Work characteristics and employee well-being within a context of strategic downsizing

J Occup Health Psychol. 1997 Oct;2(4):289-303. doi: 10.1037//1076-8998.2.4.289.


Findings from this 4-year longitudinal study of strategic downsizing suggest that introducing deliberate work organization and change management strategies can combat the negative effects of reduced head count. Results showed that there was no overall decrease in well-being from before to after downsizing for the 139 employees remaining in an organization, despite an increase in work demands. The potential detrimental effect of demands appears to have been offset by improvement in work characteristics arising from initiatives introduced as part of the downsizing strategy. This interpretation is consistent with analyses at the individual level, which showed that high demands were associated with poorer well-being but that increases in control, clarity, and participation were associated with improved well-being.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adaptation, Psychological*
  • Adult
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Internal-External Control
  • Job Satisfaction*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Organizational Innovation
  • Personnel Turnover*
  • Stress, Psychological / complications*
  • Workload / psychology*