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HRMT REPORT ON

DOWNSIZING UNIVERSITY
STAFF

Submitted by: Divyansh Ojha


Student Number: S0275247

HRMT 20024

Assessment Task 2

T215

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY
This report aims at developing a human resource management
plan of our university. It finds the factors which influence the
academic and administrative staff of the university. It also aims
at finding the key attributes which determine the effects of
downsizing in the university. It also enlists the advantages and
disadvantages of downsizing and makes recommendations on
how to cope up with the shortcomings of the current policy
adopted by the university authorities. The recommendations
are based on the current educational trends in Australia. Based
on those trends I have recommended few dos and donts
which could be followed while designing the new human
resource management policies.

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TABLE OF CONTENTS
2

INTRODUCTION:................................................................................................... 3

EXTERNAL FACTORS AFFECTING THE LABOUR PROFILE.......................................4


Job Satisfaction........................................................................................................ 4

HR Planning Functions.......................................................................................... 7

Advantages and Disadvantages of Downsizing....................................................9


5.1

Advantages of Downsizing.............................................................................9

5.2

Disadvantages of Downsizing......................................................................10

RECOMMENDATIONS.......................................................................................... 11

CONCLUSION...................................................................................................... 12

REFERENCES LIST............................................................................................... 13

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1 INTRODUCTION:
Recent years have witnessed changing trends in demand for
various courses in Australia affecting the labor profile for the
university staff. This has resulted in unwanted staff count in few
courses while a glitch in others. Measures taken to control the
staff count further pipelined skilled and experienced staff to
voluntary retirement. A risk of losing the much needed
experienced staff arose while the less competent staff stayed. On
the other hand targeted redundancies left the employees with job
insecurity, solemnizing their work and creating an apathetic work
environment. This type of downsizing can result in damage to the
universitys reputation which can affect the student count in long
run. While voluntary redundancy gave the experienced staff to
leave the organization for a better one along with a fair
compensation for the same. A detailed study on the type of
downsizing has to be done for the current staff requirement, and
their effects on the organization in long run. The factors which are
influencing the employees must be observed and kept in mind
while planning for and layoffs.
Due to failure of both the policies to meet the required staff
count, a new policy must be projected which considers all the
factors that influence the staff such as the qualification,
experience in current working arena, health status, family needs,
cost of training new employees and employment cost. In addition
to this individuals decision to leave the institution and actual
requirement of the person must be kept in mind.

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This report aims at determining the policies with most desirable


effect with least cost by accessing the relationships and
interactions among the many direct and indirect influences.
Identifying these relations would allow us to construct a better HR
planning function for a better decision making. The following
sections focus on the areas that affect the downsizing decisions.

2 EXTERNAL FACTORS AFFECTING THE


LABOUR PROFILE
The academic staff acts as pillars to an institution. It plays a great
role in development of the university as a good teaching staff
would produce better results and hence contribute in the capital
development and advancement of the institution. Therefore
motivation and incentives to the teaching staff plays a greater
role in maintaining the organizations status. A good teacher must
possess some attributes like confidence, a dignified image,
qualification, dedication towards ones work. Many variables
determine the motivational level and stability of academic staff
like workload and stress, rewards and initiatives, job security,
salary and financial needs, transparency in appraisal system,
appreciation, discriminatory policies, political stress, examination
stress, mental health, working hours and other implicit factors like
family size, home distance, and relationship with colleagues and
heads etc.
JOB SATISFACTION:
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Job satisfaction is an attitude towards the working conditions,


facets, or aspects of the job. It is an important factor which leads
to higher commitment of the employees towards the job.
The Duality Theory of Job Satisfaction by Herzberg states that on
the basis of Motivational and Hygiene factors determine the job
satisfaction of a place. He compiled these factors on the basis of
some interviews conducted with engineers and managers. The
Motivational factors included achievement, recognition, work
itself, responsibility, advancement, growth, while the Hygiene
factors included administration of the company policy,
supervisory behavior, relationship with superiors, working
environment, salary, relationship with coworkers, relationships
with subordinates, status, personal life, and safety measures. The
Motivational factors are the explicitly related factors while the
Hygiene factors are implicitly related or we can say the external
factors affecting the employees. According to him by improving
these 10 hygiene factors and escalating the six motivators, the
job satisfaction level of the employees of a company can rise.
Table 3.1 Mean, Standard deviation of Motivator Factors

