Restructuring Work and Employment in Europe

Restructuring Work and Employment in Europe

Managing Change in an Era of Globalisation

Edited by Bernard Gazier and Frédéric Bruggeman

This detailed, comprehensive study on downsizing in Europe is underpinned by cross-national, interdisciplinary empirical research on restructuring management in five European countries: Belgium, France, Germany, Sweden, and the United Kingdom. It contains systematic national comparative overviews, and transversal analyses of more than 30 in-depth case studies, taking into account a broad range of perspectives across professional human resources managers, unions’ representatives, local and national civil servants, social workers and physicians. The authors examine strategic choices and practices in national and local contexts, showing that the practice of restructuring is not as heterogeneous as many previous studies have indicated or predicted. Systematic policy proposals for better economic and social management of restructuring are also prescribed.

Chapter 2: The Restructuring Process: Towards a Comprehensive Analysis

Dominique Paucard

Subjects: business and management, strategic management, economics and finance, labour economics


Dominique Paucard The restructuring process as a whole comprises a number of stages, from the original decision to restructure, to its final direct or indirect effect on jobs. It can be described and understood through the account and analysis of a series of events, from an initial change in the company’s situation that led its management to decide to respond, to the implementation, follow up, and adjustment of the subsequent actions. This is precisely what researchers from the Monitoring Innovative Restructuring in Europe (MIRE) project countries did, by carrying out thirty case studies, which have been discussed in national and transnational multi-actor workshops.1 Most of the case studies reviewed and presented by the researchers give accounts of restructuring processes focused on a single plant and situated in a given time and space. Generally embedded in a dynamic of longer or medium term change, restructuring processes, as they are described through the case studies, can therefore be deemed as basic units of a more general change or series of restructuring processes. Against this backdrop, the origin of the restructuring plans described is often far removed, in decision-making terms, from the plant or company in which it is implemented. For example, in the restructuring of a German marketing company, the restructuring plan stemmed from a strategic decision taken by its American shareholder to sell the division it was affiliated to and was accompanied by the merger of the subsidiaries so as to optimise the gains arising from the sale of...

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