The times they are a-changing: who will stay and who will go in a downsizing organization?

Bernadette Cross, Antonio Travaglione

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    14 Citations (Scopus)


    Human resource management has entertained the rise of downsizing as a strategy for producing visible improvements to organizations. However, the history of downsizing has failed to consistently provide the anticipated benefits. This study postulates that success is contingent upon the severance acceptors possessing characteristics least beneficial to the organization. The study explored 234 employees from a major Australian transport company, 141 who remained after the downsizing, and 93 who accepted severance packages. It was found that those employees who left showed significantly lower levels of affective and continuance commitment and job satisfaction, significantly higher levels of intention to turnover and absenteeism, and no significant difference for perceived organizational support. Furthermore, employee intention to turnover was significantly predicted by employees commitment and job satisfaction. This study concludes that downsizing should not be governed by retrenching employees in abundance, but should be guided by retaining those most valuable to the organization.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)275-290
    Number of pages16
    JournalPersonnel Review
    Issue number3
    Publication statusPublished - 2004


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