How Do Large Australian and Swiss Banks Implement Downsizing?

By Gandolfi, Franco | Journal of Management and Organization, June 2007 | Go to article overview

How Do Large Australian and Swiss Banks Implement Downsizing?


Gandolfi, Franco, Journal of Management and Organization


ABSTRACT

Large Australian and Swiss banks have been trimming their workforces since the mid-1990s. With further rounds of downsizing activities predicted, this study sought to identify, examine, and compare the adopted organizational downsizing implementation strategies. The primary purpose of this cross-cultural study was to determine how large Australian and Swiss banks implemented downsizing in their most recent endeavors. The research has revealed three key findings. First, Australian banks primarily adopted workforce reduction strategies, whereas Swiss banks employed a mixture of organization redesign, workforce reduction, and systemic strategies. Second, Australian banks had considerable depth in their downsizing, whereas Swiss banks had more breadth in their overall strategies. Third, Australian banks favored reorientation approaches, whereas Swiss banks embraced reinforcement approaches. It remains unclear as to why large Australian and Swiss banks differed in the selection of implementation strategies and why they diverged in their overall approaches to downsizing. Further research is required to explore aspects that are likely to influence the adoption of downsizing strategies in both Australia and Switzerland.

Keywords: downsizing; implementation strategies; banks; Australia; Switzerland

INTRODUCTION

For nearly three decades, corporate downsizing has been a reality for a multitude of corporations and governmental agencies around the world (Gandolfi 2006). Stemming from the desires to reduce costs (Sahdev 2003) and to increase an organization's levels of efficiency (Zyglidopoulos 2003), effectiveness (Macky 2004), productivity (Gandolfi 2006), and overall competitiveness (Mirabal & DeYoung 2005), a considerable number of private and public organizations have resorted to downsizing as a management strategy (Clair & Dufresne 2004). Macky (2004) stresses that the major raison d'être of a downsizing endeavor is to make an organization more competitive compared to its rivals. Empirical and anecdotal evidence suggest that the financial, organizational, and social consequences of downsizing are largely negative (Gandolfi & Neck 2005). Williams (2004) asserts that the after-effects of a downsizing activity affect the entire organization and its workforce in a most profound manner. There is also evidence that suggests that organizations commence downsizing efforts with inade quate plans, policies, and programs in place (Gan-dolfi 2005), are ill prepared for the aftermath of downsizing (Gandolfi 2006), and neglect the remaining employees (Macky 2004). The downsizing of workforces is not a business phenomenon of the 1990s. Rather, it has maintained its popularity and pervasiveness as a deliberate restructuring strategy in all industries (Macky 2004, Gandolfi 2006), across the world (Williams 2004), and into the new millennium (Zygli-dopoulos 2003; Mirabal & DeYoung 2005).

Having briefly reviewed the downsizing literature, the purpose of this study was to identify and compare the implementation strategies that large Australian and Swiss banks adopted in their most recent downsizing activity. These activities refer to downsizing endeavors that were announced in 2004 (for the Australian study cases) and in 2005 (for the Swiss study cases), respectively. The fundamental research question arose as to whether there were observable differences in the way Australian and Swiss banks executed downsizing. More specifically, the following sub-questions emerged: Did Australian and Swiss banks differ in their overall downsizing implementation strategies? Were there differences in the depth and breadth of downsizing implementation strategies? Were organizations in certain cultural environments likely to favor specific downsizing strategies? Also, did cultural differences result in differing downsizing strategies? Were differences in national cultures reflected in organizational decisions about downsizing? …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Note: primary sources have slightly different requirements for citation. Please see these guidelines for more information.

Cited article

How Do Large Australian and Swiss Banks Implement Downsizing?
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
Items saved from this article
  • Highlights & Notes
  • Citations
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Search by... Author
    Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.