Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science



First Advisor

Michael Castro

Second Advisor

Michael Kramer

Third Advisor

Gareth Gardiner


Downsizing, a term relatively new to the business world just a few years ago, has now become a house-hold name. In an effort to trim the budget, companies are reducing their personnel at an alarming rate.

The recent downsizing is having a devastating effect on employee morale. Downsizing threatens the security and self-esteem of survivors and victims. It causes turmoil and shatters the morale inside of organizations.

Survivors of downsizing are faced with the challenge of remaining loyal to the organization, even when feelings of insecurity and cynicism are dominating. Fear is permeating the workplace. Lack of mobility and advancement opportunities are creating stagnation. Survivors are concerned that they are likely to become the next lay-off victim.

American companies are experiencing a severe motivation crisis. Symptoms of this crisis are shoddy output, high absenteeism, strikes, earlier retirements and an overall restlessness among the employees.

Survivors of downsizing are concerned that managers are not maintaining open and continuous communication concerning lay-off possibilities, are not aggressively pursuing downsizing alternatives, and are not seeking means to maintain a diversified workplace.

The economic climate has created an empowerment crisis for most managers. During these times of uncertainties, managers are faced with the challenge of encouraging commitment from the remaining employees.

This project explores the motivation crisis that results from downsizing, and offers invaluable tools that managers should utilize to empower the survivors of downsizing.

Included in

Business Commons