An examination of individual level effects of downsizing in a foodservice organization
Hutchinson, Joe Carruth
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This research examined the effect of downsizing on the stress-related perceptions and work-related attitudes and behaviors of employees of a school food service organization. A major purpose of this study was to investigate individual level responses according to the severity of the downsizing. The research also examined the relationships between employees' stress-related perceptions and their work-related attitudes and behaviors, and the moderating effect of demographic factors on these relationships. Data for this research was collected from 527 cafeteria employees from 87 campuses of the focal organization. The results indicated that downsizing severity, expressed as the percentage of school cafeteria labor hour reductions during the past year, had little impact on employees' subjective interpretations or their attitudinal and behavioral responses. There was also a significant and positive relationship between downsizing severity and the campus-level productivity, as measured by the increase in meals served per labor hour. The results indicated no significant relationships between perceived job insecurity and employee attitudinal and behavioral reactions. However, significant and positive relationships were reported between employee role stress, as measured through role conflict and role ambiguity, and their work-related attitudes and behaviors. The correlations between perceived job insecurity and selected demographic variables were found to be either insignificant or contrary to predictions.