Does privatization affect corporate culture and employee wellbeing?

Rita C. Cunha (Universidade Nova de Lisboa, Faculdade de Economia, Lisbon, Portugal and)
Cary L. Cooper (University of Manchester Institute of Science and Technology, Manchester School of Management, Manchester, UK)

Journal of Managerial Psychology

ISSN: 0268-3946

Publication date: 1 February 2002


This article analyses how privatization influences corporate culture and employee wellbeing in the privatized companies. We hypothesized that the change process initiated with privatization and preparation for privatization would lead to a change in corporate culture and also to an increase in employees’ perceptions of occupational stress and symptoms of mental and physical ill health, as well as a decrease in job satisfaction. In the long term, these symptoms should be reversed. The study was carried out in three companies, one of them with two data collections, which allowed for a cross‐sectional analysis and a quasi‐longitudinal one. The two types of analyses supported most of the hypotheses. In general, corporate culture changed towards a greater emphasis on performance and people orientation and on organizational integration. Occupational stress was found to be higher and job satisfaction lower before privatization. Mental and physical ill health, however, were found to be higher in the companies that had already been privatized for some time.



Cunha, R. and Cooper, C. (2002), "Does privatization affect corporate culture and employee wellbeing?", Journal of Managerial Psychology, Vol. 17 No. 1, pp. 21-49.

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Copyright © 2002, MCB UP Limited

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