Inplacement: En indsats mod udviklingen af survivour syndrome i nedskæringsprocesser

Jeanne Agergaard Petersen

Student thesis: Master thesis


A few decades ago, the Danish labour market were characterized by other values than those of today. Stability were the main characteristic for the terms of employment and it was not unusual to grow old in the same company. Today this has changed as a consequence of the global competition, the technological development and a demanding customer centric market. A world in constant change requires companies to adapt quick in order to keep competitiveness, which has legitimated organizational adjustments and workforce reductions.
When workforce reductions are made, international studies shows that the majority of companies do not achieve the needed economical results, as they initiated the reductions on basis of. Theory suggest the survivour syndrome as an explanation, due to the lack of performance, from the remaining workforce. Survivour syndrome is a dysfunctional condition followed by a number of undesirable outcomes such as feelings of guilt, frustration, lowered engagement and job satisfaction etc.
In this study, it has been examined which elements of a workforce reduction that leads to survivour syndrome in a Danish context. Nine qualitative interviews with respondents from different companies has been conducted, with focus on elements that research in survivour syndrome points out, as critical to development of the syndrome. These elements are the historical context, the psychological contract and contract breach, cutback strategy and managerial treatment of survivors.
The results shows that, seen in isolation, there is no direct correlation between the elements mentioned above and the development of survivour syndrome among respondents. What it also shows, is that the salient point is linked to the respondents’ individuality. If a respondent has a predisposition to survivour syndrome because of his life situation, personality features and professional competence, the elements such as historical context, contract breach, cutback strategy and managerial treatment influences on
development on survivour syndrome.

EducationsMSc in Human Resource Management, (Graduate Programme) Final Thesis
Publication date2018
Number of pages202