Title

The Perceived Impact of Organizational Layoff on Organizational Morale: Study of a Taiwanese Company

Date of Degree

2003

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Program

Education

Advisor

Dorothy Ettling

Advisor

Richard L. Henderson

Advisor

Nancy M. Robbins

Advisor

David George Vequist

Advisor

Joseph W. Eyles

Abstract

This purpose of this case study was to investigate the job satisfaction of middle-level managers in a Taiwanese company, and examine their perceptions of the impact of organizational restructuring and layoffs on organizational culture and morale. The focus of this case study was an information technology company that had undergone several restructuring and downsizing experiences within a ten year period. The research methodology was an explanatory mixed method case study, gathering both quantitative and qualitative data. The Minnesota Satisfaction Questionnaire—Short Form (MSQ) was selected to measure the job satisfaction of middle-level managers and descriptive statistics were used to analyze the data. The qualitative data collection included open-ended interviews and participant observation. The survey results showed a high degree of job satisfaction of middle managers surveyed according to the norms of the MSQ. The results of the interviews shed further light on the middle-level managers’ experience of the restructuring and subsequent layoffs. The combined analysis of quantitative and qualitative data resulted in the following themes: (a) Layoff Strategy, (b) Eastern Layoff Strategy, (c) Effect on Morale, (d) Organizational Core-Value, (e) Organizational Cohesion, (f) Organizational Communication, (g) Aspects of Job Satisfaction, and (h) Organizational Leadership. Conclusions of the study included: (a) Layoff strategy altered the traditional relationship between employers and employees from long-term loyalty to short term efficiency; (b) Working relationships changed from familial to competitive; (c) Negative attitudes ( low morale) were reported in the initial stages after the layoffs but were later diffused; (d) The new company culture remains unstable and changing; (e) The key role of the CEO was a father and an originator of change; (f) More emphasis was placed on a training system than on communication during the restructurings. The organizational changes at the company not only affected the company’s organizational structure, but also impacted the Taiwanese economic system and culture. The results contribute to the theory of organizational behavior and organizational change within the context of Taiwanese national culture.

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