Dealing with an aging workforce: Locating threats and opportunities in corporate media

Anne C. Kroon*, Martine van Selm, Claartje L. ter Hoeven, Rens Vliegenthart

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)


Although workforce aging is among the major challenges facing developed countries, organizational communication about this issue has received little scholarly attention. Drawing on a content analysis of corporate media, we reconstruct how Dutch organizations (N = 50) framed older workers’ employability during the period 2006–2013 in diagnostic (problem-definitions) and prognostic (solution-definitions) terms, and we trace the influence of corporate media types and organizational characteristics on these frames. Results reveal that organizations frequently highlight problems on the macrolevel (societal) and the mesolevel (organizational), while most solutions are located on the microlevel (individual). Using multilevel modelling, we found support for the expectation that the issue is more strongly problematized in internal compared to external corporate media, and that problems related to individual older employees are most pronounced in public sector organizations’ communication. Our findings highlight diverse ways in which organizations can communicatively address factors that hamper older workers’ employability.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)818-834
Number of pages17
JournalEducational Gerontology
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2016
Externally publishedYes


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