An assault on identity : the male view of being made redundant
Parris, Melissa Anne and Vickers, Margaret 2006, An assault on identity : the male view of being made redundant, in AEPP 2006: Balancing organizational competitiveness, ethics, social responsibility and employee rights in the global economy: Proceedings of the 14th Annual International Conference 2006, Manhattan College, New York, N.Y., pp. 109-114.
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Participation and success in paid work is a key element of identity for many men. The increased prevalence of downsizing, and the discarding of individuals from organisations, therefore has particular pertinence when considering men’s workplace experiences. This paper discusses findings from an exploratory study investigating the experiences of Australian executives who had been made redundant. Three themes related to male identity are presented: the impact on respondents’ positions as breadwinners for their families; a concern for being seen to be capable and in control; and perceptions of loss of status upon returning to work. These executives expressed feelings of anger, sadness, fear and embarrassment as a result of the assault to their identity. There is a need for continued focus on these experiences and their implications for both men and women, particularly as individuals report undergoing multiple redundancies.
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