Agree or disagree with Lay Off the Layoffs - Essay Example

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I read your article entitled “Lay-off the Layoffs” printed in Newsweek on February 4, 2010 which presented significant disadvantages of laying off personnel (Pfeffer). From the actual organizational experiences of famous corporations such as those belonging to the airlines…
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September 13, A Response to “Lay-off the Layoffs” September 13, Mr. Jeff Pfeffer NewsweekRe: Lay-off the Layoffs
Dear Mr. Pfeffer:
I read your article entitled “Lay-off the Layoffs” printed in Newsweek on February 4, 2010 which presented significant disadvantages of laying off personnel (Pfeffer). From the actual organizational experiences of famous corporations such as those belonging to the airlines industry, Circuit City, and those who noted in the ‘biggest lay-offs” where Hewlett Packard and American Airlines topped the list (Platt), it was emphasized that downsizing produce greater negative effects and impacts on people, subsequent performance and productivity of the organization, as well as to the economy. One shares similar contentions that despite the apparent justification or rationales of organizations that opt to lay-off employees, the long-term negative effects are immensely significant to overlook.
It is commendable to have provided the general reasons why organizations resort to layoffs in the first place. I am sure that members of the board of directors, the executive management team, as well as senior management, have all exhausted strategies, resources, time, and efforts to ensure that their respective organizations would survive the most tediously pressing impact of recessionary effects that impinge on their operations. As revealed, “the majority of the layoffs that have taken place during this recession…arent the result of a broken business model” (Pfeffer par. 4). Therefore, I honestly believe that the people who have direct governance and jurisdiction to ensuring that the organization survives have done their respective extensive and comprehensive research before resorting to the controversial downsizing decision.
In retrospect, one would like to take the position of the devil’s advocate in trying to evaluate, despite knowing the costs of layoffs, why would management still opt to decide on downsizing if it would mean the demise of the organization? After taking into consideration the myths in downsizing, one realizes that as the last option to ensure continued survival of the organization in a recession, the effectiveness of even considering this option lies in the manner by which downsizing or layoffs are communicated, implemented, and managed.
Not all organizations that downsized failed. In much the same way, not all organizations that should have laid off employees and did not, succeed. The recent hullaballoo regarding Microsoft’s memo signifying laying off thousands of employees had stirred mixed reactions (Roose). According to Foley, “as a result of the layoffs, Microsoft officials said the company would incur pre-tax charges of $1.1 billion to $1.6 billion for severance and related benefits costs and asset-related charges over the next four quarters” (1). Still, Microsoft ranks 34th in Fortune’s 500 corporations with $79 billion in revenues and $22 billion in profits for 2013 (Fortune). Likewise, despite the alleged negative image that lay-offs provide, Microsoft is regarded as one of the world’s most valuable brands, along with Apple and Google (Badenhausen). In sum, the ability of the organization to manage downsizing or other crucial decisions depend on an interplay of factors: the leaders, the historical performance, customer satisfaction, and the overall value that the firm’s products or services provide towards improving the welfare of the greatest number of people for the greater good.
Works Cited
Badenhausen, Kurt. "Apple, Microsoft And Google Are Worlds Most Valuable Brands." 5 November 2014. Forbes. 18 November 2014 .
Foley, Mary Jo. "Microsoft cuts another 3,000 employees as part of its layoff of 18,000." 29 October 2014. ZD Net. 18 November 2014 .
Fortune. "Fortune 500 2014." 2014. 18 November 2014 .
Pfeffer, Jeff. "The Case Against Layoffs: They Often Backfire." 4 February 2010. Newsweek. 18 November 2014 .
Platt, E. "The 16 Biggest Mass Layoffs Of The Year." 25 July 2012. Business Insider. 18 November 2014 .
Roose, Kevin. "Microsoft Just Laid Off Thousands of Employees With a Hilariously Bad Memo." 17 July 2014. New York Media LLC. 18 November 2014 . Read More
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