Motivator factors
Achievement
Advancement
Recognition
Responsibility
Work itself

Mean
4.4
4.3
2.79
4
4.2

SD
0.4
0.63
0.5
0.39
0.5

Table 3.2 Mean, Standard deviation of Hygiene Factors

Hygiene factors
Relationships
University
Legislation
Salary
Work Condition

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Mean
3.7

SD
0.47

3.4

0.66

2.87
4

10.55
0.39

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Based on a five point Likert-type scale with responses ranging from very
dissatisfied (1) to very satisfied (5), Academic staff provided the following
mean satisfaction scores with the job motivator and hygiene factors:
achievement4.4; advancement, 4.3; recognition, 2.79; responsibility, 4.0;
work itself, 4.2; Relationship, 3.7; University Legislation, 3.4; salary, 2.74;
and working conditions, 2.87 (Table 2)

The biggest challenge to a university is to make their employees


work willingly. In our case study, we found that our academic staff
was not devoted and committed to job because of the fear of
downsizing. A working environment with little or no job security
will leave an employee with low confidence and working ability. It
would leave a negative impact on the employees attitude
towards his/her job. Moreover, a teacher is responsible for the
motivation of the students. A person with low morale would be of
no use to the students. Also, it would lead the employee to seek
for better opportunities available in other organization. This could
spread the insecurity to other employees as well disturbing the
whole environment.
The work load largely determines the ease with which an
employee can survive in an organization. Specifically in teaching
environment, large workload can result in frustration piping to the
students. Late working hours can reduce the ability of the teacher
to deliver a good lecture and to establish bond with the students.
Moreover if the salary does not match with the workload then the
employee may take his/her duties for granted. This would lead to
low morale and lack of co-operation provides by the staff to the
higher authorities.
Everybody strives for achievement and appreciation. And if there
is no scope of advancement for the employee in an organization,
the work becomes monotonous. In a university, an employee
must be able to study further and promote to higher positions in a
reasonable span of time. Lack of such opportunities will lead to
the employee moving out of the organization.

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3 HR PLANNING FUNCTIONS
The HR planning functions aims to express the goals of an
organization and keeping those goals in mind, matches the
competency of the employees to meet those goals. It links the
human resource management with the strategies of the
organization. In this situation, Human Resource Planning aims to
provide competent staff meeting the requirements of each
academic department. Furthermore, it must be designed to
provide a secure environment to the staff. The process aims at
forecasting the future demand of staff in each department
depending upon the then current trends of student interest in the
course. It aims at the delivery of demanded number and quality of
employees and deploying them to the required departments
according to the strategic objectives of the organization.

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Human Resource Planning in our case must be done keeping in


mind the future demand for education in Australia. The changing
demand for courses in the university lead to the authorities lean
towards downsizing. The falling demand in the sector of
information technology, management and commerce and
agriculture aimed at concentrating the process of downsizing to
these particular departments. While demands in these sectors
grew, the academic staff is needed in other departments. The
benchmarking studies which compared the university with others
suggested to decrease the administrative staff.
The departments with over-supply of staff needed to release its
employees. Following points must be kept in mind while
performing the process of downsizing:
Downsizing must be implemented over extended period.
Speedy implementation of downsizing results in loss of
quality employees. It may also result in biased decisions or
eliminating employees in an arbitrary way.
Downsizing must not be done on salary levels. In an
educational institution, the need for well qualified staff is
must. The academic staff forms the pillars of an institution.
Salary is just a figure in such cases and must not be made
the basis for downsizing.
Employees must be communicated with the reasons and the
method on the basis of which downsizing is performed. They
must be consulted at each and every level and their
opinions must be provided weightage. This will maintain the
trust and integrity of the staff on the institution.
The staff must be provided measures and ways to grow in
the organization. The growth shall not only be financial but
academic also.
The amount of workforce reduced is inversely associated
with the innovation. So more is the downsizing, lesser is the
innovation. Less innovative the staff is, more redundant and
monotonous their teaching techniques will be. And lesser
will be the interest developed in the students.

