Corporate Axemen:
Executioners Reflections on their Downsizing Experience

Author: Franco GANDOLFI

Published in: Vol:9 No.5 / 2008

      Downsizing has been implemented on a global scale for more than two decades. Most downsizing research has determined and examined the personal and professional consequences affecting individuals representing downsizing survivors and victims. This case study explored how the executioners, the individuals that were entrusted with the task of carrying out downsizing tasks, experienced their responsibilities.

      The results derived from Switzerland’s and Germany’s largest banks demonstrate that the work of carrying out downsizing activities is professionally demanding. It was also shown that executioners distanced themselves from the tasks emotionally, cognitively, and physically.

      These strategies were coping mechanisms for self-protection and self-preservation. The paper presents two conceptual frameworks depicting the elements and stages of the downsizing experience for executioners.

Pages: 20 - 34