Publication Date

1997

Abstract

This paper discusses how downsizing has created an economic and social revolution in the United States, the likes of which has not been seen since the industrial revolution. Large numbers of people are no more prepared for the new work environment than were people in 1880, when they felt similar loss of control when leaving their farms.

As economic citizens we are facing a changed economic environment in that the only constant is change itself. The economic climate of a nation is closely related to its social fabric. When resources become fewer, in this context jobs, only a few will succeed and many more will lose grounds. Downsizing started two decades ago as a quiet revolution when factory workers were permanently laid off. What started quietly, is now heard every night on the news and published very frequently in newspapers and magazines. Organizations are becoming leaner by reducing their workforce.

In this paper, I have illustrated the social and economic consequences of downsizing. I have discussed the consequences for values and culture as well as researched who is the new social/economic elite group. Also included is an overview of the circumstances that caused downsizing to be institutionalized. The research method used was an in-depth literature review, personal experience and participant observation.

Disciplines

Business Administration, Management, and Operations

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