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Apart from this, the future scope of involvement of students in


various courses must be kept in mind. According to
departmental student statistics the demand for higher
education is increasing in Australia. This survey estimated an
increase in undergraduate enrolment to 50,000 by 2020 and
156,000 by 2030. Similarly a remarkable increase is estimated
in postgraduate and research enrolments. Undergraduate
enrolment is expected to be highest.
Table 4.1: Expected increase in student population in Australia

Age
Gro
up

Stude
nts

2012
Populat
ion

Students
2020 2030

Incre
ase
20122020
11,98
1
11,99
0
6,142

Incre
ase
20122030
61,93
9
48,16
6
9,325

Stud
ent
%
15242,98 1,458,98 16.7
254,9 304,9
19
5
3
66
24
20274,07 1,624,17 16.9
286,0 322,2
24
2
2
62
38
2565,833 1,694,66 3.9
71,97 75,15
29
5
5
8
3058,494 3,144,61 1.9
71,31 77,60 12,82 19,11
39
0
4
4
0
0
+40 44,077 10,499,6 0.4
51,09 61,95 7,106 17,87
87
3
0
3
Tota 685,4 18,422, 3.7
735,4 841,8 49,94 156,4
l
61
117
10
73
9
12
This table data is taken from Australian Bureau of Statistics
population projections, based on 2011 census data (as published
in November 2013)

4 ADVANTAGES AND DISADVANTAGES OF DOWNSIZING


Downsizing contributes to reorganizing or reconstructing the
organization. While downsizing was performed to release the

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unwanted employees and reduce the cost they caused to the


university, it lead to criticism and insecurity among employees. If
the pros win the tradeoff with the cons, downsizing is healthy for
the organization. Hence, before implementing any decisions, the
advantages and disadvantages must be considered.
4.1 ADVANTAGES

OF

DOWNSIZING

Scaling Operations: Downsizing of staff in the university will


allow the university authorities to manage the staff efficiently. It
would scale down the number to the needed level and would thus
reduce to a more realistic and manageable size. It would create
new resources for the staff that is to be appointed to
accommodate the requirements in fast growing departments. Due
to changing trends in student admissions in various courses, the
universitys model has shifted. Thus downsizing will give a chance
to allow the organization to serve its students and remain
profitable.
Re-evaluation: Through reduced sized of the staff, the
authorities of the university can now re-evaluate its policies and
bring new reform which reflect the current requirement status. An
organization should constantly update its policies and strategies
with respect to the changes in the educational sector to yield a
high productivity.
Cost Savings: Downsizing would result in saving the cost
incurred in maintaining the staff which is no longer required. The
excessive staff available in departments of information
technology, agriculture, management and commerce are stale
resources and must be released by a reasonable number.
Acquiring Latest Skillset: Downsizing allows to remove the
stagnant and redundant skillset and acquire people with new and
emerging skills. Low layoff rate is also not beneficial to an
organization. For example, with a number of students emerging
for admissions in engineering, a fresh skill set of engineering staff
is required to provide the leading edge technologies in the sector.
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Therefore to accommodate the new staff the old one must be


released with efficient planning. Also training must be planned for
the staff members in case hiring new staff could not meet the
estimated cost for the change.
4.2 DISADVANTAGES

OF

DOWNSIZING

Loss of Reliable workers: Downsizing might try to bring in a


new skill set, but might result in releasing reliable workers. It
takes years for a teacher to grow into an institute, and establish a
bond with the place. It takes time for the staff to learn about the
working of the organization and to fit in. Laying off the
experienced employees will weaken the staff internally.
Disruption of interpersonal relationships: Working in an
organization develops a bond among its employees. With fellow
employees leaving the university, would make the residing ones
insecure and alienated in the place. It would not only arouse a
fear of losing the job, but also would smash off the candid
environment the staff works in. It is human nature to resist
change. The instability brought by downsizing will bring an
emotional outburst and resistance to the layoff process. This
would result in the residing employees enter into a state of
defiance and reducing their work quality.
Negative Image: With a lot of employees being release from the
university, it might appear that the university is falling and is no
more a place for growth of an employee. This would decrease the
number of students applying in various courses and skilled
employees seeking for jobs. The university may lose its credibility.

