The downsides of downsizing: communication processes and information needs in the aftermath of a workforce reduction strategy

Tourish, Dennis, Paulsen, Neil, Hobman, Elizabeth and Bordia, Prashant (2004) The downsides of downsizing: communication processes and information needs in the aftermath of a workforce reduction strategy. Management Communication Quarterly, 17 (4). pp. 485-516. ISSN 0893-3189

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Abstract

This study explored the impact of downsizing on levels of uncertainty, coworker and management trust, and communicative effectiveness in a health care organization downsizing during a 2-year period from 660 staff to 350 staff members. Self-report data were obtained from employees who were staying (survivors), from employees were being laid off (victims), and from employees with and without managerial responsibilities. Results indicated that downsizing had a similar impact on the amount of trust that survivors and victims had for management. However, victims reported feeling lower levels of trust toward their colleagues compared with survivors. Contrary to expectations, survivors and victims reported similar perceptions of job and organizational uncertainty and similar levels of information received about changes. Employees with no management responsibilities and middle managers both reported lower scores than did senior managers on all aspects of information received. Implications for practice and the management of the communication process are discussed.

Item Type: Article
Keywords: Communication consequences of downsizing, Uncertainty, Trust
Schools and Departments: School of Business, Management and Economics > Business and Management
Depositing User: Stacey Goldup
Date Deposited: 13 Jun 2017 06:09
Last Modified: 13 Jun 2017 06:09
URI: http://sro.sussex.ac.uk/id/eprint/68507
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