- Cameron, K.S. (1998). Strategic organizational downsizing: An extreme case. Research in Organizational Behavior, 20, 185-229. Greenwich, CT: JAI Press
This work is a research done after the US Army downsized to investigate the effects of downsizing and ascertain the hypothesis that; downsizing affects organizations negatively. More than 40% of the US army workforce was reduced between 1992 and 1996. This reduction was considered an extreme downsizing since it involved a cut in the staff, change in mission and command structure, and was mandated by an outside authority the congress. The author wanted to test the hypothesis that the downsizing would negatively impact organizational performance. The author gathered information/ data from one army command at the beginning of the downsizing in 1992 and 1995. The information was objectively collected on organizational effectiveness, senior managers wee interviewed and across-section of organizational members was supplied with surveys. Contrary to the predictions, the author found that, downsizing increased organizational effectiveness and improved the perceptions of the members in the army. The author then, explains a list of twelve downsizing strategies that contributed to the positive command outcome. The strategies are categorized into two sections: preparation and implementation.
Managements /organizations who want to engage in downsizing should read this resource for it elaborates the best downsizing strategies that will not disintegrate the organization.
- Gurin, L. (1998). Bouncing back from downsizing. The Journal for Quality and Participation, 21(5), 24-29.
This article contains a description of a study that evaluated ten large companies that carried out downsizing successfully in 1990s. Firstly, the author identifies the major stages in downsizing and recovery. The first stage involves strategic planning where the organization identifies the rationale for downsizing and communicates the overall goals and vision. The second stage contains planning for downsizing and restructuring, here the organization organizes for out placement resources and develops a comprehensive plan. Finally, the third stage involves implementation and recovery. At this a stage the author encourages the organizations to give generous notice to all laid-off employees, give support to former employees and the survivors, and remain focused on the future.
Also the author elaborates seven best practices that were taken from the organizations studied. They include;
- emphasize business vision, mission, strategy, and goals,
- Lead change, don’t mange it
- Focus on people
- Nurture partnership and participation
- Start planning for restructuring when planning for downsizing
- Adhere to standards and statements
This is a very good article for any organization planning for downsizing.
Cameron, K.S. (1998). Strategic organizational downsizing: An extreme case. Research in Organizational Behavior, 20, 185-229. Greenwich, CT: JAI Press
Gurin, L. (1998). Bouncing back from downsizing. The Journal for Quality and Participation, 21(5), 24-29.