For organisations, particularly the IBM’s and Digital Equipment’s of the world which long resisted layoffs, it is hard to image that the organisations or their cultures have remained anything close to intact. Getting back to the questions posed earlier:
1.For whose benefit does the organisation exist?
It seems clear that organisations exist less today for the wellbeing of rank-and-file employees than they once did. With the Dow shattering all records, it seems clear that the shareholders have the upper hand in making critical corporate decisions. They are partnered with CEO’s who received an average pay raise in 1995 of23% (Washington Post, 3/5/96). Just look at who is prospering and who is not.
2.What are the basic assumptions among people about working relationships in the organisation? The basic assumptions about working relationships have changed, in ways that can not yet be well assessed. It appears, at least, that relationships tend to be less “familiar” and more competitive than in the past.
What is the worth of what have traditionally been termed commitment and loyalty? We just do not know? What is the impact of the feeling that the organization is a community even a family – with relatively stable long-term working relationships? And how will that play out in terms of cooperation given to others as opposed to “backstabbing” in the intense competition for scarce? resources? We can only be sure that things have changed, not how.
3. What are the basic assumptions the organisation and the employee make in relation to each other?
The basic assumptions by employees and organisations about their employment relationship have changed from long-term and stable, with organizations expected to make accommodations to avoid laying people off to more short-term and contingent. Researchers such as Bridges and Noer forecast a more happy future for those who adapt to the changing times in the new scenario, but that is a difficult forecast to test.