ERIC Number: ED366009
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1993-Nov
Reference Count: N/A
"Kiss Dagwood Bumstead Goodbye": A Communication Perspective on Downsizing.
Hillmer, Barbara Hoehn; Violanti, Michelle T.
Although business organizations consider the financial and strategic implications of "downsizing" (a euphemism for what used to be called "layoffs"), they often neglect to consider the communication and human resource implications. Not only does downsizing affect the operational aspects of the restructured company, but also the interpersonal dynamics among the surviving organizational members. Generally, the academic literature on the impact of downsizing concentrates on three distinct stages: what to do before, during, and after the layoffs, but again, not on the communication implications of downsizing. The trade literature presents a different perspective on downsizing: it emphasizes downsizing as a process involving communication; it presents a more optimistic view than the academic literature; and it provides prescriptive means for individuals to handle the downsizing process. Given the lack of attention paid to downsizing, future research is warranted. In addition to access, other problems that arise when studying downsizing and its effects on the survivors are: (1) the organization's priority list; (2) the ability to study the entire process; (3) deciding upon what research methods to employ; (4) the financial constraints of the organization; and (5) the organization's culture. Research questions that can provide an initial attempt at addressing the communication implications of downsizing involve: centralization/span of control; formal and informal networks; superior-subordinate relations; feedback; communicating the downsizing process to survivors; socialization; effectiveness; and organizational integration. (Forty-six research questions are included; contains 68 references.) (RS)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Information Analyses; Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Job Loss; Organizational Culture; Research Suggestions
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Speech Communication Association (79th, Miami, FL, November 18-21, 1993).