Downsizing History and Trends

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Employment patterns in USA
During World War I (1914-1918) and World War II 1939-1945) businesses were mass hiring for production workers to keep with the demands for manufactured goods. Post World War II 1946-1964 nearly 75 million American children were born; it was the start of the “baby boom” generation. By the 1970’s the demands for goods was at an all-time high and organizations were in need of employees. demands for manufactured goods was not as high, but it created new demands for supply that would create new jobs in road-building, real estate development, etc. By the 1980s demand for goods had leveled off and firms were looking for ways to control costs, earn more profits, while maintaining high production. Downsizing History and Trends

"By 1980, over 90 percent of the nation's work-force was counted as employees; a complete reversal from the early 1900's when over 80 percent were self-employed.” (Atwood, Coke, Cooper & Loria, 1996) During the 80’s, with the introduction of newer technological changes this provided organizations with opportunities to substitute capital for labor or to restructure jobs in new ways. This was the start of downsizing practises in America.

By the 1990s organizations almost all large organization were using downsizing practises. A contributing factor has been the increasing popularity of the “Global Benchmark Comparison”. “Finding one's overhead costs wanting compared to not only domestic but also international competitors has turned into a convincing argument to take large numbers of employees off the payroll" (Kets de Vries & Balazs, 1997) Knowledge workers have become much more important and there is still a need for many positions that still require skill and/or knowledge in the current market. Organizations attempt to streamline their businesses, taking due care into selecting how many employees to supervisors and supervisors to management there will be to ensure that no level of the organization gets...
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