Degree Name

Doctor of Business Administration (DBA)


Sydney Business School


A human-resource crisis, if unchecked, has the potential to disrupt the service obligations and management practices of Australian local-government organisations. Councils are facing a skills and knowledge void due mainly to the imminent retirement of long-term staff. The mixed-methods study described in this thesis used focus groups and a cross-sectional survey with a paperbased, self-completion questionnaire to provide relevant information on the retirement intentions of local-government workers over the age of 55 years. The primary findings from the study were obtained through analysis of the questionnaire data using logistic regression and supported by chi-square and Pearson’s correlation co-efficient techniques. Focus-group findings were used to verify the literature, help construct the questionnaire and provide support for the questionnaire findings. The study has identified influences that could increase the work life of older council employees. Predictors identified through a logistic regression model of a delayed retirement / continued employment include: supportive work conditions; good health-related work productivity (reduced work impairment); being paid appropriately; not working unpaid overtime; and not having a retirement plan or the perception of inadequate retirement income. Predictors of imminent retirement were years in current council and age. Older workers’ need for social support was a dominant construct found within the group of predictors. Development of policies by councils to foster supportive work conditions, ensure health and job fit for employees, reduce unpaid overtime and reduce negative perceptions of older worker’s about their level of remuneration will, according to the current study, help address the potential resource crisis by keeping older workers in the local government work force longer.