Discusses how downsizing has been associated with the move towards lean working in organisations and with having negative consequences for employees. Considers the extent to which downsizing is lean and mean drawing on an extensive review of the available literature. Concludes that downsizing is rarely lean since it usually takes the form of quantitative changes in employment rather than qualitative changes in the process of managing. Evidence also suggests that downsizing usually has an adverse effect on both employees who leave and those who remain with the organisation. Yet this meanness is not inevitable since it depends partly on the extent to which human resources issues are considered.
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