Downsizing of staff is often undertaken when an organization needs to quickly improve its profits. A company under siege (or claiming to be) takes a look at its largest expense typically payroll and benefits and starts slashing. Many accounts exist that depict the sad consequences of worker displacement: the breakup of families, the loss of homes, and the blow to self-esteem from which the downsized never recover. Some researchers go so far as to describe the downsized worker as clinically traumatized, comparing the experience of downsizing as "similar to that of other trauma: death, combat, abuse, violence, natural catastrophe, crime, chemical dependence disease and terrorism" (Bumbaugh 30). The most well-known of these is a seven-part series published by The New York Times entitled "The Downsizing of America." This series of articles (since enlarged and published as a book with the same title) was the largest set of related articles printed by the paper since it covered the Watergate scandal. Some proponents of downsizing claim that the media has distorted the statistics on the number of people downsized, their fate and the impact on their former workplaces. The New York Times series has especially been attacked for too freely extrapolating statistics.... [continues]
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