WUN Leeds Fund For International Research Collaborations


2010 - 2010

Project focus on the employment consequences of corporate restructuring, most notably in relation to redundancy.

Project number:

Restructuring, redundancy and sustainable employment: the challenges of the contemporary economic crisis.

The proposed project will focus on the employment consequences of corporate restructuring, most notably in relation to redundancy. Given current economic conditions, this is of important social significance. Extant research activity has tended to neglect the wider social significance of redundancy or workers’ experiences of job loss. To some extent this has followed key policy concerns which have given more attention to: how companies can anticipate and manage change, in order to ameliorate the consequences of restructuring; and to ‘activate’ the unemployed back into work. The current crisis seriously challenges the ability of companies to anticipate change, with job loss the more immediate response to recent, abrupt downturns in demand. Likewise, it is questionable whether nation states have ready policy and ‘activation tools’ for the increasing roll call of the unemployed.

New policies are urgently needed at supra national (eg EU), national, sectoral, community and workplace level to address the unfolding consequences of corporate restructuring; policies that will need to be enmeshed in new, innovative social pacts to ensure long-term significance. The project will contrast EU developments with the USA, Australia and Canada, and will focus on.

  1. Company restructuring and redundancy: What is the map of redundancy in terms of sectors, occupations and various demographic profiles. How can we understand the process by which companies lay off workers, and how this may assist in the process of re-employment? Specific attention will focus on autos, finance and steel.
  2. State responses to restructuring and redundancy:How are nation states responding? Which new adjustment policies are being implemented; how effective are they?
  3. Worker experiences. How are workers experiencing redundancy and how do they go about regaining employment? What supports do they find most useful?
  4. Third-party actors. How can ‘other actors’ assist redundant workers? Here we will consider the role played by trade unions, as well as many local, regional organisations (eg NGOs) that provide job search advice and training.


Publications will be presented soon

Project events

No events for this project.

Project partners:

CELSI, Slovakia

University of Leeds

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