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Age, work and pensions in the United Kingdom and Hong Kong: an institutional perspective

Flynn, Matt; Schröder, Heike


Matt Flynn

Heike Schröder


This article explores whether comparative institutionalism can be used to identify path-dependent approaches to the management of ageing workforces in the United Kingdom (UK) and Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR), and considers whether and how the global phenomenon of population ageing is leading to a convergence of approaches between Western and Eastern economies. Using semi-structured expert interviews, the article discusses these countries’ approaches to employment regulation, welfare provision and public sector employment. The findings show that the two economies exhibit a converging trend: namely shifting responsibilities for extended longevity from the state and employer towards the individual worker. However, stakeholder pressure (especially from trade unions) has tempered this trend in the UK more than in HKSAR. This indicates that stakeholders’ relative ability to use their agency in setting and pursuing agendas that diverge from public policy paths influences not only national-level policy-making but also organisational-level HRM.


Flynn, M., & Schröder, H. (in press). Age, work and pensions in the United Kingdom and Hong Kong: an institutional perspective. Economic and Industrial Democracy, 0143831X1876354.

Journal Article Type Article
Online Publication Date Apr 18, 2018
Deposit Date May 15, 2019
Publicly Available Date May 16, 2019
Journal Economic and Industrial Democracy
Print ISSN 0143-831X
Electronic ISSN 1461-7099
Publisher SAGE Publications
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Pages 0143831X1876354
Keywords Age management; Comparative institutionalism; Industrial relations; National business systems; Welfare regimes
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Published article (164 Kb)

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Copyright Statement
This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 License ( which permits non-commercial use, reproduction and distribution of the work without further permission provided the original work is attributed as specified on the SAGE and Open Access pages (

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