Date of Award

Spring 1990

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)




Industrial/Organizational Psychology

Committee Director

Albert S. Glickman

Committee Member

Raymond H. Kirby

Committee Member

Robert M. McIntyre

Committee Member

William A. Johnson


Universities are faced with an aging workforce and threatened with deficits in number and quality of replacements for retirees. New policies and programs affecting retirement and workforce re-entry are taking shape. This points to the need for research on the factors used by faculty members in the retirement decision-making process.

Faculty are somewhat unique in that their university roles and responsibilities often allow them to be professionally active simultaneously in other settings. The usual concept of retirement becomes somewhat blurred where faculty members are concerned.

The decision of when to retire and whether or not to re-enter the workforce must inevitably be confronted by all faculty. The sample in this study was the full-time tenured faculty at a university. Usable questionnaires were returned by 186 out of 361 people. Data consisted of self-report measures of six psychological factors, and a set of demographic items. The factors were: work values, nonwork values, financial security, institutional affiliation, work needs, and nonwork needs.

A Q-sort was used by faculty members to sort the items measuring the six psychological factors. The Q-sort data were submitted to a cluster analytic procedure in order to determine groups of faculty sharing similar response patterns. The demographic items were then used to further describe the clusters generated.

Implications of the results of this study will be discussed with regard to strategic planning by administrators for the university workforce and for enhancing the quality of decision-making and adjustment of professors before and after they retire.


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