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Sloan Center News

Age Diversity = Opportunity

how does age diversity compound the challenges/opportunities of global talent management?

do people of different ages who live in different countries report similar or different experiences at work?

01 June 2009—The cover story of the May 25 issue of Time magazine focuses on the Future of Work. Some important trends and changes are noted, many of which are related to shifts in the age demographics of the workforce. Not surprisingly, comments are made about the needs and preferences of younger workers and older workers. The importance of workplace flexibility is addressed. One article considers the implications for managers.

The cover story of the May 25 issue of Time magazine focuses on the Future of Work. Some important trends and changes are noted, many of which are related to shifts in the age demographics of the workforce. Not surprisingly, comments are made about the needs and preferences of younger workers and older workers. The importance of workplace flexibility is addressed. One article considers the implications for managers.

But, the future is really "in the present" and the new world of work is being experienced differently in countries around the world.

The Center on Aging & Work has been exploring these issues for some time. Over the course of the past year the Center has been conducting work focusing on the ways that "age can matter" in different countries around the world. Researchers from the countries listed below have been: gathering descriptive demographic information and data about economic and social indicators (with the compiled information published in Country Profiles); analyzing data about the preferences and workplace experiences of younger adults, adults at mid-life, and older adults (including the information in our Mind the Gap: Employee Perspectives series); analyzing data about workplace resources (describing the findings in our Mind the Gap: Employer Perspectives series); and summarizing information about key employment policies.

Australia
China
Denmark
France
Germany
India
Ireland
Italy
Japan
Pakistan
Palestine
Singapore
South Africa
South Korea
UK
US

We look forward to receiving your feedback about these different types of papers.

It is our hope that these papers provide you with an introduction to aging and work in different countries and also stimulate some new ideas related to the opportunities associated with global talent management.

perspectives from the country context study team

The country context studies are critical in the global information era. They can provide general as well as in-depth information and insight about different countries' working conditions for employers and scholars interested in global quality of employment.

      *   Jungui Lee
      *  Country of Origin: South Korea

Both employers' and employees' experiences are deeply embedded in and profoundly shaped by national economic conditions, government regulations, policy legacy, and cultural values with respect to work. Learning about a country context is crucial to properly understand employers' talent management and employees' quality of employment. It helps us realize that "one-size doesn't fit all."

      *   Masa Higo
      *   Country of Origin: Japan

 

how can we get a glimpse of this new world of work, as it is unfolding today?

Starting in January 2010, the Center will be gathering information at worksites in up to 10 different countries. We have been working with colleagues from Africa, Asia, Australia, Europe and North America to design a study, Generations of Talent, that will document the similarities and differences in the preferences and priorities of employees of different ages. And, we'll be exploring how these differences might matter to employers. We'll be sure to keep you up-to-date about our progress.

We are always interested in your comments, suggestions, and observations. Please don’t hesitate to email me directly at pittcats@bc.edu

Best regards,

Marcie