Managing Change in an Era of Globalisation
Edited by Bernard Gazier and Frédéric Bruggeman
14. Health impacts and innovative approaches Thomas Kieselbach and Debora Jeske 1. HEALTH AND RESTRUCTURING Restructuring generally aims to improve organisational performance, often by downsizing the workforce through structural changes. However, organisational eﬃcacy is often one of the aspects which is negatively aﬀected before, during and after such a process – to the point that downsizing decreases rather than increases eﬃciency. Measures typically used to assess the eﬀectiveness of downsizing from a corporate perspective are clearly inadequate as a means of understanding and managing the impact of this process on all stakeholders, particularly employees and the local community (Shaw & Barrett-Power, 1997). Such measures usually relate to economic performance indicators, such as proﬁtability, productivity, investment returns, and consumer satisfaction. However, the consequences for those employees, dismissed or otherwise aﬀected as a result of restructuring, suggest the need for a new cost factor to be considered. Even within a narrow accounting approach, restructurings are not always proﬁtable (and some fail). In evaluating restructuring there is another dimension beyond the obvious ﬁnancial and political outcomes – the consequences and implications of restructuring for the health of those directly or indirectly aﬀected by this process. The question which often arises is whether health problems uncovered during restructuring have existed undetected before the restructuring took place or whether they were actually triggered by the restructuring. In the past, occupational health has been investigated primarily in relation to obvious physical risks to the individual’s health, focusing on ergonomic and physical...
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