Stories of ambivalence : Australian executives' experiences of outplacement services
Parris, Melissa Anne and Vickers, Margaret H. 2007, Stories of ambivalence : Australian executives' experiences of outplacement services, in AEPP 07 : Proceedings of the 15th Annual International Conference 2007, Manhattan College, New York, N.Y., pp. 108-113.
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The increasing prevalence of organizational downsizing has been matched by growth in the provision of outplacement services. Yet there has been limited research on either the effectiveness of these programs or the experience of individuals undertaking them. Within a qualitative study investigating the experiences of Australian executives who had been made redundant, one of the focus areas explored was the experience of using outplacement services. Respondents' stories revealed a sense of ambivalence towards these programs. This paper discusses the conflicting experiences giving rising to this ambivalence, namely, positive outcomes with respect to the use of office services and the receiving of proactive support, and more negative aspects of an absence of counselling skills and impersonal treatment through the organizational exit process. It is argued that further research on the outplacement experience is required to determine the type and quality of services which will best serve those who have been made redundant.
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