|Abstract or Summary
- This study was designed to identify and describe home management
tasks, perceived managerial competency, and related social,
psychological, and economic consequences for a sample of retired
Managerial tasks were defined as essential, periodic activities
which (1) sustain the living patterns of a person or family in a common
household, and (2) adaptive responses to problems and opportunities
produced by changing human or material resources, environmental
situations, or health conditions.
Management tasks were studied in eight functional areas:
food, clothing, secondary living space, household maintenance,
marital and family relations, financial resources, social-community
relations, and health.
Managerial tasks were also classified into four types on the
basis of complexity, content, social units involved, and management
processes required. The classification included routine managerial,
complex managerial, transactional, and interpersonal tasks.
Managerial competence was defined as the ability to identify,
obtain, and utilize human and material resources to accomplish tasks
and achieve goals. Twenty-five items were prepared to measure
perceived managerial competence. Items were prepared on the following
components of management: underlying factors; collecting
and analyzing information; planning and decision making; assessing
human resources and interpersonal skills; implementing and coordinating;
and evaluating, adapting, and redirecting.
The 102 urban couples interviewed had lived an average of 70
years, had completed high school, had an annual median income of
$5,200 a year, and a median net worth of $36,400. Nine out of ten
lived in their own homes. The husbands had been retired an average
of five years. Home managerial and related activities were important
to eight of ten men and women after retirement since the potential
loss of these activities was viewed very negatively.
Women did significantly more of the managerial tasks in the
areas of food, clothing, house cleaning, and marital-family
relations. (Significance statements refer to the .05 level). Men did
more of the tasks in secondary living areas and in finances. Husbands and wives shared equally in the managerial tasks of health
maintenance and social-community relations. Retirement of husbands
from their major occupations resulted in significantly greater
involvement in 17 of the 63 managerial tasks studied, and a complementary
decrease by their wives. However, the basic pattern in the
distribution of tasks before and after retirement was one of stability.
There was a relatively equal sharing of tasks between husbands
and wives and a similar assumption of leadership in household and
family affairs, 54 percent of the tasks and leadership being attributed
to wives. Ninety-five percent of the respondents said they had
reached a workable division of responsibilities and sharing of
activities. The post retirement patterns required fewer than six
months to establish and were considered to be stable and satisfactory
by nine of ten respondents. Husbands and wives did not increase
their involvement in tasks related to maintaining the marital relationship,
nor did wives increase interpersonal activities to help
their husbands adjust to retirement.
One of ten wives reported her husband's retirement as a major
adjustment problem. Increased involvement of men in home managerial
tasks was associated negatively with ratings on quality of
There were no significant differences between men and women
on their managerial competence scores. Respondents who perceived
themselves as competent home managers reinforced this judgment
with high ratings on the performance of tasks in the eight functional
areas. Those with the highest managerial competence scores had
made the most extensive preparations for retirement.
Other social, psychological, and economic factors positively
related to perceived managerial competence included self image,
satisfaction, income, and net worth.
Fifteen couples were also interviewed from a rural village for
comparison with the urban sample.