What readers are saying:
“Dr. Shroyer concisely presents applicable strategies and solutions for a complex topic. She covers a wide variety of real-life scenarios relevant to anyone impacted by downsizing.” – Bathild “June” Covington, PhD, Educator and Change Specialist
“Managing Layoffs: 24 Tips to Downsize with Dignity should be required reading, not just for the immediate managers, but for the leadership team and the consultants who are too far removed from the people their decisions affect to see the strain it puts on both the employees and the business.” – Kim Justen, Just Write! Communications
“Dr. Shroyer has written a book for every manager. Even when hiring and firing are not part of the manager’s responsibilities, their knowledge of the stages in the process will serve to improve their skill in handling the aspects of downsizing. This book, through relevant stories and examples, shares tips about communication, vision, morale, commitment, productivity, performance and other areas of concern. No matter how humanely and compassionately employees are treated, any layoff is intensely emotional. Dr. Tracy Shroyer has written a guidebook to help you as a manager or employee affected by the dreaded ‘D’ word.” – Jane
This qualitative exploratory inquiry examined the personal and professional experiences of downsizing managers during decision making, implementation, and managing in the aftermath of downsizing. Existing literature related to managing organizational change, decision making, and downsizing did not yet address managerial experience of downsizing or the personal and professional experiences of downsizing managers. In-depth interviews were conducted with 14 purposefully selected participants drawn from a population of (a) downsizing managers as defined in the study; (b) living within the United States; (c) in their current or prior organization during the last 10 years, so that participants’ memories will be fresh; the downsizing experience must have occurred at least 3 months prior to recruiting to ensure participants are not still in the midst of the process or related trauma; and (d) not known by or employed at the same organization as the researcher to prevent researcher bias, avoid existing relationships, and maintain participant privacy and confidentiality.
The study findings indicate that downsizing managers face numerous personal and professional impacts because of the challenges and successes faced in their role as a downsizing manager during decision making, implementation, and managing in the aftermath of downsizing. In addition, downsizing managers had experiences that aligned with existing themes in the downsizing literature, and one newly identified theme, treating downsized employees humanely. Executive management teams should consider opportunities to provide insight, structure, support, and time to downsizing managers, as these elements may minimize the challenges that downsizing managers experience.
Recommendations for future research include further study in organizations that utilize formal downsizing training programs for their management teams, a similar design study focusing on outsourced consultants who implement downsizings for organizations, and further exploration of managers’ humane treatment of employees during organizational change.