New Horizons in Management series
Edited by Alexander-Stamatios G. Antoniou and Cary L. Cooper
Chapter 18: Stress and Unemployment: A Comparative Review of Female and Male Managers
Sandra L. Fielden and Marilyn J. Davidson Introduction In the past, middle and senior managers have tended to emerge unscathed from economic recession, and those who did lose their jobs received substantial payoﬀs and long notice periods. Until the late 1980s the number of unemployed managers was relatively low, but job loss through economic pressures and structural changes is increasingly aﬀecting this occupational group, especially middle managers. The 1990s saw record levels of organizational ‘downsizing’ which had a major impact on managers, who have borne the brunt of the cutbacks (Capell, 1992). Much of the work performed by middle management has been eroded by information technology and the drive for eﬃciency, which has placed many managers under enormous pressure to handle ever-increasing workloads (Malo, 1993). Increasing numbers of managers have been discarded as surplus to requirement because they are unable to perform at the required levels; those who have few or no formal qualiﬁcations are particularly susceptible to redundancy (White, 1991). The number of unemployed managers registered with the Department of Education and Employment (DEE) in August 2002 exceeded 65 000. Over 38 000 men and over 26 000 women had previously held managerial positions, most of whom (72 per cent) were seeking jobs at a similar occupation level (National Statistics, 2002). The DEE have identiﬁed two important variables which aﬀect the levels of unemployment experienced by managers: location and age. The latest ﬁgures available showed that the highest levels of managerial unemployment were...
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