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A comparison of management style before and after retrenchment.

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While there is an abundance of literature on models of coping with the loss of employment, the present study adopts the more particular focus of a study by Ribton-Turner and De Bruin who investigate stressors and support relating to unemployed mid-career adults. In their study, Ribton-Turner and De Bruin interviewed six individuals who had lost their employment, and suggested that a potential area for further research would be to investigate whether the re-employed person returns to his or her previous state of functioning and whether the experience of ongoing stress scars the affected individual. Does the mid-life adult return to his or her emotional and mental state prior to this experience of unemployment? The method of data collection consisted of 16 phenomenological, qualitative interviews with upper management. In the interviews the participants were asked to tell their story of being unemployed and to share their most critical experiences of the past months. The participants were asked how this experience of retrenchment had changed their subsequent way of management. A criterion for selecting interviewees was that they should have been re-employed for at least for six months. In conclusion the interviewed managers said that their management style had become more compassionate and they tend to have a new, enriched view on family life. Some of the managers reported that they experience difficulty in building a trust relationship with their respective new employers and tend to be over committed in fear of going through a retrenchment. The management style of these re-employed managers can appropriately be described as servant-leadership management style.


Ph. D. University of KwaZulu-Natal, Durban 2012.


Unemployment--Psychological aspects., Servant leadership., Unemployed--Psychological aspects., Employment re-entry--Psychological aspects., Theses--Business administration.