Title: Changing workforce demographics: strategies derived from the resource-based view of HRM

Authors: Birgit Verworn, Doreen Schwarz, Cornelius Herstatt

Addresses: Chair of Organization, Human Resource Management and General Management, Brandenburg University of Technology Cottbus, Erich-Weinert-Str. 1, D-03046 Cottbus, Germany. ' Chair of Organization, Human Resource Management and General Management, Brandenburg University of Technology Cottbus, Erich-Weinert-Str. 1, D-03046 Cottbus, Germany. ' Department for Technology and Innovation Management, Technical University of Hamburg-Harburg, Schwarzenbergstr. 95, D-21073 Hamburg, Germany

Abstract: Many companies do not realise yet that the demographic changes in the workforce require new Human Resource Management (HRM) strategies. One reason for this could be that intrafirm demographic change is a creeping process. Thus, the obviously rising average age of employees may not seem to be worrisome, as long as there is no effect on day-to-day business. However, it might be shortsighted to focus on daily business and ignore arising issues. For example, as the |baby boomer| generation ages, a significant part of the workforce will retire at the same time. On the one hand, the employees and their implicit knowledge will leave the firms; on the other hand, the recruitment of a qualified workforce in the external labour market might be hampered by skill shortages in some regions. Thus, it is necessary to develop HRM strategies based on long-term considerations. The existing resource-based theory focuses on general competencies or human resource systems without considering the challenges of changing workforce demographics. This paper derives more specific strategies to manage an ageing and shrinking workforce from the resource-based view of the firm.

Keywords: ageing workforce; skill shortages; lifelong learning; resource-based view; RBV; HRM strategies; workforce demographics; human resources management; demographic changes.

DOI: 10.1504/IJHRDM.2009.023450

International Journal of Human Resources Development and Management, 2009 Vol.9 No.2/3, pp.149 - 161

Published online: 24 Feb 2009 *

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