Survivors’ Perspectives of Organizational Downsizing on Knowledge Sharing in a Downsized Environment
Originally Published In
Open Journal of Leadership
Organizational workforce reductions can negatively affect a company’s ability to preserve its knowledge base. The problem researched in this study was the perceived effect of downsizing on knowledge sharing among surviving employees. The purpose of this study was to determine the perceived effect of downsizing on knowledge sharing. Survivors’ knowledge sharing behavior was examined in relation to (a) survivor syndrome, (b) attitude towards knowledge sharing, and (c) perceived loss of knowledge power. A quantitative correlation research design was used to investigate the relationship between downsizing and knowledge sharing. A web-based survey was used to collect data. The convenience sample consisted of 37 management employees in the Texas region of a management consultant organization. Three sets of variables were examined: (a) survivor syndrome and actual knowledge sharing behavior, (b) survivors’ attitudes toward knowledge sharing and actual knowledge sharing behavior, and (c) perceived loss of knowledge power and actual knowledge sharing behavior. Findings from a Spearman rank order correlation revealed a statistically significant positive correlation between perceived loss of knowledge power and actual knowledge sharing behavior. Understanding survivors’ reactions can assist with planning for future reductions, and lead to the development of training programs to counter the challenges.