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  • 1.
    Bell, Emma
    et al.
    Keele University, Stoke-on-Trent, UK.
    Tienari, Janne
    Aalto University, Espoo, Finland.
    Hansson, Magnus
    Örebro University, Örebro University School of Business.
    Introduction: Organizational death2014In: Culture and Organization, ISSN 1475-9551, E-ISSN 1477-2760, Vol. 20, no 1, p. 1-6Article in journal (Other academic)
  • 2.
    Gandolfi, Franco
    et al.
    Faculty of Business & Economics, The University of the South Pacific, Suva, Fiji Islands.
    Hansson, Magnus
    Örebro University, Örebro University School of Business.
    A Global Perspective on the Non-financial Consequences of Downsizing2015In: Review of International Comparative Management, ISSN 1582-3458, Vol. 16, no 2, p. 185-204Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Firms engage in workforce downsizing for a multitude of reasons, generating a myriad of consequences and implications at organizational, sub-group, and individual levels of analysis. The downsizing literature is extensive, reflecting the prevalence of this management practice in North America and around the globe. Despite the large body of research, there is scarce evidence regarding the success of the downsizing strategy when assessed from financial, organizational, and human resource perspectives. This paper demonstrates that there are patterns in downsizing practices irrespective of country of origin. Internationally-oriented firms adopt similar strategies and practices to handle external threats or internal inefficiencies and experience similar outcomes. Also, there is substantial empirical evidence from multiple countries suggesting that executives have adopted downsizing activities as a strategy, driven by a deep-seated belief that these strategies will improve organizational efficiency, effectiveness, and overall financial performance. The paper shows that managers often experience a crisis mentality following the planning and implementation of downsizing and fail to make effective long-term plans for the firm and its constituencies. Furthermore, executives have a tendency to inadequately prepare for the aftermath of downsizing, and fail to understand how downsizing survivors will be affected by workforce reduction activities. Finally, the authors argue that firms mitigate some of the negative effects by providing training for survivors and introducing human resource policies and plans to mediate the after-effects of downsizing.

  • 3. Gandolfi, Franco
    et al.
    Hansson, Magnus
    Örebro University, Swedish Business School at Örebro University.
    Causes and consequences of downsizing: Towards an integrative framework2011In: Journal of Management and Organization, ISSN 1833-3672, E-ISSN 1839-3527, Vol. 17, no 4, p. 498-521Article, review/survey (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    The business literature on the causes and consequences of downsizing has grown significantly over the last three decades. A multitude of causes has been identified. Downsizing is sometimes seen primarily as a cost-reducing response to various crises and external factors over which management has little or no control. Others see downsizing as a strategic management initiative in its own right. A considerable body of literature indicates workforce reductions often lead to negative financial and operational outcomes for the downsizing firm as well as negative psychological outcomes for victims, survivors, and executioners. This research paper represents a literature review on the causes and consequences of downsizing. It addresses a diverse body of literature and suggests an integrative framework on the typical causes and consequences of downsizing as well as outlines some challenges ahead for researchers seeking to advance the knowledge of downsizing.

  • 4.
    Gandolfi, Franco
    et al.
    Sch Global Leadership & Entrepreneurship, Regent Univ, Virginia Beach VA, USA.
    Hansson, Magnus
    Örebro University, Swedish Business School at Örebro University.
    Reduction-in-force (RIF): new developments and a brief historical analysis of a business strategy2010In: Journal of Management and Organization, ISSN 1833-3672, E-ISSN 1839-3527, Vol. 16, no 5, p. 727-743Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    After nearly three decades of corporate restructurings and reorganizations, the modern firm has continued to resort to reduction-in-force (RIF) strategies. This article presents an overview and a brief historical analysis of some of the most popular RI F concepts that have been adopted by companies and governmental agencies on a global scale since the late 1970s. The research found that most RIF tools have their root in the core-periphery model. While some of the more 'classic' RIF strategies have remained popular, the paper showcases two contemporary practices, the traditional (non-selective) layoffs and stealth layoffs, that currently impact the corporate landscape. A discussion of modern-day restructuring and RIF practices is timely given the high levels of layoffs currently occurring in the global automotive, retail, and finance-related industries. In this paper, a particular focus is placed on presenting practical implications of the conduct of R IF for the firm, the managers, and the individual employees.

  • 5.
    Gandolfi, Franco
    et al.
    Regent's University, London, UK.
    Renz, Lisa M
    Regent's University, London, UK.
    Hansson, Magnus
    Örebro University, Örebro University School of Business.
    Davenport, John B.
    Regent's University, London, UK.
    Post-downsizing implications and consequences: a global perspective2012In: Downsizing: is less still more? / [ed] Cary L. Cooper, Alankrita Pandey, James Campbell Quick, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2012, 1, p. 356-388Chapter in book (Refereed)
  • 6.
    Hansson, Magnus
    Örebro University, Örebro University School of Business.
    At the end of the road: the process of a plant closure2012In: Global human resource management casebook / [ed] James C. Hayton, Michal Biron, Lisa Castro - Christiansen, Bård Kuvaas, New York: Taylor & Francis Group, 2012, 1, p. 112-124Chapter in book (Refereed)
  • 7.
    Hansson, Magnus
    Örebro University, Department of Business, Economics, Statistics and Informatics.
    Closedowns, equity theory and work performance: further evidence on the closedown effect2007Conference paper (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    This paper explores a closedown from an equity theory perspective. This is done in order to provide further evidence on the Closedown effect, a productivity increase effect that appears during the process of closedown. The assessment is done on subjects’ work performance as a function of the closedown decision. Management provided a socially responsible managerial setting throughout the closedown process, installing a HRM-program that had an initially positive effect on the workers reducing the perception of inequity, whereas its importance was diminishing. Despite the perceptions of inequity, the closedown victims exhibited a greater increase in subsequent performance input than the period prior to the closedown decision. Data drawn from this case study indicates further support to equity theory as a possible explanation to the appearance of the Closedown effect.

