Book Review The Multi-generational and Aging Workforce: Challenges and Opportunities by Ronald J. Burke, Cary L. Cooper, and Alexander-Stamatios G. Antoniou.

AuthorSoni, Jaya
PositionBook review

Burke, Ronald J., Cary L. Cooper, and Alexander-Stamatios G. Antoniou, eds. The Multi-generational and Aging Workforce: Challenges and Opportunities. Northhampton: Edward Elgar, 2015. x + 432 pages. Hardcover, $160.00.

The expansion of quality healthcare throughout the last century has resulted in dramatic increases in life expectancy, lower mortality rates, and a greater number of older-generation workers currently employed. More men and women are working later in life compared to previous generations, particularly given the economy and the increase in the requirement for the age of retirement. Simultaneously, employment shortages also exist, due to some choosing to retire early in specialized fields, leaving organizations to hire a broader age-range of employees. Workforces in advanced societies are facing both an older and more diverse workforce than ever before leaving Veterans, Baby Boomers, Generation X'ers and Generation Y'ers (Millennials) to work together. The Multi-generational and Aging Workforce: Challenges and Opportunities provides a broader context to these workforce challenges before focusing on understanding the needs of both older and younger employees. The final section of the book centers on leveraging this diversity through learning to create 'age-friendly' and improved workplaces.

Roland Burke, Cary Cooper, and Alexander-Stamatios Antoniou have compiled this collection from thirty-one contributors researching throughout the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, and other developed workforce societies, with expertise across numerous fields including business, psychology, organizational psychology, and health. The book is organized into five sections. Part I is brief and provides an overview of themes important to understanding the changing demographics of the workforce. Such topics include understanding the relationship between age and workforce attitudes, why workers choose to retire, and detailed understandings of the four generational workforce groups, including how they perceive one another. Part II delves more deeply into major trends impacting the various generational workforce groups. For example, in chapter 2, Furnham discusses high unemployment rates and focuses on three major trends impacting the future of unemployment: dramatic changes in required skills as the work modality and space shift, the psychological effects of unemployment, and the increased diversity of employees with varying skill sets...

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