Academic journal article Revue Canadienne des Sciences de l'Administration

Coping with Downsizing and Job Loss: Lessons from the Shaughnessy Hospital Closure

Academic journal article Revue Canadienne des Sciences de l'Administration

Coping with Downsizing and Job Loss: Lessons from the Shaughnessy Hospital Closure

Article excerpt

Abstract

A study of the impact of hospital closure on employees is timely in light of reports that health care systems in both Canada and the United States are being examined for major restructuring. The literature on health facility closures to date has largely focussed on the determinants of closure, ways to prevent closure, and the impact of closure on patient care. This study builds on the findings of the few studies that have examined the impact of health facility closure on the employees. Coping methods were found to be quite stable over time, reflecting a coping style. Differences in work-related outcomes were found between the closure site (Shaughnessy) and a control site (UBC). Higher levels of work-related stress and lower levels of job security were experienced during the closure and transition period by Shaughnessy employees. Job satisfaction was found to be independent of job security and work-related stress. Workers front the closure site experienced decreased levels of job satisfaction in their new jobs. Those using problem-focussed coping methods were found to cope more effectively than those using emotion-focussed methods. Advanced planning and coordination of outplacement services is recommended to reduce the trauma of closure and ensure a smooth job transition or relocation.

Resume

Compte tenu des rapports que les systemes de sante etudient actuellement au Canada et aux Etats-Un is en raison de restructurations majeures, il nous a semble opportun de mener une etude sur les consequences de la fermeture d'un centre hospitalier sur les employes. Jusqu'a present, les etudes et rapports sur la fermeture d'etablissements de sante se sont principalement penches sur les causes des fermetures, les moyens de les prevenir et les consequences sur les soins aux patients. La presente recherche s'appuie sur les resultats des quelques etudes qui ont examine l'impact de la fermeture d'un etablissement de sante sur les employes. Les methodes de (reponse du sujet au stresseur) se sont revelees tout ic fait stables pendant la periode de l'etude. Nous avons trouve des differences de resultats reliees au travail entre les entreprises qui ont ferme (Shaughnessy) et celles qui ont effectue des reorganisations tout en restart ouvertes (UBC). En effet, les employes de Shaughnessy ont vecu un stress et une insecurite accrus relativement au travail. La satisfaction au travail s'est alors revelee independante de la securite d'emploi et du stress lie au travail. Ainsi, les travailleurs en provenance de Shaughnessy ont eprouve une diminution de satisfaction au travail dans leur nouvel emploi. II s'est avere que ceux qui utilisent des methodes de axees sur la solution du probleme ont demontre une plus grande efficacite que ceux qui utilisent des methodes de centrees sur leurs emotions. Il est, par ailleurs, recommande de mettre sur pied une planification avancee et une coordination des services de replacement afin de reduire le traumatisme d'une fermeture et d'assurer aux travailleurs une transition ou une reinstallation adoucie.

Organizational downsizing and layoffs have been the norm among multinational corporations (MNCs) over the past decade. "Even paternalistic companies such as IBM which used to pride themselves on offering a job for life have been forced to join in the blood letting" ("The world," 1995, p. 5). It has only been more recently, with increases in federal and provincial deficits, that this same phenomenon has spread to the Canadian public sector, which in Canada includes the health care system operated by provincial governments. "The health care system in Canada is currently undergoing major restructuring due to escalating health care costs and reduced transfer payments from the federal government" (Armstrong-Stassen, Horsburgh, & Cameron, 1994, p. 96). This paper examines the closure of Shaughnessy Hospital in Vancouver and the impact of this closure on its employees. …

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