Effect of Lay-off Survivor Sickness on Survivors’ Job Performance at Non-Managerial Level


Muhammad Azeem Qureshi ,

Download Full PDF Pages: 20-31 | Views: 315 | Downloads: 95 | DOI: 10.5281/zenodo.3456748

Volume 3 - June 2014 (06)


Changing dynamics of economies like recession, intense competition, political situations and adaptability have created an urge for organizations to go for downsizing or lay-off. Not only the victims of lay-off suffer from anxiety, stress, depression and fear of uncertain future but also the survivors who remain within the organization go through the same feelings. These psychological and emotional and conditions are termed as “Lay-off Survivor Sickness” which does not only affect the employees (Survivors) but ultimately the organization which sometimes fails to achieve its desirable objectives through downsizing. 


: Lay-off survivor sickness, depression, anxiety, job insecurity, sense of loosing friends, survivors’ job performance


  1. Appelbaum SH, Schmidt S, Peytchev M, Shapiro B (1999). Downsizing: measuring the costs of failure. J. Manage. Develop. 18(5): 436- 463.
  2. Appelbaum SH, Everard A, Hung LTS (1999). Strategic downsizing: critical success factors. Manage. Decis. 37(7): 535-552.
  3. Armstrong-Stassen, M., and J.C. Latack. 1992. Coping with workforce reduction: The effects of lay-off exposure on survivor reactions. Academy of Management Review: 1992 Best Papers, 207–211.
  4. Bravanec, S. 2006. Impact of time on survivors. San Jose State University: ProQuest LLC.
  5. Brockner et al 1988 - “ The Effects of work Layoffs on survivors: research, Theory and Practice” , in BM Staw & LL Cummins (Eds) - Research in Organisation Behaviour, Vol. 10, Greenwich CT: JAI Press.
  6. Brockner et al 1992 - Lay-offs , job insecurity and survivors’ work effort: evidence of an inverted U relationship. Academy of Management Journal, 35 pp 413-425.
  7. Brockner, J., and J. Greenberg. 1990. The impact of lay-offs on survivors: An organizational justice perspective. In Applied social psychology and organizational settings, edited by J.S. Carrol, 45–75. Hillsdale, NJ.
  8. Brockner, J., Konovsky, M., Cooper-Schneider, R., Folger, R., Martin, C., and R.J. Bies 1994 “The interactive effects of procedural justice and outcome negativity on the victims and survivors of job loss.” Academy of Management Journal, 37: 397-409.
  9. Brockner, J., S. Grover, T. Reed, R.L. DeWitt, and M. O’Malley. 1987. Survivors’ reactions to job layoffs: We get by with a little help from our friends. Administrative Science Quarterly 32:526–41.
  10. Brousseau, K.R., Driver, M.J., Eneroth, K. and Larsson, R. (1996), “Career pandemonium: realigning organizations and individuals”, Academy of Management Executive, Vol. 10 No. 2, pp. 38- 45.
  11. Bruton, G., Keels, J. and Shook, C. (1996), “Downsizing the firm: answering the strategic questions”, Academy of Management Executive, Vol. 10 No. 2, pp. 38-45.
  12. Budros A (2002). The mean and lean firm and downsizing: Causes of involuntary and voluntary downsizing strategies. Socio. Forum. 17(2): 307- 342.
  13. Cemalcilar, Z., Canbeyli, R., & Sunar, D. 2003. Learned Helplessness, therapy, and personality traits: An experimental study. The Journal of Social Psychology 143(1): 65-81.
  14. Campbell, F. 1999. Survivors of Redundancy: a justice perspective. Wolverhampton Business School Management Research Centre
  15. Caudron, S. (1996), “Teach downsizing survivors how to thrive”, Personnel Journal, pp. 38-48.
  16. Chitwood, R.E. (1997), ` `Why change is not working in most companies' ', National Underwriter, Vol. 101 No. 5, pp. 19-21.
  17. Clark, J. and Koonce, R. (1997), “Engaging survivors”, Executive Excellence, May 1997, pp. 12-13.
  18. Colby, W.D. (1996), “The five great management myths”', Business Quarterly, Vol. 16 No. 2, pp. 93- 5.
  19. Doherty, N. and Horsted, J. (1995), “Helping survivors to stay on board”, People Management, Vol. 1 No. 1, January, pp. 26-31. 
  20. Fried, Y., R.B. Tiegs, T.J. Naughton, and B.E. Ashforth. 1996. Managers’ reactions to a corporate acquisition: A test of an integrative model. Journal of Organizational Behavior 17:401–27.
