Articles

Cultural Influences on Employee Termination Decisions: Firing the Good, Average, or the Old

M. SEGALLA, G. Jacobs-Belschak, C. Müller

European Management Journal

February 2001, vol. 19, n°1, pp.58-72

Departments: Management & Human Resources


This paper reports the results of an empirical study of the cultural influences on the choice of who to terminate in a general workforce reduction. The authors report the conclusions reached during the first phase of a large European study on managerial decision-making. Nearly 300 managers participated in this phase, which surveyed 25 firms from the financial sectors of France, German, Italy, Spain, and the United Kingdom. Models built upon classical economic theory and social justice theory are examined. The results of this study indicate that nationality is a good determinant of the choice of whom to dismiss. Some nationalities are more concerned about the social effects of dismissal on the individual and work group. Others are more concerned about the economic benefits or costs to the firm. The authors conclude that human resource programs designed to standardize career management policy across Europe may fail because of intentional and unintentional barriers


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