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Defining 'Survivor Syndrome' and Negative Outcomes - Essay Example

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The reporter states that traditionally, the term downsizing has represented the corporate ideology as a last resort tactic in order to cut costs or boost productivity. In contemporary organizations, however, downsizing has become a vital tool for shaping an organization to meet new challenges and circumstances…
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Defining Survivor Syndrome and Negative Outcomes
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Download file to see previous pages Small Business Reports (1993) offer that surviving a layoff can be as difficult as being terminated, however, many managers ignore this problem, failing to recognize that survivors guilt over making the cut and apprehension over the company's future can hinder productive work outputs.
Once senior leadership has determined a strategic direction for a business, in which the policy indicates the need to reduce the organizational workforce, displaced employees are forced to exit the company and pursue other career opportunities. Survivor syndrome, in its best definition, involves the challenges and emotional turmoil experienced by the employees who remain with the organization; and this syndrome maintains the potential to radically affect the future direction of the firm depending on the severity of survivor attitudes after downsizing initiatives have been instigated. Cappelli (1997) offers that survivors are affected by how their work conditions and work environment are altered by downsizing and each individual's personal reactions to the "post-layoff" environment dictate the magnitude of emotional response to the changed environment.
Putzier (2002) suggests that workplace survivor syndrome has the same characteristics as in war or as a result of any other personal loss. He indicates sadness as a response to the exiting colleagues, while others experience guilt. The implication, based on this professional literature surrounding survivor syndrome is that the varied range of emotions experienced by workers are psychological in nature and can be measured symmetrically to the increase/decrease of productivity levels within the organization.
Highly dependent on the methods used by executive leadership to carry out the staff restructure are the range of emotions felt by the survivors of downsizing. Appelbaum et al (1997) categorize the negative responses of surviving layoff as feelings of job insecurity, perceptions of unfairness, depression, anxiety, fatigue, betrayal, reduced motivation, lack of management credibility and maintaining a sense of permanent change. ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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