Human resource management in recession: restructuring and alternatives to downsizing in times of crisis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)
124 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

In just over a decade two global crises have created significant instability across the world and plunged many national economies into recession. While studies of HRM during economic downturns are limited, the global impact of COVID‐19 on employment adds impetus to the debate. Though downsizing and mass layoffs attract most attention, redundancies are just one potential response to challenging economic conditions, and various other employment adjustments might be viewed as complements or alternatives to workforce reductions. However, little is known about the implementation of HR practices or enactment of HR strategies during recession. Drawing upon 56 in‐depth interviews, this article presents three case studies of recessionary restructuring in British manufacturing firms. The cases share a concern with mitigating redundancies and highlight the importance of actor agency as well as institutional and organisational context in shaping restructuring outcomes. The article contributes to HR theory regarding HRM in recession and employment restructuring.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)138-157
Number of pages20
JournalHuman Resource Management Journal
Volume34
Issue number1
Early online date16 May 2023
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 31 Jan 2024

Keywords

  • human resource management (HRM)
  • restructuring
  • recession
  • downsizing
  • crisis

Fingerprint

Dive into the research topics of 'Human resource management in recession: restructuring and alternatives to downsizing in times of crisis'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this