In this chapter we first introduce the subject of organisational downsizing by
discussing its wider context, its extent and potential for causing problems when
mismanaged. The breadth and depth of organisational restructuring seen in the
industrialised economies has been significant in recent years, especially in the
aftermath of the recent global financial crisis (GFC). Second, we review the methods by which downsizing occurs and consider a range of alternatives to its use. Third, we examine the processes involved and focus in particular on consultation, redundancy selection and support for those who are made redundant, and the survivors of downsizing. Lastly, we conclude by asking whether the costs of downsizing are worth it and whether downsizing translates simply into ‘increased stress and decreased job security’ (De Meuse et al., 1997: 168).