Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Human Resources



First Advisor

Daniel W. Kemper

Second Advisor

Laura DeRigne

Third Advisor

Joseph Lonigro


This thesis will focus on the study of outplacement in the corporate world. Global businesses in the decade of the nineties have been faced with increasing their profits and providing stock holders with an increase in dividends. In this situation the answer is often to decrease personnel.

The purpose of the study is to investigate how companies handle restructuring and downsizings. It will show that companies should have a transition plan in place to handle such circumstances . Outplacement is a key to smoothly handle the process of the terminations that inevitably happen . This study examines the issues relating to the usage to outplacement firms, assisting the terminated employees, as well as the company . It helps the terminated employees to focus on the future rather than the traumatic event of a job loss .

Companies gain benefits through reduced severance packages, lower legal costs, lower unemployment compensation costs, and improved public relations. Reduced productivity and poor morale among the remaining work force can be a high cost which outplacement counters.

Career counseling helps the individual focus on their career goals immediately and learn new ways of securing employment, includi ng developing a network. Outplacement can provide a structured environment for support during this transition period. Because there is a focus, results are likely to be achieved more quickly. With professional guidance of career assessment, preparing a resume, fine-tuning interview skills, and preparing to market themselves, the individual can get on with the rest of their life more quickly. It is, therefore, hypothesized that outplacement is beneficial to both terminated employees and the company releasing them.

Fifty companies responded to Survey I which was sent to human resources officials within the St. Louis area. The questions on this survey focused on whether the company had experienced a restructuring or downsizing and the recipient's experience in managing it . Survey II was sent to executives of 89 outplacement companies in the United States. Twenty-four companies responded. Questions on this survey asked about the criteria that client companies used to select an outplacement firm, how long it took terminated employees to find new positions, and reasons outplacement is used.

The data was analyzed calculating the mean, mode, median, variance, and standard deviation. Results showed that the hypothesis of outplacement being beneficial to both terminated employees and the company releasing them appears to be true. However, to actually prove or disprove this, additional research should be done asking the terminated employees, both ones that received outplacement, as well as those that did not, their opinions.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License

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