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Layoff agency: A theoretical framework


Parker, Thomas; McKinley, William (2008). Layoff agency: A theoretical framework. Journal of Leadership and Organizational Studies, 15(1):46-58.

Abstract

The current downsizing literature has neglected the cognitions and behaviors of layoff agents. In this article, layoff agents are defined as employees who assist in the implementation of layoffs in their employing organizations. The article develops a theoretical framework that focuses on the cognitions and perceptions of those individuals. This framework suggests that layoff agents have the potential to experience cognitive dissonance as a result of their layoff agency activities, and under some conditions they will seek to reduce that dissonance by altering their perceptions of organizational downsizing. The framework specifies variables that moderate the relationship between layoff agency and cognitive dissonance and also variables that moderate the relationship between layoff agency—induced cognitive dissonance and agent perceptions of organizational downsizing. The moderating effects of these variables are captured in a set of propositions suitable for testing in future empirical research on the psychology of layoff agents.

Abstract

The current downsizing literature has neglected the cognitions and behaviors of layoff agents. In this article, layoff agents are defined as employees who assist in the implementation of layoffs in their employing organizations. The article develops a theoretical framework that focuses on the cognitions and perceptions of those individuals. This framework suggests that layoff agents have the potential to experience cognitive dissonance as a result of their layoff agency activities, and under some conditions they will seek to reduce that dissonance by altering their perceptions of organizational downsizing. The framework specifies variables that moderate the relationship between layoff agency and cognitive dissonance and also variables that moderate the relationship between layoff agency—induced cognitive dissonance and agent perceptions of organizational downsizing. The moderating effects of these variables are captured in a set of propositions suitable for testing in future empirical research on the psychology of layoff agents.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:03 Faculty of Economics > Department of Business Administration
Dewey Decimal Classification:330 Economics
Language:English
Date:2008
Deposited On:05 Apr 2013 11:46
Last Modified:07 Dec 2017 17:39
Publisher:Sage Publications, Inc.
ISSN:1548-0518
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1177/1548051808318001
Other Identification Number:merlin-id:4368

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