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survivor syndrome


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Is the term used to describe a range of feelings experienced by employees who remain in an organization after it has gone through the process of downsizing and reorganization. Whilst there may be initial relief at keeping one's job, research reveals that this turns to feelings of betrayal (by management), anger (against management), guilt (at keeping one's job), resentment of others ( survivor envy), and uncertainty (both about the survivors' current roles and about their job security). The consequent drop in morale can lead to a decrease in performance and an increase in stress. For some employees the survivor syndrome manifests itself in greater absenteeism, whilst for others it takes the form of presenteeism. The survivor syndrome is less likely to occur when the survivors perceive that the process has been handled fairly in terms of (a) selection of who should go and (b) the reorganization of the jobs of those who remain.

(a) selection of who should go and (b) the reorganization of the jobs of those who remain.


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