ERIC Number: ED396118
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1996-Apr
Reference Count: N/A
Effects of Plant Closing on Employee Attitudes: The Case of the GE Plant in Columbia, Tennessee.
Tang, Thomas Li-Ping; Crofford, Amy Beth
A study examined the effects of plant closing on hourly production employees' attitudes and behavior intentions at a General Electric (GE) plant in Columbia, Tennessee. A survey was constructed and used to collect data from 5 percent of the 400 hourly employees in November 1993, shortly after the announcement of the plant closing. The survey requested information on job search activity, future plans, motivation of employees and other workers, and demographic information. The research showed that participants' average age was 43.5 years and the average length of service was 14.3 years. Seventy-four percent were Caucasian, and 61 percent were male. The majority of these employees had taken some steps in getting information about other jobs. Only 22 percent had not looked for another job. With an attractive severance benefits package, 32 percent said they would take some time off before going back to work. The majority of those sampled (60 percent) intended to go back to school or take training classes; 67 percent intended to make use of the new outplacement center on the site. Only 17 percent were willing to relocate outside the Middle Tennessee area. Most respondents perceived that their own performance and motivation had not changed since the announcement of the closing, but that other employees' performance and motivation had dropped significantly. Employees expressed feelings of resignation and sadness. The study concluded that job loss is stressful but that GE employees in Tennessee have taken appropriate action in preparing for their future. The study also concluded that the 6-month notice the employees were given helped to put them in a much better situation than if the company had just given them the 60 days required by federal law. Corporations gain cost savings, improve their corporate image, avoid legal issues, and meet their social responsibility by providing a long notice period and outplacement services for their personnel. (The survey is included in the report.) (KC)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Advance Notice of Employment Termination; General Electric Company; Plant Shutdown; Tennessee (Columbia)
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Southwestern Psychological Association (Houston, TX, April 1996).