Using data from a retail chain of 193 bakery shops that underwent downsizing, we study the effects of two types of downsizing announcements – closure or sale to another operator – on sales in the affected shops, and how these effects are moderated by job security perceptions. On average, sales in the affected shops go down by 26% after a closure announcement and by 7% after a sale announcement. Sales decline more sharply in shops where employees had higher job security perceptions before the announcement. Our findings are consistent with psychological contract theory: a breach of an implicit contract promising job security in exchange for work effort results in a reciprocal effort withdrawal. We rule out several alternative explanations to our findings.
Friebel, G., Heinz, M., Weller, I. and Zubanov, N. (2021), "Downsizing Announcements, Job Security Perceptions, and Worksite Performance", Polachek, S.W., Tatsiramos, K., Russo, G. and van Houten, G. (Ed.) Workplace Productivity and Management Practices (Research in Labor Economics, Vol. 49), Emerald Publishing Limited, Bingley, pp. 179-205. https://doi.org/10.1108/S0147-912120210000049007
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