NTUs Dr Maria Karanika Murray leads study on the workplace

NTU's Dr Maria Karanika Murray leads study on the workplace

 August 17, 2022

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Nottingham Trent University (NTU) brings together the brightest minds to reimagine research and find the answers to the questions that really matter. As such, the University offers many exciting career opportunities.

One such bright mind is Associate Professor Maria Karanika-Murray, who has mapped the performance life span of workers in a new study. Dr Karanika-Murray works within NTU's School of Social Sciences in the Division of Psychology.

The importance of more complex jobs

Early exploration, midlife or late stage - your place in the working life cycle could impact on your proficiency, proactivity, and adaptability, according to Dr Karanika-Murray's research.

Using survey responses from more than 900 employees of a local government organisation, Dr Karanika-Murray's study found that more complex jobs can help employees to maintain their ability to be proactive and adaptive at work as they grow older.

Considering difference types of performance

The study also suggests that performance should not be assessed as one concept. Instead, employers should consider different types of performance – such as adaptability and proactivity – which can be essential in a changing world of work and for different types of jobs. Organisations should be aware that employees at different life stages have different needs but also strengths, and use that knowledge to provide career-stage appropriate support to their employees.

“There is evidence that work performance may increase or decrease with age, but that evidence is inconclusive and often contradictory. Some research shows that performance increases and other that it decreases over time across our working life span," explains Dr Karanika-Murray. "Our findings reveal that it is possible that performance both increases and also decreases depending on what stage one is at in their working life and how complex their job is."

“For example, older workers are better able to deploy resources to cope with demands, prioritise goals, and adapt to change. They use their mental, physical, and social resources to deal with age-related losses, which can have a positive impact on work performance.

“Older workers may also focus more on the development of social relationships and supporting the younger generation, whereas younger workers may be more motivated by career goals and further developing their skills and knowledge.”

A study led by a team of researchers 

The research, Curvilinear Relationships Between Age and Job Performance and the Role of Job Complexity, was carried out by a team of researchers from NTU led by Dr Karanika-Murray, Tilburg University in the Netherlands, University of East Anglia, and Bath Spa University. It is published in the Oxford University Press journal Work, Aging & Retirement.

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Courage, creativity and collaboration - these are the foundations of NTU's research.

The University's brave approach to research is opening the door to bright new ideas and endless possibilities. 

Open doors to new ideas and new career opportunities with a job at NTU.


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