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THE EMOTIONAL TOLL OF ORGANIZATIONAL DOWNSIZING

Daniela Wilks ()
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Daniela Wilks: Universidade Portucalense, Postal: CIGE – Centro de Investigação em Gestão e Economia, Universidade Portucalense – Infante D. Henrique, Rua Dr. António Bernardino de Almeida, 541/619, 4200-072 PORTO, PORTUGAL,, http://www.upt.pt

No 3/2008, Working Papers from Universidade Portucalense, Centro de Investigação em Gestão e Economia (CIGE)

Abstract: In spite of the frequent need for downsizing organisations, managers are in general badly prepared to meet such contingencies when they arise. There is thus a real need for educating managers to handle layoffs. This paper analyses the emotional dynamics at work in cases of downsizing organisations, the types of impact on layoff ‘survivors’ and the coping strategies that management may promote and deploy in order to minimise organisational trauma. Emotions are key factors in social life upon which a coherent sense of community ultimately depends. The idea advanced here is that understanding and managing emotions may enhance survivor coping capacities and thus prevent the major negative effects of downsizing for both the organisation and the individual. The paper concludes with practical recommendations to ensure that emotional well-being is prioritised as central to the process of downsizing in order to maximize cooperation and sustain collective endeavour.

Keywords: Downsizing; layoffs; emotional management; coping strategies; stress (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: J50 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Pages: 23 pages
Date: 2008-01-31
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