Motivating employees to work beyond retirement: A multi-level study of the role of I-deals and unit climate

P. Matthijs Bal, Simon B. De Jong, Paul G. W. Jansen, Arnold B. Bakker

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

188 Citations (Scopus)


The present study investigates what role I-deals (i.e. the idiosyncratic deals made between employees and their organization) play in the motivation of employees to continue working after retirement. We hypothesized two types of I-deals (i.e. development and flexibility I-deals) to be positively related to motivation to continue working. More specifically, we drew from continuity and personality theory to argue that the motivation to continue working is enhanced by I-deals, because they fulfil people's needs for personalized work arrangements. Moreover, drawing from activity and disengagement theory it was hypothesized that two types of unit climate (i.e. accommodative and development climates) would moderate these relationships. Specifically, it was predicted that I-deals would be positively related to motivation to continue working under conditions of low accommodative or high development climate. Results of a multi-level study among 1083 employees in 24 units largely supported the above expectations; flexibility I-deals related positively to motivation to continue working, and unit climate moderated the relation between development I-deals and motivation to continue working.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)306-331
Number of pages26
JournalJournal of Management Studies
Issue number2
Early online date25 Sep 2011
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2012


  • accommodative climate
  • development climate
  • development I-deals
  • flexibility I-deals
  • motivation to continue working
  • retirement

Cite this