  • 8.
    Hansson, Magnus
    Örebro University, Örebro University School of Business.
    Developing patterns of explanations: methodological considerations when analyzing qualitative data2012In: Management and information technology: challenges for the modern organization / [ed] Peter Dahlin, Peter Ekman, New York: Routledge, 2012, 1, p. 191-205Chapter in book (Refereed)
  • 9.
    Hansson, Magnus
    Örebro University, Örebro University School of Business.
    From dusk till dawn: three essays on organizational closedowns2005Licentiate thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    This thesis present three essays on organizational closedowns, where productivity effects under uncertainty and threat on the single-firm level is in focus. On a broad level, this thesis aims to develop better explanations of the process of organizational closedowns. More specific, this thesis aims to outline a theoretical foundation for studies of organizational closedowns, unfold a closedown process and extend the explanations of productivity effects during closedowns, in different contexts. This is done in three essays on organizational closedowns.

     

    These three essays have different methodological settings and it is argued that it is through the application of a variety of methods, that strength is obtained and supportive to the explorative endeavor that was carried out. The first essay is based on a critical review approach of the classical Hawthorne experiments. The second essay is based on a single case-study and the third on a multiple case-study in combination with a statistical analysis of the productivity development during the closedown processes.

     

    In the first essay of this thesis a theoretical foundation is outlined from a recontextualization of the Hawthorne experiments that serve as a base for the following essays. By applying a closedown perspective, it is possible to view the Hawthorne experiments from a new perspective, where it is claimed that there are several similarities to these experiments and situations where a threat of or decision to closedown is present. The Hawthorne experiments were initially seen as a closed system, laboratory experiments instead of action experiments of daily operations. Analyzing the prevalent threat, in both the Hawthorne experiments and the settings where the Horndal as well as the Closedown effect have been observed it has been evident that productivity has increased. Threat can act as both a motivator and demotivator, and as shown in research on the Closedown effect, employees become sensitive to the managerial setting and information provided, why productivity tend to fluctuate. It is argued that the Closedown effect is a productivity increase effect that occurs, considering the entire closedown period.

     

    In the second essay a single case study of a single-plant closure is unfolded. By following the closedown process of the firm critical events are tracked in order to explain the fluctuations in productivity. Throughout the closedown process productivity continued to increase as well as an all-time high was recorded. It was evident from this case study that the workers are highly sensitive to the management’s actions and way of providing information. The retrenchment program that was offered to the workers was of high importance in the initial phase of the closedown process, whereas it became diminishing in the latter phases. Supporting findings of previous research uncovered changes in psychological responses, structural settings, changes in cognitive and motivational manifestations as well as behavioral consequences. Increases in the operative space of the workers, innovative skills, workers autonomy, efforts and productivity were distinct behavioral consequences of closedown decision and develop during the closedown process. From this study both an empirical and a theoretical model for further research is suggested.

     

    In the third essay of this thesis a multiple case-study is presented. Contrary to the case study presented in the second essay these cases are characterized by a Non-Social responsible managerial setting. That is, the management did not provide any supportive activities for the workers in the closedown process. The Closedown effect is statistically significant in all the cases. There is a need for an analytical distinction of the phases of the closedown process, in terms of the primary advanced notice period and the secondary countdown period. Based on the analysis, and with this distinction, we are able to conclude that the productivity increase effect can be anticipated during the countdown period. From this article a theoretical elaboration on both the Closedown effect as well as distinctions on certain terms valid for a detailed analysis of the closedown process is provided.

     

    From the three essays the results are distilled as they are discussed respectively according to the theoretical and the empirical conclusions. From this the interrelationship between the results of the essays are discusses divided according to the managerial behavior, individual behavior and productivity development. In addition, a separate section presents the normative and practical implications from this research. At end and in line with a methodological triangulation the discussion on suggestions for further research provide a range of potent alternatives on future research on organizational closedowns.

    List of papers
    1. Recontextualizing the Hawthorne effect
    Open this publication in new window or tab >>Recontextualizing the Hawthorne effect
    2006 (English)In: Scandinavian Journal of Management, ISSN 0956-5221, E-ISSN 1873-3387, Vol. 22, no 2, p. 120-137Article in journal (Refereed) Published
    Abstract [en]

    In this paper, we explore the thesis that a threat to the vital interests of an entity, be it a single individual or a group, will lead to productivity increases in a variety of forms. We argue that because threat was present in the Hawthorne experiments, the adoption of a decline perspective is relevant to a recontextualization of the Hawthorne effect. This means introducing aspects of an open systems approach into the analysis. A comparison between the Hawthorne effect and the Closedown and Horndal effects reveals certain analytical similarities. In view of this, and because the threat factor is present in the Hawthorne experiments, we recommend that threat be taken into account as one component of the Hawthorne effect

    Keywords
    Closedown effect, Hawthorne effect, Horndal effect, Productivity, Threat, Decline
    National Category
    Business Administration
    Research subject
    Business Studies
    Identifiers
    urn:nbn:se:oru:diva-2926 (URN)10.1016/j.scaman.2005.12.003 (DOI)
    Available from: 2008-03-05 Created: 2008-03-05 Last updated: 2019-03-26Bibliographically approved
    2. Pyrrhic victories: anticipating the closedown effect 
    Open this publication in new window or tab >>Pyrrhic victories: anticipating the closedown effect 
    2006 (English)In: International Journal of Human Resource Management, ISSN 0958-5192, E-ISSN 1466-4399, Vol. 17, no 5, p. 938-958Article in journal (Refereed) Published
    Abstract [en]

    Previous studies with empirical evidence on social responsible driven closedowns have identified a productivity increase effect that occurs during the process of organizational closedowns, known as the closedown effect. Our proposition is that this effect can be anticipated as a consequence of a closedown decision. Encountering four different non social responsible closedown cases, of various durations, we statistically test this proposition. Further, we identify a need for an analytical distinction of the phases of the closedown process, in terms of the primary 'advanced notice period' and the secondary 'countdown period'. Based on the analysis, and with this distinction, we are able to conclude that the productivity increase effect can be anticipated during the countdown period. The comparably longer time frame in the Studding case provides the strongest support for our proposition. From the analysis we suggest hypotheses for further research.

    Keywords
    Decline; closedown; closedown effect; productivity; social responsibility
    National Category
    Business Administration
    Research subject
    Business Studies
    Identifiers
    urn:nbn:se:oru:diva-2927 (URN)10.1080/09585190600641255 (DOI)
    Available from: 2008-03-05 Created: 2008-03-05 Last updated: 2019-03-26Bibliographically approved
    3. When the lights go out
    Open this publication in new window or tab >>When the lights go out
    (English)Manuscript (preprint) (Other academic)
    National Category
    Business Administration
    Research subject
    Business Studies
    Identifiers
    urn:nbn:se:oru:diva-2929 (URN)
    Available from: 2008-03-05 Created: 2008-03-05 Last updated: 2019-03-26Bibliographically approved
  • 10.
    Hansson, Magnus
    Örebro University, Swedish Business School at Örebro University.
    On closedowns: towards a pattern of explanations to the closedown effect2008Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    Productivity effects under uncertainty and threat is the topic of this thesis. It comprises a synthesis and four papers on closedown – focusing a phenomenon where there is an overall productivity increase during the closedown process. Productivity effects are the primary focus of this work’s case closedown studies, and uncertainty and threat the common denominator of the cases. This thesis contributes a theoretical foundation for analysis of closedowns. It identifies explanatory contributing factors and patterns which enable a better understanding of the Closedown effect.

    The theoretical foundation for this thesis is outlined in the first paper. It recontextualizes the Hawthorne experiments by applying a closedown perspective to them. This new perspective identifies several similarities between the Hawthorne experiments and situations where closedown is threatened or decided. Originally the Hawthorne experiments were viewed as a closed system, laboratory experiments instead of actions on daily operations. The new perspective analyzed the prevalent threat implicit in the context that the Hawthorne experiments were conducted in. Such threat was identified in other earlier work on the Horndal and Closedown effect, situations where productivity also increased. Threat can act as a motivator or de-motivator. With the recontextualized perspective, it was found that employees become sensitive to their managerial and informational context, and so productivity patterns fluctuate. A productivity increase is observed overall when closedown is threatened. It is this phenomenon we term the Closedown effect.

    In the second paper, a case study of the closure of a plant tracks productivity fluctuations and fine-tunes analysis of critical events that occur during a closedown process. It builds on the previous papers theoretical foundations and outlines a theoretical model for explaining the Closedown effect. Productivity development depends on workers’ interpretations of management information, and actions and reactions to the prevalent closedown. The dialectics between management and workers change during the closedown period – there were fewer conflicts, speeder conflict resolution, increased formal and informal worker autonomy, and more workers’ work design initiatives. A HRM-program initially had a positive effect on workers, but its importance diminished during the closedown period. The closedown decision generated structural changes: management control over daily operations diminished, informal leadership evolved and individualization grew stronger as the importance of informal groups deteriorated.

    In the third paper a multiple case-study is presented. Lack of social responsibility characterizes the managerial setting in these cases, in contrast to the case study presented in the second paper. That is, here there was a lack of management support for worker activities in this particular closedown process. The Closedown effect was found to be statistically significant in three of the four cases. This paper also contributes a theoretical elaboration of the Closedown effect, including distinguishing the key aspects needed in a detailed analysis of the closedown process.

    In the fourth paper the productivity paradox is examined with a holistic approach, which draws on Buckley’s (1967) modern systems theory. This holistic perspective considers changes in the initial economic and institutional structure, and assesses the dynamics that are triggered by the closedown decision. A closedown decision evidently reorders the equilibrium between management and the workers. The main holistic pattern that emerges is a new order, where worker self management replaces management control at plant level and workplace psychology is based on the apprehension of unfairness.

    An empirically-close analysis approach is a recognized method for highlighting puzzling phenomenon and developing explanatory patterns. This empirically-close analysis of the empirical data generated in this thesis enabled identification of key factors to explain the appearance of the Closedown effect. Moreover, it was a means for generating a more rigorous theoretical understanding of the Closedown effect, and developing a pattern of explanations to this productivity increase effect.

    A key theoretical contribution of this thesis is the identification of a range of concepts that form antecedent explanations to the Closedown effect’s occurrence. These antecedents are aggregated in themes: managerial actions, counter-institutional actions, conflict context, worker autonomy, perceived threat of job loss, collective action, economic and institutional reordering, and institutional restrictions. The following describes the influence of these aggregates and their temporal dynamics, in relationship to the Closedown effect.

    The identification above factors and the generation of a theoretical framework to assess closedowns is the contribution this thesis makes. The significance of these for future research is also critically assessed.

    List of papers
    1. Recontextualizing the Hawthorne effect
    Open this publication in new window or tab >>Recontextualizing the Hawthorne effect
    2006 (English)In: Scandinavian Journal of Management, ISSN 0956-5221, E-ISSN 1873-3387, Vol. 22, no 2, p. 120-137Article in journal (Refereed) Published
    Abstract [en]

    In this paper, we explore the thesis that a threat to the vital interests of an entity, be it a single individual or a group, will lead to productivity increases in a variety of forms. We argue that because threat was present in the Hawthorne experiments, the adoption of a decline perspective is relevant to a recontextualization of the Hawthorne effect. This means introducing aspects of an open systems approach into the analysis. A comparison between the Hawthorne effect and the Closedown and Horndal effects reveals certain analytical similarities. In view of this, and because the threat factor is present in the Hawthorne experiments, we recommend that threat be taken into account as one component of the Hawthorne effect

    Keywords
    Closedown effect, Hawthorne effect, Horndal effect, Productivity, Threat, Decline
    National Category
    Business Administration
    Research subject
    Business Studies
    Identifiers
    urn:nbn:se:oru:diva-2926 (URN)10.1016/j.scaman.2005.12.003 (DOI)
    Available from: 2008-03-05 Created: 2008-03-05 Last updated: 2019-03-26Bibliographically approved
    2. When the lights go out
    Open this publication in new window or tab >>When the lights go out
    (English)Manuscript (preprint) (Other academic)
    National Category
    Business Administration
    Research subject
    Business Studies
    Identifiers
    urn:nbn:se:oru:diva-2929 (URN)
    Available from: 2008-03-05 Created: 2008-03-05 Last updated: 2019-03-26Bibliographically approved
    3. Pyrrhic victories: anticipating the closedown effect 
    Open this publication in new window or tab >>Pyrrhic victories: anticipating the closedown effect 
    2006 (English)In: International Journal of Human Resource Management, ISSN 0958-5192, E-ISSN 1466-4399, Vol. 17, no 5, p. 938-958Article in journal (Refereed) Published
    Abstract [en]

    Previous studies with empirical evidence on social responsible driven closedowns have identified a productivity increase effect that occurs during the process of organizational closedowns, known as the closedown effect. Our proposition is that this effect can be anticipated as a consequence of a closedown decision. Encountering four different non social responsible closedown cases, of various durations, we statistically test this proposition. Further, we identify a need for an analytical distinction of the phases of the closedown process, in terms of the primary 'advanced notice period' and the secondary 'countdown period'. Based on the analysis, and with this distinction, we are able to conclude that the productivity increase effect can be anticipated during the countdown period. The comparably longer time frame in the Studding case provides the strongest support for our proposition. From the analysis we suggest hypotheses for further research.

    Keywords
    Decline; closedown; closedown effect; productivity; social responsibility
    National Category
    Business Administration
    Research subject
    Business Studies
    Identifiers
    urn:nbn:se:oru:diva-2927 (URN)10.1080/09585190600641255 (DOI)
    Available from: 2008-03-05 Created: 2008-03-05 Last updated: 2019-03-26Bibliographically approved
    4. A holistic approach to the productivity paradox
    Open this publication in new window or tab >>A holistic approach to the productivity paradox
    2007 (English)In: Human Systems Management, ISSN 0167-2533, E-ISSN 1875-8703, Vol. 26, no 2, p. 85-97Article in journal (Refereed) Published
    Abstract [en]

    Both the public and private sectors have since the 1980s relentlessly cut the size of their workforces. The downsizing has regularly been reported to lead to closure of a whole or a part of a corporation or organization. Some studies which have analyzed the closures have reported that remarkable, counterintuitive improvements in labor productivity occurred during the time-period between the closure announcement and the final working day. Testing an elaborated cybernetic model on a Swedish case study, and on an exploratory basis, this paper proposes a holistic approach to generate a better understanding of this phenomenon. The main holistic pattern is a new order where management control is replaced by more “Self-management” on the plant level, and very strong psychological reactions based on feelings of unfairness.

    National Category
    Business Administration
    Research subject
    Business Studies
    Identifiers
    urn:nbn:se:oru:diva-2928 (URN)
    Available from: 2008-03-05 Created: 2008-03-05 Last updated: 2019-03-26Bibliographically approved
  • 11.
    Hansson, Magnus
    Örebro University, Örebro University School of Business.
    Organizational Closedown and the Process of Deconstruction and Creativity2017In: Culture and Organization, ISSN 1475-9551, E-ISSN 1477-2760, Vol. 23, no 3, p. 238-256Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    This paper outlines an analysis of how the deconstruction of organizational, management control and performance management structures affects performances and how workers make sense of enhanced efforts and practices of creativity, in a situation when facing a certainty of job loss as of the closedown of the organization. In this paper, we have shown that the deconstruction of structures generate positive performance outcomes, and that such relation is being mediated by workers identity. We have also shown that identity work under a process of organizational closedown generate certain creativity. By doing so, this paper contributes to the literature on creativity and deconstruction by developing an emergent model where workers identity mediates formal structures in relation to performance. This paper contributes to the literature on closedowns by extending its analytical and theoretical domains, proving alternative, yet complementary and mediating explanations to the causes of drivers to enhanced performances during the process of closedown.

  • 12.
    Hansson, Magnus
    Örebro University, Örebro University School of Business.
    Organizational Death and Sensemaking: How Workers Explain Enhanced Efforts During the Process of Plant Closure2013Conference paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    This paper recontextualize Weick’s analysis (1993) of a sensemaking collapse in the Mann Gulch fire disaster from a plant closure perspective, by reflecting workers enactment of meaning and enhanced efforts, in order to unravel a series of explanations why productivity increase during the process of plant closure. We show how workers make sense of and enact enhanced perfor-mances despite the fact of certainty of job loss as facing an organizational death. We argue that analyzes of plant closures are important in order to provide better understandings of how workers act, react, make sense and cre-ate meaning in closedown contexts. Individual behaviors, perceptions of radically changed organizational reality, individual work identities and acts of towards leadership are influenced by inter- and intragroup processes.

  • 13.
    Hansson, Magnus
    Örebro University, Örebro University School of Business.
    Organizational death and sensemaking: How workers make sense of enhanced efforts2014Conference paper (Refereed)
  • 14.
    Hansson, Magnus
    Örebro University, Örebro University School of Business.
    Research on Closedowns2004In: European Academy of Management (EURAM), 2004Conference paper (Refereed)
  • 15.
    Hansson, Magnus
    Örebro University, Örebro University School of Business.
    Sensemaking and Organizational Death2014Conference paper (Refereed)
  • 16.
    Hansson, Magnus
    Örebro University, Örebro University School of Business.
    Sweden - At the end of the road: the process of plant closure2017In: Global human resource management casebook / [ed] Liza Castro Christiansen, Bård Kuvaas, Michal Biron, Elaine Farndale, New York: Routledge, 2017, 2, p. 112-124Chapter in book (Refereed)
  • 17.
    Hansson, Magnus
    Örebro University, Örebro University School of Business.
    Sweden - At the End of the Road: The Process of Plant Closure: Teaching Notes2017In: Global Human Resource Management Casebook / [ed] Castro Chrisiansen, L.; Kuvaas, B.; Biron, M.; Farndale, E., New York: Taylor & Francis, 2017, 2Chapter in book (Other academic)
  • 18.
    Hansson, Magnus
    Örebro University, Örebro University School of Business.
    Theory and Method in Downsizing Research2015In: Centre for Global HRM, At Gothenburg, 2015Conference paper (Refereed)
  • 19.
    Hansson, Magnus
    Örebro University, Swedish Business School at Örebro University.
    When the lights go outManuscript (preprint) (Other academic)
  • 20.
    Hansson, Magnus
    Örebro University, Swedish Business School at Örebro University.
    When the lights go out2008Conference paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    This paper provides a fine-tune analysis of critical events that appeared during a closedown process, and outlines a theoretical model of explanations to the productivity increase effect, a Closedown effect, that occurred. The productivity development was dependent of the workers interpretations of the information provided by the management as well as actions and reactions to the prevalent situation. The dialectics between management and the workers changed throughout the closedown period, with fewer conflicts, faster conflict handling, increased formal and informal autonomy and increase in workers initiatives of changes in work design. A HRM-program had an initially positive effect on the workers, whereas its importance was diminishing. The closedown decision generated changes in the structure; control over daily operations diminished, informal leadership evolved and individualization grew stronger as the importance of informal groups deteriorated. Workers found operative space and developed innovative skills and day-to-day rationalizations, job rotation decreased, and production planning deployed to lower levels of hierarchy.

  • 21.
    Hansson, Magnus
    Örebro University, Örebro University School of Business.
    Why Kübler-Ross is Insufficient for Analyzes of Organizational Death2013Conference paper (Refereed)
  • 22.
    Hansson, Magnus
    et al.
    Örebro University, Örebro University School of Business.
    Arman, Rebecka
    Göteborgs Universitet, Göteborg, Sweden.
    Walter, Lars
    Göteborgs Universitet, Göteborg, Sweden.
    Call for Papers:  Threat and Possibilities in the wakening of corporate restructuring, downsizing and plant closures: A Nordic perspective2013Conference paper (Refereed)
  • 23.
    Hansson, Magnus
    et al.
    Örebro University, Örebro University School of Business.
    Arman, Rebecka
    Göteborgs Universitet, Göteborg, Sweden.
    Walter, Lars
    Göteborgs Universitet, Göteborg, Sweden.
    Practicing, Restructuring, Downsizing and Organizational Death: Call for papers at Nordic Academy of Management2013Conference paper (Refereed)
  • 24.
    Hansson, Magnus
    et al.
    Örebro University, Örebro University School of Business.
    Bell, Emma
    Tienari, Janne
    Call for papers: Special issue on Organizational Death, Memory and Loss2012In: Culture and Organization, ISSN 1475-9551, E-ISSN 1477-2760, Vol. 18, no 3, p. 275-277Article in journal (Other academic)
  • 25.
    Hansson, Magnus
    et al.
    Örebro University, Örebro University School of Business.
    Gottfridsson, Hanna
    Raanaes, Sandra
    The Boss and Daddy’s Little Girl: A Critical Discourse Analysis of the Construction of Gender in Business Media2016In: European Group for Organizational Studies (EGOS): Conference Proceedings, 2016Conference paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Sweden is often considered as one of the most equal countries in the world, but not necessarily when it comes to the gender distribution among senior mangers. The aim of this study is to examine how gender is constructed in Swedish business media regarding senior managers in the private sector. The purpose is, from a critical perspective, to analyze the norms of gender in the society through identification of the media discourse in business media. We are theorizing and analyzing why the media discourse and gender is constructed the way it is, because in the end we want to make a change towards gender equality with reference to senior managers in the private sector. We can conclude that there is clearly a distinct difference in construction of gender in the business media. Here we show that the construction mediates an idea of the male as a more legitimate and natural leader than the female and contains an explicit establishment of gender, at least regarding the female leader. Another conclusion is that the media discourse and gender construction are clearly influenced by the arguments in gender and leadership theories and foremost by the theories of feminine leadership.

  • 26.
    Hansson, Magnus
    et al.
    Örebro University, Örebro University School of Business.
    Gottfridsson, Hanna
    Centre for Empirical Research on Organizational Control (CEROC), School of Business, Örebro University, Örebro, Sweden.
    Raanaes, Sandra
    Centre for Empirical Research on Organizational Control (CEROC), School of Business, Örebro University, Örebro, Sweden.
    The Boss and Daddy's Little Girl: On the Costruction of Gender in Swedish Business Media2019In: Gender in Management, ISSN 1754-2413, E-ISSN 1754-2421, Vol. 34, no 1, p. 59-76Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Purpose: This paper aims to analyse the construction of gender in business media through identification of media discourses in terms of vocabulary and vocabulary structures.

    Design/methodology/approach: The authors conduct critical discourse analysis and linguistic text analysis of media articles in two Swedish business magazines, focussing on vocabulary and vocabulary structures used to describe men and women as managers.

    Findings: Media texts fall into traditional, gender-stereotyped patterns. The use of metaphors, choice of words and sentence structures construct and maintain stereotyped models of gender. The linguistic practices and use of specific and gender-biased vocabulary shape discursive practices, contributing to the construction and reconstruction of institutionalised gender-stereotyped patterns of behaviour and established social norms.

  • 27.
    Hansson, Magnus
    et al.
    Örebro University, Örebro University School of Business.
    Hansson, Johanna
    Uppsala Universitet, Uppsala, Sweden.
    Identité professionnelle individuelle et processus de fermeture d’usine: disbanding and reconnecting the individual work identity under the process of plant closure2012In: Revue francaise de gestion, ISSN 0338-4551, Vol. 220, no 1, p. 117-131Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [fr]

    En analysant la manière dont l’identité professionnelle individuelle change au cours d’un processus de fermeture d’usine, cet article contribue à la littérature existante sur l’identité professionnelle individuelle et la fermeture d’entreprises en élargissant leurs domaines empiriques et analytiques. Les auteurs analysent ici l’étude de cas longitudinale d’une fermeture d’usine. Cette analyse leur permet de conclure que l’identité professionnelle individuelle change selon un processus graduel de dispersion et de reconnexion interconnectées. Ils montrent que la dispersion est prédominante et présente une dimension temporelle interconnectée à la reconnexion subordonnée. À partir de cette analyse, ils émettent des propositions en vue de futures recherches.

  • 28.
    Hansson, Magnus
    et al.
    Örebro University, Örebro University School of Business.
    Hansson, Johanna
    Uppsala Universitet, Uppsala, Sweden.
    Sense of the self: on the change in workers identity in closedown contexts2010Conference paper (Refereed)
  • 29.
    Hansson, Magnus
    et al.
    Örebro University, Örebro University School of Business.
    Littler, Craig
    University of St Andrews.
    Are Closedown Plants High Performance Work Places?: Untangling a Theoretical Paradox2005Conference paper (Refereed)
  • 30.
    Hansson, Magnus
    et al.
    Örebro University, Swedish Business School at Örebro University.
    Wigblad, Rune
    Högskolan i Dalarna, Department of Economy and Society.
    Job insecurity and certainty of job loss: a comparative analysis of downsizing and closedown literatures2008Conference paper (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    This paper provides an elaboration on the application of the downsizing literature, and more specifically literature on job insecurity, in a closedown context. This is done in order to provide a distinction to and demarcation of two adjacent and overlapping literatures on restructuring events involving layoffs. By doing so, we advance the understanding and outline a comparative analysis of these literatures and analytically demarcate their applicability in closedown contexts.

    Evidently from the oft-cited job-insecurity literature, work force reductions often lead to negative performance outcomes that are often manifested through and referred to as the ‘survivor syndrome’. On the contrary empirical evidence show that, closedowns result in high performance outcome and increased productivity despite the fact of certainty of job loss – this has been referred to as the Closedown effect.

    The dynamics of both restructuring processes are essentially different in both the evolvement as well as their outcome. Job insecurity, increased centralization in decision making, loss of innovativeness, resistance to change, decreasing morale, increasing conflicts and lack of team work are traditionally seen as some of the negative consequences of downsizing activities. Research on closedowns has on the other hand indicated a range of explanations to the Closedown effect such as diminishing management control, increased operative space for the workers, increased levels of day-to-day rationalizations through the development of innovative skills, increasing morale as well as the development of informal leadership and self-organizing groups, in a situation where workers experience a certainty of job loss.

    Previous research on closedowns has conceptualized different periods in the closedown process and has indicated a typical ‘hockey-stick’ pattern of the productivity development and identified analytically distinctive periods in the closedown process. Evident from the literature the advance notice and negotiation periods are characterized by high levels of experienced job insecurity and uncertainty and negative performance outcomes. The following countdown period is on the other hand characterized by certainty of job loss and an ideal-typical productivity increase effect that is specific for closedown contexts. We argue that the application of the downsizing literature is relevant for the closedown context during the advance notice period. Our analysis of both literatures indicates a difference between these contexts, especially during the run down period.

  • 31.
    Hansson, Magnus
    et al.
    Örebro University, Örebro University School of Business.
    Wigblad, Rune
    Högskolan i Dalarna, Falun, Sweden.
    Practicing Restructuring, Downsizing and Organizational Death.2011Conference paper (Refereed)
  • 32.
    Hansson, Magnus
    et al.
    Örebro University, Örebro University School of Business.
    Wigblad, Rune
    Högskolan i Dalarna, Falun, Sweden.
    Pyrrhic Victories: Anticipating the Closedown Effect2006In: European Academy of Management (EURAM), 2006Conference paper (Refereed)
  • 33.
    Hansson, Magnus
    et al.
    Örebro University, Department of Business, Economics, Statistics and Informatics.
    Wigblad, Rune
    Pyrrhic victories: anticipating the closedown effect 2006In: International Journal of Human Resource Management, ISSN 0958-5192, E-ISSN 1466-4399, Vol. 17, no 5, p. 938-958Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Previous studies with empirical evidence on social responsible driven closedowns have identified a productivity increase effect that occurs during the process of organizational closedowns, known as the closedown effect. Our proposition is that this effect can be anticipated as a consequence of a closedown decision. Encountering four different non social responsible closedown cases, of various durations, we statistically test this proposition. Further, we identify a need for an analytical distinction of the phases of the closedown process, in terms of the primary 'advanced notice period' and the secondary 'countdown period'. Based on the analysis, and with this distinction, we are able to conclude that the productivity increase effect can be anticipated during the countdown period. The comparably longer time frame in the Studding case provides the strongest support for our proposition. From the analysis we suggest hypotheses for further research.

  • 34.
    Hansson, Magnus
    et al.
    Örebro University, Örebro University School of Business.
    Wigblad, Rune
    Högskolan i Dalarna, Falun, Sweden.
    Recontextualizing the Hawthorne Effect2003Conference paper (Refereed)
  • 35.
    Hansson, Magnus
    et al.
    Örebro University, Swedish Business School at Örebro University.
    Wigblad, Rune
    Högskolan Dalarna.
    Recontextualizing the Hawthorne effect2006In: Scandinavian Journal of Management, ISSN 0956-5221, E-ISSN 1873-3387, Vol. 22, no 2, p. 120-137Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    In this paper, we explore the thesis that a threat to the vital interests of an entity, be it a single individual or a group, will lead to productivity increases in a variety of forms. We argue that because threat was present in the Hawthorne experiments, the adoption of a decline perspective is relevant to a recontextualization of the Hawthorne effect. This means introducing aspects of an open systems approach into the analysis. A comparison between the Hawthorne effect and the Closedown and Horndal effects reveals certain analytical similarities. In view of this, and because the threat factor is present in the Hawthorne experiments, we recommend that threat be taken into account as one component of the Hawthorne effect

  • 36.
    Hansson, Magnus
    et al.
    Örebro University, Örebro University School of Business.
    Wigblad, Rune
    Högskolan i Dalarna, Falun, Sweden.
    Rydell, Alexis
    Högskolan i Dalarna, Falun, Sweden.
    Plant closures, temporary workers and a management controlled setting: Further evidence on the Closedown effect2012Conference paper (Refereed)
  • 37.
    Hansson, Magnus
    et al.
    Örebro University, Örebro University School of Business.
    Wigblad, Rune
    Högskolan i Dalarna, Falun, sweden.
    Rydell, Alexis
    Plant closures, temporary workers and a management controlled setting: Further evidence on the Closedown effect2014Conference paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    This paper challenges the reach of previous research on organizational death and closedowns, by analyzingempirical evidence from cases where the control system during the closedown period was intact. Here we analyzeScanias closure concerned two plants in Sweden. In contrast to previously reported closedown cases, Scaniamaintained their management and control system and kept on "business as usual" throughout the closedownprocesses. Still, a Closedown effect was recorded. In our analysis, we elaborate on a set of complementary yetchallenging explanations to the Closedown effect and put specific emphasis on two aspects; a maintained sociallyresponsible management control system and the high level of temporary workers that were present in operationsduring the closedown process. This paper extends both the theoretical and empirical domains of the plant closureresearch. Theoretically, the paper elaborates on possible implications with these new empirical findings on handconcerning further understanding of the Closedown effect. Empirically, this paper encounter one case in whichcorporate management initiated both capital investments and implemented a newly designed product and productionprocess, during the closedown process, i.e. practicing a strong management control.

  • 38. Hasanen, Lars
    et al.
    Hellgren, Johnny
    Hansson, Magnus
    Örebro University, Swedish Business School at Örebro University.
    Goal setting and plant closure: when bad things turn good2011In: Economic and Industrial Democracy, ISSN 0143-831X, E-ISSN 1461-7099, Vol. 32, no 1, p. 135-156Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Research has shown that closedowns seem to result in increased productivity even though all productivity targets have been abandoned. The closedown case analysed in this article is different from previous research since management came to employ high goals for productivity and efficiency throughout the entire closedown process (29 months). The article argues that individuals gradually accept the demise and detach themselves from the dying organization by adopting new career goals which they can start pursuing after the actual closure, thus the closure becomes a subgoal. This study examines change in the dependent variables’ mean values, and the relationships between goal setting, job performance, goal commitment, organizational citizenship behaviour, job satisfaction and job-induced tension. A longitudinal design (N = 151) based on two data points (T1: February 2006, T2: February 2007) were tapped into the annual goal setting process. The results support that goal setting was effective in this specific closedown scenario.

  • 39.
    Häsänen, Lars
    et al.
    Stockholms universitet, Stockholm, Sweden.
    Hansson, Magnus
    Örebro University, Örebro University School of Business.
    Hellgren, Johnny
    Stockholms universitet, Stockholm, Sweden.
    Contrasting between high-performers’ andlow-performers’ justice perceptions of effort and turnover cognitions: Can you rely on high-performers’ during plant closures?2011Conference paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Managers planning for a prolonged plantclosure would probably contemplate stang, and per-haps one way to try to ensure continued productivitywould be putting high-performing employees in key po-sitions in the hope that they would continue perform-ing throughout the closure. Such stang cues havebeen proposed to be used during downsizing (Appel-baum, et al., 1987). However, a senior top managerwho has initiated and led 16 plant closures throughouthis career and responsible for this specic plant clo-sure, reported that he has tested this stang approachduring plant closures with unsatisfying results - insteadhigh-performing employees had a tendency to stop per-forming and having higher tendency to quit. The pur-pose of this paper is to investigate the anecdotal re-ports that high-performing employees stop performingand have a higher tendency to quit during plant clo-sures. A longitudinal design was used, with one yearbetween data collection points (T1 and T2). Data wascollected using online and paper copies of the samequestionnaire, with a response rate of 61% on T1 and55% on T2. A 2 (T1 Job performance: Low vs. High)2 (T2 Overall justice: Low vs. High) between-subjectanalysis of covariance (ANCOVA) was performed on two dependent variables (eort and turnover cogni-tions), while controlling for positive and negative aec-tivity. The results showed that high-performers' whoperceived low justice received lowest scores on eort,while low-performers' perceiving low justice receivednext highest score on eort. Whereas, all groups whoperceived high justice had lower turnover cognitionsthan those who perceived low justice. This study lendsupport to the top senior managers report that usinghigh-performers' in key positions during a plant clo-sure could be disappointment since the results suggestthat high-performers' could either be those who putforth most and least eort, depending on if they per-ceive low justice. Therefore, we suggest that it couldbe more productive to open up the key positions to allemployees to apply and interview those who are inter-ested - the interviews should aim at investigating if thespecic role would have some form of instrumentalityfor the employee.

  • 40.
    Häsänen, Lars
    et al.
    Stockholms universitet.
    Hansson, Magnus
    Örebro University, Örebro University School of Business.
    Hellgren, Johnny
    Stockholms universitet.
    Goal Setting during a Closedown Process: A longitudinal study2009Conference paper (Refereed)
  • 41.
    Littler, Craig
    et al.
    University of St. Andrews, School of Management.
    Hansson, Magnus
    Örebro University, Department of Business, Economics, Statistics and Informatics.
    Closures and downsizing: integrating overlapping literatures2007Conference paper (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    One of the perennial puzzles of academic work is why comparable literatures, even when they address overlapping issues, remain insulated from each other. This review addresses just such a case. We provide an overview of two literatures – that on closure and that on organizational downsizing. The comparison and contrast of these two literatures indicates an unrecognized performance paradox. Workplace behaviour post-closure announcement frequently results in high productivity, quality output, worker cooperation and commitment. In contrast, downsizing is, typically, associated with negative performance outcomes, low worker commitment, and the so called ‘dirty dozen’ (Cameron, Freeman & Mishra, 1993; Zatzick & Iverson, 2004). For example, many of the downsizing studies focused on ‘survivor syndrome’ as a cluster of negative workforce outcomes (Brockner et al, 1985, 1986a, b, 1987, 1988a, b). This performance paradox could be artifactual – the product of limited data and skewed samples. However, mounting evidence suggests otherwise. We seek to explore the theoretical explanations and implications of a paradox which has not been identified in the literature to date. The review ends by illustrating the need for integrating these literatures and focusing more clearly on the unit of analysis.

  • 42.
    Wigblad, Rune
    et al.
    Department of Economy and Society, Dalarna University College, Borlänge, Sweden.
    Hansson, Magnus
    Örebro University, Örebro University School of Business.
    Townsend, Keith
    Centre for Research on Work, Organisation and Wellbeing, The Department of Employment Relations and Human Resources, Griffith University, Brisbane, Australia.
    Lewer, John
    School of Business and Management, The University of Newcastle, Callagham, Australia.
    Shifting frontiers of control during closedown processes2012In: Personnel review, ISSN 0048-3486, E-ISSN 1758-6933, Vol. 41, no 2, p. 160-179Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Purpose: This paper aims to explore and analyse how shifting frontiers of control emerge and, change the labour process so that restrictions to output become diminished, subsequently affecting organisational performance.

    Design/methodology/approach: Multiple case study design. Interviews with 104 respondents. Analysis of productivity statistics in order to test for the statistical significance of the closedown effect. Single multiple regression analysis of the comparative strength, of the closedown effect, between cases.

    Findings: Shifting frontiers of control arise during the closedown process, a control system characterised by markedly unrestricted autonomy for the workers as the management frontiers of control abate. This provides an operative space for informal work practices, innovation and emerging new industrial relations, accounting for the higher levels of output.

    Research limitations/implications: A multiple case study of three different manufacturing organisations, with comparably long closedown periods. The authors do not analyse the sustainability of the increase in output or the generalisibility of the closedown effect to other industries.

    Practical implications: It is possible to anticipate improved productivity if shiffing frontiers of control are rapidly replacing the old. If management abandons the old control mechanisms, previous to the closedown decision, and provides operative space for workers' initiatives and informal leadership during the closedown process, it is possible to expect good performance, enabling a scope for extended closedown periods.

    Originality/value: This is the first study that analyses the comparative strength of the closedown effect and how restricted work practices change under the process of closedown.

  • 43.
    Wigblad, Rune
    et al.
    Högskolan i Dalarna, Department of Economy and Society.
    Hansson, Magnus
    Örebro University, Swedish Business School at Örebro University.
    Townsend, Keith
    School of Management, Queensland University of Technology, Brisbane, Australia.
    Lewer, John
    School of Business and Management, The University of Newcastle, Callaghan, Australia.
    When the productivity game is over: the countdown in closedowns2008Conference paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    This article presents data that shows strong counterintuitive improvements in productivity occur following a management decision to permanently close a part of their organisation. This productivity change is known in the literature as the ‘Closedown effect’. It is primarily during the period following negotiations between management and unions, that the strongest empirical evidence of increased productivity is recorded.

    The purpose of this article is to analyze what type of autonomy that comes into practice, given a new institutional order, during closedown processes. Empirical evidence from the closure of three plants in Scandinavia supports the analysis that a closedown decision, changes the frontiers of control. These changes provide operative space for informal work practices, innovation and other aspects of workplace relations which facilitate higher levels of output. The workplace has reached ‘the end of the game’ and a new order appears replacing the previously institutionalised pattern with more real autonomy.

  • 44. Wigblad, Rune
    et al.
    Lewer, John
    Hansson, Magnus
    Örebro University, Department of Business, Economics, Statistics and Informatics.
    A holistic approach to the productivity paradox2007In: Human Systems Management, ISSN 0167-2533, E-ISSN 1875-8703, Vol. 26, no 2, p. 85-97Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Both the public and private sectors have since the 1980s relentlessly cut the size of their workforces. The downsizing has regularly been reported to lead to closure of a whole or a part of a corporation or organization. Some studies which have analyzed the closures have reported that remarkable, counterintuitive improvements in labor productivity occurred during the time-period between the closure announcement and the final working day. Testing an elaborated cybernetic model on a Swedish case study, and on an exploratory basis, this paper proposes a holistic approach to generate a better understanding of this phenomenon. The main holistic pattern is a new order where management control is replaced by more “Self-management” on the plant level, and very strong psychological reactions based on feelings of unfairness.

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