Retirees' motivational orientations and bridge employment: testing the moderating role of gender

Yujie Zhan, Mo Wang, Junqi Shi

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33 Citations (Scopus)


Bridge employment refers to the labor force participation after people retire from career jobs. It is becoming a prevalent phenomenon for retirees transitioning from employment to complete work withdrawal. Building on existing literature on retirement transition and older adults' work motivation, the present study examined the effects of 3 motivational orientations (i.e., status striving, communion striving, and generativity striving) in relating to retirees' bridge employment participation (i.e., bridge employment status and bridge employment work hours). This study also applied the social gender role theory to examine the effect of gender in moderating the effects of motivational orientations. Data from 507 Chinese retirees in Beijing revealed that communion striving and generativity striving were positively related to bridge employment participation. Further, gender moderated the effect of status striving such that status striving was positively related to bridge employment participation for male retirees but not for female retirees. In addition, exploratory analysis was conducted to examine the effects of the same set of motivational orientations on postretirement volunteering activities. Results showed that status striving was negatively related to volunteering after retirement. The findings are discussed in terms of their theoretical implications for the bridge employment literature and practical implications for recruiting and retaining older workers.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1319-1331
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Applied Psychology
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2015
Externally publishedYes


  • Bridge employment
  • Gender
  • Motivational orientation
  • Retirement

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