The aim of this study is twofold. First to compare an inductive (bottom-up) approach against two established models of work design; Herzberg et al.’s motivation-hygiene theory (HRZ) and Wilson et al.’s healthy work organization model (WIL). Second, to suggest work characteristics to be included in a life-span model of work design accounting for older workers and their needs. The subjects (N=11) were employees (age 60+) in a large Norwegian knowledge-intensive company. Interviews were semi-structured based on open-ended questions in the SWOT format. A content analysis first produced a bottom-up model containing 23 main categories. In addition, the present author coded the statements on the different levels within the SWOT and IGLOS frameworks, and lastly on the two established models of work design. HRZ and WIL were able to explain almost all of the statements from the interviews, indicating that the two models are relevant for measuring work characteristics among older workers in a Norwegian knowledge-intensive organization. Contrary to what was hypothesized, HRZ was able to explain a larger proportion of the statements from the interviews than WIL. Based on an inductive approach the current study was also able to uncover two unique categories that were not explained by HRZ or WIL. Our results indicate that future research should employ a life-span approach to work design and take into consideration older workers and their needs. Due to serious methodological limitations, it is important to state that the findings acquired in the current study cannot be generalized without further research.