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5 RECOMMENDATIONS
Considering the advantages and disadvantages of downsizing in
the university, the decision makers must consider all these factors
while making any downsizing related judgment. Also, the
university must abstain from sudden or big bang downsizing
which would result in nothing but chaos among the staff
members. To reduce the oversupply of administrative staff, a long
term strategy must be designed and the staff members must be
regularly informed about the policies being generated for the
same. The reductions performed must consider all the factors
listed that affect the labor profile. An examination must be
conducted for the academic staff to qualify. The members who do
not qualify the exam could be considered as the possible
candidate for the layoff. But this must not be the only criteria for
downsizing. Also the experience and skilled staff must not be
released as the cost incurred to hire skilled staff later would be
high. The needs of the staff members post-downsizing must be
taken care of. They must be provide support and counselling to
ensure that they are not fearful to lose their job.

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6 CONCLUSION
To move an organization to a desired direction various reforms
and policies are needed to be followed. Downsizing is an
important part of these policies in this case. But before arriving at
the decision of downsizing, the university authorities must
analyze all the pros and cons of the process. Also if the cons
overpower the pros then this procedure must be ignored.
Furthermore, downsizing must not negatively affect the
environment of the university. Also the human resource
management plan must constantly evolve considering the
changing requirements of the labor profile.

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REFERENCES LIST

Professor Kamel Mellahi and Professor Adrian Wilkinson. 2004.


Downsizing and Innovation Output, British Academy of Management
University of St Andrews.

Kristen Madison Day , Achilles A. Armenakis , Hubert S. Feild & Dwight


R. Norris (2012) Other Organizations Are Doing It, Why Shouldn't We? A
Look at Downsizing and Organizational Identity through an Institutional
Theory Lens, Journal of Change Management, 04 August 2015,
Routledge Publication

Australian Demographic Statistics, March 2013, (Cat No: 3101.0),


Future Demand for Higher Education in Australia, Appendix 2, Table A3,
Page 11.

Mahesh Madan Gundecha, September 2012, STUDY OF FACTORS


AFFECTING LABOR PRODUCTIVITY AT A BUILDING CONSTRUCTION
PROJECT IN THE USA: WEB SURVEY, A Paper Submitted to the Graduate
Faculty Of the North Dakota State University Of Agriculture and Applied
Science, Fargo, North Dakota.

Robin L. Lumsdaine, Factors Affecting Labor Supply Decisions and


Retirement Income, August 1995, National Bureau of Economic
Research, Cambridge.

Gebrekiros Hagos, Kebede Abrha (Department of Marketing


Management, College of Business and Economics, Mekelle University),
Study on factors affecting Job Satisfaction in Mekelle University
Academic staff at Adi-Haqi campus, January 2015, International Journal
of Scientific and Research Publications, Volume 5, Issue 1.

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Charles T. Schmidt, Jr. Labor Research Center, Human Resource


Management: Levels of Involvement, The University of Rhode Island :
http://www.uri.edu/research/lrc/scholl/webnotes/HR_Functions.htm

Strategic Plan For a Culture of Excellence, 2012-2017 by Division of


Human Resource, Kent State University:
https://www2.kent.edu/hr/upload/hr-strategic-plan-2013.pdf

Imrab Shaheen, Mushtaq A.Sajid, Qudsia Batool, Factors Affecting the


Motivation of Academic Staff (A case study of University College
Kotli,UAJ&K), January 2013,International Journal of Business and
Management Invention, Page 105-112 :
http://www.ijbmi.org/papers/Vol(2)1/Version_3/N021105112.pdf

Mary Jane, Demand Media, A List od Advamtages and Disadvantages


of Downsizing a Business :http://smallbusiness.chron.com/listadvantages-disadvantages-downsizing-business-22335.html

N Nayar Michele McDonough, Do the Benefits of Downsizing Outweigh


the Cons?, August 2010 : http://www.brighthub.com/office/humanresources/articles/83506.aspx

George N. Root III, Demand Media, Advantages and Disadvantages of


Downsizing in a company : http://smallbusiness.chron.com/advantagesdisadvantages-downsizing-company-18713.html

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