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Center Publication

Effects of “Old-Developed” versus “Young-Developing” Country Type and Age-Related Factors on Work Engagement, Job Satisfaction, & Organizational Commitment—Generations of Talent Study

December 2011—To gather information from a global perspective about the work experiences of employees of diverse ages, the Sloan Center on Aging & Work at Boston College conducted a study titled “Generations of Talent” (GOT). We collected data from 11,298 people working for seven multinational employers at 24 different worksites in 11 countries in Africa, Asia, South America, North America, and Europe. The center prepared many reports on the GOT’s findings. This one focuses on three dimensions of work experience of special interest to employers:

  • work engagement
  • job satisfaction
  • organizational commitment

We present information from two types of analyses related to these dimensions:

  • comparisons of two clusters of countries with distinctive economic and demographic characteristics
  • examination of differences among employees by age, career stage, and life stage

When we looked at the 11 countries in our study in terms of their demographic and economic characteristics, two clusters emerged: countries with older populations and developed market economies and countries with younger populations and developing market economies (see the table below).

Two simple criteria—demographic and economic—shaped the framework that determined these clusters. To come up with a demographic standard, we averaged the percentages of the populations in all 11 countries who are 65 and older; the result was 10.8 percent. We then deemed countries whose senior populations were more than 10.8 percent “older” and those whose senior populations were less than 10.8 percent “younger.” The economic standard we used was the World Bank’s definition of high-income countries as those with a gross national income (GNI) of more than $12,195.

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