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Learning and propensity for changing the job situation during downsizing
Linköping University, HELIX Vinn Excellence Centre. Linköping University, Department of Behavioural Sciences and Learning, Work and Working Life. Linköping University, Department of Behavioural Sciences and Learning, Education and Sociology. Linköping University, Faculty of Arts and Sciences.
2012 (English)In: Journal of Workplace Learning, ISSN 1366-5626, Vol. 24, no 7/8, 497-508 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Purpose – To investigate individuals’ learning and propensity for changing their job situation during downsizing in a company.

Design/methodology/approach – A case study was carried out in an industrial company that had undergone major downsizing to adapt to changes in production. Approximately 100 employees retrained at the company’s training program and 350 employees received notice to quit their jobs. Data for this study consisted of qualitative interviews with 20 workers who faced different transition situations.

Findings – Three general learning trajectories labelled stayers, leavers and reemployed leavers emerged as a consequence of the downsizing. The stayers were the individuals who remained at the company and later retrained to new jobs. The leavers were the individuals who more or less voluntarily left the company to start a new career. The reemployed leavers were dismissed and left involuntarily but were later reemployed at the company.

Practical implications – In cases of downsizing it is important that the organization meets latent wishes for change and considers differentiated reactions connected to age, length of employment, former education, etc. among workers who face different transition situations.

Originality/value – The results imply that the learning trajectories were shaped through participation, thus learning, in the transition program and workplace activities. Each worker has a specific history of experience which shape their disposition to learning and in which way they are able to adjust to a new job situation.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Emerald Group Publishing Limited, 2012. Vol. 24, no 7/8, 497-508 p.
Keyword [en]
Learning, downsizing, job mobility, change management
National Category
Other Social Sciences
URN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-84256DOI: 10.1108/13665621211260990OAI: diva2:558392
Available from: 2012-10-03 Created: 2012-10-03 Last updated: 2012-10-09

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Gustavsson, Maria
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