Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Business Administration


Human Resource

First Advisor

Larry Doyle

Second Advisor

Jan R. Kniffen

Third Advisor

Eric Zitelli


This thesis will focus on the study of downsizing , the importance of a strategic plan for downsizing and the effect the on human resource factor .

Businesses experienced unprecedented growth throughout the 1960 1 s and early 1970 ' s ; in the 1980 1 s the recession slowed this growth and downsizing became a necessary economic device for businesses to remain competitive . Some of the reasons stated for downsizing are : to safeguard profit mar gins , stagnant growth , poor earnings , market driven cuts , foreign competition , advancing technology , and a last ditch effort to stay afloat . The ramifications of downsizing are: potential employee related liabilities ; the results are less profitable than expected ; downsizing has created an unstable work environment ; a staff of survivors that are counterproductive ; decreased sales and unsatisfied customers . The reasons and ramifications of downsizing a r e as diverse as the companies and corporations .

The research confirmed the necessity of a strategic plan . The main portions to formulate a plan are : assessing the needs of the organization, communicating internally , creating focus teams and support teams , redesigning the work structure , utilizing outside consultants , not downsizing with across-the- board cuts, communicating with the employees , enacting financial support and transition assistance, restructure, re- evaluate, and go forward as a newly designed organization. Companies need to realize the cost of downsizing and budget ahead of time for it .

Analyzed throughout the thesis , was the major concerns of/for the human resource factor . The corporations success during and after downsizing is the human resource factor . Examples were given of corporations that followed a plan with concern and positive points for their employees wbo were laid off or restructured . These corporations were showing incr eased sales . The literature reviewed listed several factors for corporations to consider regarding the human resource factors' needs and rights . Also , listed were the ramifications if the human resource factor was disregarded .

The results of a downsized and restructured corporation , Brown Group , Inc . was analyzed and reviewed . This study covered the market pressures that created the need to downsize , the difficulties , the redesigning , two companies merging , and the success from planning and considering the human resource factor .

The research and reviews supported the thesis ideas to strategically plan a downsizing and to consider the human resource factor . The purpose was to enlight and study the current trend of downsizing .