Pub. date: 2008 | Online Pub. Date: May 28, 2008 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412963930 | Print ISBN: 9781412941655 | Online ISBN: 9781412963930| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
Jennie E. Brand
Downsizing refers to the reduction of employees in a business enterprise for economic or business reasons. In contrast to being fired, to be downsized is usually not strictly related to personal performance but rather to economic cycles or a company's need to restructure itself. Eliminating a downsized employee's job and not refilling it occurs because the company wishes to reduce its size or operations, not because the employee failed to perform. Downsizing is a permanent or large-scale workforce reduction and is distinguished from a layoff, which typically is a more individualized or temporary job loss. A “mass layoff' implies laying off a large number of workers and is similar to downsizing. A plant closing or relocation, in contrast to downsizing with the elimination of some positions and the retention of others, occurs when the entire workforce, at least at a particular location, is eliminated. Industrial “restructuring,” that is, job churning ...