Protecting older workers' employability: A survey study of the role of transformational leadership

Research output: Journal contributionsJournal articlesResearchpeer-review


Demographic and labour market changes increase the need to enhance the employability of employees across all ages. The purpose of this study is to explore the role of transformational leadership in employees’ employability. While we hypothesised that age is negatively related to perceived internal and external employability, we expected a positive relationship for transformational leadership, and that transformational leadership would moderate the relationship between age and employability. Hypotheses were tested using a sample of 1006 employees in the German automotive industry. Results show age to be negatively related to internal and external employability, with both relationships being comparably strong. Transformational leadership was positively related to internal and external employability, with the relationship with internal employability being stronger. Moreover, transformational leadership buffered the negative relationship between age and internal employability. These results suggest that transformational leadership is crucial in protecting lifetime employability and that it should be promoted.
Original languageEnglish
JournalGerman Journal of Human Resource Management
Issue number2
Pages (from-to)120-148
Number of pages29
Publication statusPublished - 05.2018

    Research areas

  • Business psychology - Chronological age , internal and external employability , perceived employability , survey study , transformational leadership