Downsizing is a euphemism, a term used to avoid the emotional valence associated with other similar and more candid terms, like being fired, laid off, or let go. There have been several waves of downsizing in the United States, and this entry will define, document, and quantify this corporate practice and consider the downsizing process. Corporate motives will be examined and alternatives to downsizing suggested and analyzed.

Downsizing has been defined by Bruce Weinstein as reducing the number of employees for reasons beside suboptimal performance or criminal or unethical conduct. Another definition differs considerably from the first, and it claims that permanence of workforce reduction is the key factor in downsizing.


There are both qualitative and quantitative indications of the significance of corporate downsizing. The victims of ...

  • Loading...
locked icon

Sign in to access this content

Get a 30 day FREE TRIAL

  • Watch videos from a variety of sources bringing classroom topics to life
  • Read modern, diverse business cases
  • Explore hundreds of books and reference titles