A conceptual framework for assessing organization, work group, and individual effectiveness during and after downsizing

James B. Shaw*, Elain Barrett-Power

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

54 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The need for a unified, cross-level (organization, work group, individual employee) model of organizational downsizing has been suggested by several authors (e.g., Kozlowski et al., 1993). The definition of downsizing, in terms applicable only at the organization level, prevents researchers from developing a more cohesive view of the interactive impact of downsizing for the organization, work groups, and individuals. In this paper, we define downsizing more broadly as a constellation of stressor events centering around pressures toward work force reductions which place demands upon the organization, work groups, and individual employees, and require a process of coping and adaptation. This stress-based view of downsizing allows researchers to develop concepts to guide research on downsizing that are more broadly applicable across levels of analysis. To show the advantages of this stress-based view of downsizing, this paper uses concepts from the stress coping literature to identify a set of critical dependent variables that should be studied in downsizing research. We argue that these variables are applicable for organization, group, and individual employee-level research.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)109-127
Number of pages19
JournalHuman Relations
Volume50
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Feb 1997

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