  21. Frydenberg E, Lewis R (2002). Do managers cope productively? A comparison between Australian middle managers and adults in the general community, J. Manage. Psych. 17: 640-654.
  22. Gutknecht, J. E. & Keys, J. B. (1993: August) Mergers, Acquisitions and Take-Overs: maintaining morale of survivors Academy of Management Executive 7(3) pp. 26-37.
  23. Hodgetts, R.M. (1996), “A conversation with Warren Bennis on leadership in the midst of downsizing”, Organizational Dynamics, Vol. 25 No. 1, pp. 72-8.
  24. Hupfeld, S.F. (1997), “Restructuring and organization: management's role in defining organizational culture”, Frontiers of Health Services Management, Vol. 13 No. 4, pp. 40-3.
  25. Isabella, L.A. (1989), “Downsizing: survivors' assessments”, Business Horizons, May-June, pp. 35-41.
  26. Lahner, J.M., 2004. The Impact of Downsizing on Survivors’ Career Development: A Test of Super’s Theory. http://digital.library.unt.edu/permalink/meta-dc4596:1 retrieved on 20th May 2009.
  27. Latack, J.C. (1986). Coping with job stress: Measures and future directions for scale development. Journal of Applied Psychology, 71(3), 377-85.
  28. Leatt, P., Baker, G.R., Halverson, P. and Aird, C. (1997), ` `Downsizing, reengineering, and restructuring: long-term implications for healthcare organizations' ', Frontiers of Health Services Management, Vol. 13 No. 4, pp. 3-37.
  29. Malik, M.I., Saif, M.I., Gomez, S.F., Khan, N., and Hussain, S. (2010). Balancing Work and Family through Social Support among Working Women in Pakistan. African Journal of Business Management. 4(13): 2864-2870.
  30. Markowich, M. (1994), “Lifeboat strategies for corporate renewal”, Management Review, Vol. 83 No. 9, September, pp. 59-61.
  31. Michael U (1997). Executive Defense: Shareholder power and corporate reorganisation. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.
  32. Mone M (1999). Relationships between selfconcepts, aspirations, emotional, responses, and intent to leave a downsizing organisation. Exec. Excell. 11(7): 12-13.
  33. Moore, S., Grunberg, L., & Greenberg, E. (2006). Surviving repeated waves of organizational downsizing: The recency, duration, and order effects associated with different forms of lay-off contact. Anxiety, Stress, and Coping, 19(3), 309- 329.
  34. Nixon, Hitt, Lee and Jeong, 2004. Downsizing: measuring the costs of failure. J. Manage. Develop. 18(5): 436-463.
  35. Noer DM (2001). Healing the wounds: Overcoming the trauma of lay-off and revitalizing downsized organisations. USA: Jossey-Bassey Publishers.
  36. Noer, D, 1993 - Healing the wounds - Overcoming the Trauma of Lay-offs and Revitalising Downsized Organisations, JosseyBass Publishers, San Francisco.
  37. O'Neill, H. and Lenn, J.D. (1995), “Voice of survivors: words that downsizing CEOs should hear”, Academy of Management Executive, Vol. 9 No. 4, pp. 23-4.
  38. Peak, M.H. (1996), ` `An era of wrenching corporate change' ', Management Review, Vol. 85 No. 7, pp. 45-9.
  39. Rugman, A M & Verbeke, A - 1991 - Europe 1992 and Competitive Strategies for North American Firms. Business Horizons, pp 76-81.
  40. Saif, Malik and Awan, (2011). Employee Work Satisfaction and Work - Life Balance: A Pakistani Perspective. Interdisciplinary journal of contemporary research in business Vol. 3 No. 5
  41. Sahibzada, K. 2006. Job insecurity and work-family conflict: the organizational, situational and individual influences on the job strain process. Portland State University: ProQuest LLC.
  42. Saunders MNK, Thornhill AS (2003). Organisational justice, trust and the management of change. Pers. Rev. 32(3): 360-375.
  43. Steven E. Abraham, (2004) “Lay-off announcements and employment guarantee announcements: How do shareholders respond?”, International Journal of Manpower, Vol. 25 Iss: 8, pp.729 - 740
  44. Woodward, C.A., Shannon, H.S., Cunningham, C., McIntosh, J., Lendrum, B., Rosenbloom, D., & Brown, J. (1999). The impact of re-engineering and other cost reduction strategies on the staff of a large teaching hospital: A longitudinal study. Medical Care, 37(6), 556-69.
  45. Worrell, D.L., Davidson, W.N. and Sharma, V.M. (1991), “Lay-off announcements and shareholder wealth”

Cite this Article: