Lay-Offs in The Name of Love: The Danish Example

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    A number of articles have shown that the relationship between organisation and employee has become an intimate relationship. This is indeed the case in Denmark. This article shows how the problem of lay-off is discursively rearticulated in the context of passion as a problem of intimate breaks. Lay-off becomes a tricky problem of breaking up in a loving way. This article is a semantic analysis of the lay-off semantics in Denmark after the financial crisis, comparing lay-off semantics with the semantics of divorces. Handbooks on lay-offs use divorce metaphors, and particular strategies for divorces can be found in advisory tools on the termination of employees. Lay-offs are split in two: a formal lay-off and an intimate break. This creates a number of interesting discursive paradoxes for both managers and employees.
    Original languageEnglish
    JournalInternational Journal of Work Organisation and Emotion
    Issue number1
    Pages (from-to)16-34
    Number of pages19
    Publication statusPublished - 2015


    • Lay-off semantics
    • Divorce semantics
    • Membership
    • Passion
    • Work relations
    • Emotions
    • Intimisation
    • Denmark
    • Intimate break-up
    • Employee termination
    • Employee lay-off
    • Loving divorce
    • Lay-offs
    • Redundancy

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