This book and the scholarly literature agree that firms engage in workforce downsizing for many reasons. Downsizing generates a myriad consequences and implications at organizational, subgroup, and individual levels of analysis (Gandolfi and Hansson, 2011; Datta, Guthrie, Basuil, and Pandey, 2010).
The body of literature on downsizing is substantial, reflecting the prevalence of this management practice in the United States, the United Kingdom, Canada, Europe, Australia, New Zealand, and Japan, and it is also spreading to other regions. The majority of the downsizing research has been conducted in the United States and Europe (Datta et al., 2010). Still, the contraction of workforces has not been confined to US firms, but has occurred throughout the world (Ryan and Macky, 1998). Empirical evidence shows that downsizing and its many related concepts has been particularly pervasive in, for example, North America (Freeman, 1994), Britain (Thornhill and Saunders, 1998), Canada (Dolan, Belout, and Balkin, 2000), Japan (Griggs and Hyland, 2003; Mroczkowski and Hanaoka, 1997), Australia (Gandolfi, 2006a), New Zealand (Macky, 2004), South Africa (Littler, 1998), Western Europe (Lamsa and Takala, 2000) and several countries in Eastern Europe (Redman and Keithley, 1998; Filatotchev, Buck, and Zhukov, 2000). It is also evident that downsizing as a strategy has not been limited to established economies but has also been employed in developing countries, including African and Latin American countries (Jones, Jammal, and Gokgur, 1998) and transitioning economies (La Porta and Lopes-de-Silanes, 1997).