Employee Downsizing - A Global Phenomenon*



Case Code : SCHROB016
Publication date :2005
Subject : Human Resource Management
Industry : Information Technology
Length : 7 Pages


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Abstract: ICMR India ICMR India ICMR India ICMR India RSS Feed

The case examines the increase in employee downsizing across the world in the late 20th and early 21st century. The case discusses in detail the downsizing concept and explores its positive and negative impact on both, organization and employees. The case also examines the ‘best practices'regarding downsizing and the steps downsized employees need to take, to overcome the trauma of being downsized and to find other jobs. It also discusses concepts such as flexible working arrangements and contingent employment that are being adopted by many companies to avoid the negative impact of downsizing.


Circumstances that led to the adoption of downsizing practices across the world.

Questions for Discussion:

1. Explain the concept of downsizing and describe the various downsizing techniques. Critically evaluate the reasons for the increasing use of downsizing during the late 20th century and the early 21st century. Also discuss the positive and negative effects of downsizing on organizations as well as employees (downsized and remaining).
2. Why did contingent employment and flexible work arrangements become very popular during the early 2000s? Discuss. Evaluate these concepts as alternatives to downsizing in the context of organizational and employee welfare.
3. As part of an organization's HR team responsible for carrying it through a downsizing exercise, discuss the measures you would adopt to ensure the exercise's success. Given the uncertainty in the job market, what do you think employees should do to survive the trauma caused by downsizing and prepare themselves for it?

Key words:
Increase, employee downsizing, late 20th,early 21st century, downsizing, concept, positive, negative, impact, employees, best practices, downsizing, trauma, jobs, flexible working arrangements, contingent employment, negative, downsizing

*Note : This case is a simplified version of a longer case study, and is intended for learners for whom English is a foreign language. The longer version of this case study (HROB016) is available at: http://www.icmrindia.org/casestudies/catalogue/Human%20Resource%20and%20Organization%20Behavior/HROB016.htm