Repair as an Imperative

Corporate restructuring – there is more than one way

As part of a research project on the disruptive effect of employee downsizing, Jasper van Boven and Wilfred Dolfsma of Wageningen University, and I are working on corporate restructuring in a digital context. We therefore are certainly looking forward to the coming EGOS conference in Italy where one of the papers under this research line will see light of day as an accepted conference paper. Drawing on recent contributions to the downsizing literature and the literature on organizational routines, the paper intends to portray the violating effect of employee downsizing on high tech organizations.

Based on a matching sample of Dutch organizations engaging in employee downsizing, midway findings suggest that psychological contract repair efforts by management as part of a firm’s post-downsizing have a major part to play as employees are more motivated to address the disruptions within the organization when still personally engaged with the firm. The project foresees to increase understanding of the consequences of different magnitudes of downsizings on organizational routines, while taking the digital nature of these events into consideration. Digitalization has been a major trigger for organizational turnaround over the years, yet research on this has remained scarce. Next to our academic motivation the paper also foresees a set of managerial insights into how psychological contract repair as an important managerial lever helps the organization to veer back from the negative effects that come with downsizing.