SAGE Journal Articles

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Journal Article 16.1: Strenger, C. (2009). Sosein: Active self-acceptance in midlife. Journal of Humanistic Psychology, 49, 46–65.

Learning Objective: 16.2 Describe the changes that occur in self-concept, identity, and personality during middle adulthood.

Abstract: In light of the increase in life expectancy in the 20th century, a growing number of people are making significant midlife changes. This article tries to steer a way between two cultural myths about this life period. The first is that the only sane solution of the midlife crisis is acceptance of growing limitations. The second is the idea that, given drive and a vision, we are capable of boundless change. The alternative middle way proposed is called “active self-acceptance.” It is based on Karl Jaspers's notion that we are all condemned to failure vis-à-vis boundary situations and that there is a Sosein (being thus and no other) that is recalcitrant to change. Jaspers's biography and an extended case example show that active self-acceptance is not passive resignation but initiation of a process of self-transformation in which lucid self-knowledge and acceptance are combined into a process that allows full self-development.

Journal Article 16.2: Post, C., Schneer, J. A., Reitman, F., & Ogilvie, D. T. (2013). Pathways to retirement: A career stage analysis of retirement age expectations. Human Relations, 66, 67–112.

Learning Objective: 16.4 Discuss influences on job satisfaction and retirement planning during middle adulthood.

Abstract: In western economies with aging populations, organizations are increasingly challenged to understand and manage employees’ retirement expectations. At the same time, employees’ relationships to retirement decisions and the age at which they expect to retire are likely to change as their careers unfold. This article seeks to inform the careers and management literatures on factors contributing to retirement intentions at different career stages. Using a sample of mid- and late career professionals with MBAs, we find that mid-career professionals expect to retire three years earlier than those in late career (age 62 versus age 65.) Work centrality is associated with intentions to retire later, while positive retirement attitudes and higher income are associated with intentions to retire earlier. Furthermore, the expected retirement age is more sensitive to income at mid-career (than at late career) and is more sensitive to work centrality at late career (than at mid-career). We discuss implications for careers research and for human resource management practice.