Organizational Downsizing and the Aftermath: Survivors' Perceptions of the Impact on Organizational Commitment and Personal Professional Development in the Context of Schools
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Purpose: The purpose of this study was to examine the impact of a reduction in force in the aftermath on the personnel that remain with the organization also known as survivors’ commitment and personal professional development in an educational organization. Research Method: A qualitative method using a case study approach was used. The multiple embedded cases were three public school districts in the Southwest region. Participants were teachers, counselors, instructional coaches and campus administrators. Semi-structured interviews, researcher’s journal and data from school board public documents were used. Lichtman’s (2006) three C’s of data analysis (codes, categories, and concepts) were used on all data sets and were triangulated to strengthen validity. Findings: The findings suggest that in the aftermath of a reduction in force (RIF) survivors’ commitment to the school declines, their commitment to pursue personal professional development opportunities increases and their emotional and psychological attitudes are negatively impacted. The results of this study strongly support a call to action from human resources professional and educational leaders to address the needs of survivors and provide the resources to minimize the negative impact on the workplace and employee morale. Implication for Research and Practice: Recommendation for human resources professionals and educational leaders to provide support services and organizational learning opportunities to decrease the negative consequences of organizational downsizing on those who remain with the schools. Recommendation for further research into the negative impact of reduction in force on survivors’ commitment and personal professional development to minimize the unintended consequences and positively impact student learning and academic achievement.