Use this URL to cite or link to this record in EThOS:
Title: The management of demographic change : a study of three German industrial sectors
Author: Drew, Hilary
ISNI:       0000 0004 2733 1977
Awarding Body: Cardiff University
Current Institution: Cardiff University
Date of Award: 2012
Availability of Full Text:
Access from EThOS:
Access from Institution:
Repercussions of the demographic shift for firms include issues such an incremental rise in the average age of the workforce, unequal inflows and outflows of labour and managing organisational skill levels. In the case of Germany, organisational responses to demographic change are exacerbated by a predominant early exit culture, legislation which protects against the dismissal of older employees and related provisions set out in collective bargaining agreements. The aim of the research is to examine how demographic shifts impacted on German companies in the steel, chemicals and utilities sectors. After discussing these challenges, the thesis analyses measures implemented by these firms and explains differences in the responses between the sectors. The empirical findings clearly indicate that far more was being done to prepare for, and to counter, the effects of demographic developments than the extant academic literature suggests. Companies which responded most proactively to demographic change issues perceived this to be part of their role as a responsible and caring employer. The end to the financial support of early retirement by the German government was found to be an important catalyst for firms to develop measures to accommodate older workers, instead of offering them an early exit from the company. Nevertheless, a failure to respond effectively to the end of state-funded support for early retirement, as well as the tendency of some firms to ignore deep-seated motivational issues in older workers, suggests that companies have some way to go before they can be described as effectively tackling demographic change. Hence, this thesis is unable to prove conclusively that critics of the German management of demographic in organisations are wrong in pre-empting that German firms run the risk of falling into a demographic trap (Thun et al, 2007). The thesis frames demographic change within a wider context of organisational shifts, by examining external and internal drivers of change. Variations in responses between sectors are explained by drawing attention to drivers of change within the three industrial sectors which have shaped the behaviour of firms, including past experiences of organisational restructuring. Finally, the thesis makes a number of important theoretical, empirical and practical contributions to the academic literature. The most important contribution is to provide qualitative, empirical data on how firms in Germany are dealing with demographic developments to address gaps in the literature on company responses to demographic change.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: HD Industries. Land use. Labor