Workforce reduction strategies: an empirical examination of the options

John Sutherland (Leeds Metropolitan University, Leeds, UK)

Employee Relations

ISSN: 0142-5455

Publication date: 1 April 1998


This paper discusses the workforce reduction strategies of management (such as natural wastage, redeployment, redundancy etc), identifying some of the factors that influence management’s choice between them. It then proceeds to use a WIRS based data set to examine the relationship between these adjustment options and variables reflecting the size, status and industrial/employee relations characteristics of organisations. It was found that the variables associated with “voluntary” adjustment were different from those associated with “compulsory redundancy”. In particular, variables reflecting “good” industrial/employee relations “styles” were associated with the use of adjustment options which sought to reduce manning levels without resort to to compulsion.



Sutherland, J. (1998), "Workforce reduction strategies: an empirical examination of the options", Employee Relations, Vol. 20 No. 2, pp. 148-163.

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Copyright © 1998, MCB UP Limited

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