984 Edwin E. Ghiselli Award for Research Design. The author thanks Central Michigan University's Office of Planning, Instruction, and Research for partial support of this project and Douglas D. Friedrich, Daniel W. King, and two anonymous reviewers for their comments on previous versions of the manuscript. Requests for reprints should be sent to Terry A. Beehr, Director of the Doctoral Program in Industrial/Organizational Psychology, Central Michigan University, Mount Pleasant, Michigan 48859.

Abstract

Since the average ages of many industrialized nations' workers are increasing, it is important to know (1) the causes of employees' decisions to retire early and (2) the effects of retirement on the lives of retirees and on their employing organizations. The fields of gerontology and of social, clinical, and developmental psychology have investigated retirement, usually focusing on individual well-being as a criterion. Industrial/organizational psychology generally has not delved into the topic. A review of the empirical literature and theories regarding the two retirement issues leads to conclusions that are very tentative due to the nature of the research methods used until now. I/O psychologists have the opportunity to contribute to knowledge about retirement because of their dual interests in both individuals and organizations and because of their tradition of scientific rigor. Propositions are provided for future research.

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