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Sloan Center News

Grant Will Fuel Sloan Center’s Global Initiatives

20 July 2008—The Sloan Center on Aging & Work at Boston College has received its second major grant—$3.5 million the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation announced recently.

The three-year-old center has been widely recognized as one of the few university-based research centers studying aging and work that have been successful in traversing the two worlds of the workplace and academia.

The centerpiece of the grant will be within the center's Global Initiatives program. This summer the Center research team will embark on a series of cross-national comparative studies, putting the Center's work in the global perspectives of today's talent management while encouraging workplace adoption of quality employment for the multi-generational workforce.

In addition, the Center will begin recruitment for the Generations of Talent Study, led by Assistant Professor Natasha Sarkisian, which will examine employee access to workplace resources and opportunities, documenting outcomes for employees and their organizations.

Our dual impact agenda has allowed us to develop on-going relationships with employers, and has made it possible for the Center to receive their guidance and input,said Associate Professor, and Center Director, Marcie Pitt-Catsouphes. Our employer-engaged research offers a unique and important approach to organizational studies that can have impact on human resource practice, and gives us credibility with the media, policy-makers, and business leaders.

The Center focuses on three primary issues: the aging of the US workforce, the employment preferences of older workers including their desire for flexible work options, and employer responses to these emerging trends. With the new grant, the Center will utilize its extensive network of workplace managers and scholars to gain new insights about the employment experiences of the 21st century multigenerational workforce.

Other plans include establishing the positions of Executive-in-Residence and Researcher-in-Residence. The Center has invited Murray and Monti Professor in Economics Peter Ireland to serve as Researcher-in-Residence, and will form a steering committee to identify candidates for the Executive-in-Residence.

Several other leading Boston College scholars will also assume major leadership roles at the Center. Assistant Professor Monique Valcour will provide management assistance in the Center’s US National Initiatives, which examines, among other things, the quality of employment at contemporary workplaces and the impact that shifts in the age composition of the workforce have on employees and on employers’ effort to recruit, engage, and retain today’s multi-generational workforce.

In addition, McIntyre Professor of Economics Joseph Quinn will lead analyses on retirement patterns, expectations and outcomes among older workers.

Today’s universities are in need of innovative research centers that anticipate socio-economic trends, develop policies based on sound evidence, leverage interdisciplinary collaborations, and are capable of building bridges between academia and the world of work,said GSSW Dean Alberto Godenzi. Boston College is extremely lucky to have in Marcie Pitt-Catsouphes a leader with a distinct reputation among colleagues, sponsors, and the business community. Her entrepreneurial and global perspective is essential to advance the Center’s mission during this second funding cycle.