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It's About People 2022: Embracing Digital Transformation: For a Sustainable and Ethical Future

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The Role of Sustainable Leadership In Extending Older Workers' Labour Activity

Urša Bratun
Alma Mater Europaea - ECM

Introduction: Sustainable leadership has been recognized as the most effective leadership style in the long run. It is characterized by a high level of collaboration among employees, clear ethical standards, and respect for diversity. Sustainable organizations are more likely to foster an intergenerational workforce and care about the well-being of their employees, regardless of chronological age. The aim of this paper is to explore how motives for prolonged working life are connected with practices that typify sustainable leadership. Method: This was a longitudinal qualitative study that included 9 workers, aged 59 to 72 years. Twenty-six semi-structured interviews were conducted with them. The empirical material was analyzed using thematic analysis. Findings: Five main themes were developed during the analysis. They described various micro and meso factors associated with extended working life. Subcategories that aligned with aspects of sustainable leadership included: (1) leadership style, (2) relationships at work, (3) work achievements, (4) sense of contribution, and (5) love of work. Some of these factors were instrumental in the employees’ decision to continue working after meeting the retirement criteria. Discussion: Knowledge of sustainable leadership principles is essential for contemporary age management, as they may coincide with the factors that motivate older workers.



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