Off-campus UNL users: To download campus access dissertations, please use the following link to log into our proxy server with your NU ID and password. When you are done browsing please remember to return to this page and log out.

Non-UNL users: Please talk to your librarian about requesting this dissertation through interlibrary loan.

The impact of downsizing Cooperative Extension on survivors' perceptions of the organization

Keith R Martikainen, University of Nebraska - Lincoln

Abstract

The purpose of this quantitative study was to examine the effect (if any) an organizational downsizing has on employees remaining with the organization. A national web-based survey of 201 Extension personnel was conducted in the fall of 2003. Respondents came from 24 states representing the 1890 Extension region and all four 1862 national Extension regions. ^ The study examined attitudes at three points in time: (a) prior to the downsizing announcement, (b) at the start of the downsizing, and (c) at the time the respondent completed the instrument. Findings included a significant decrease in survivors' positive attitude toward: (a) the Extension organization; (b) colleagues; and (c) a future career in Extension. In addition: (d) perceptions of the efficacy of downsizing strategies varied widely. Responses were gathered from a nonrandomized pool of extension practitioners using a web-based survey. ^ The dependent variable of the study was “attitude toward the organization” operationalized as attitude toward: (a) the Extension Organization, (b) colleagues, (c) Extension career possibilities, and (d) the downsizing strategies used. ^ The major independent variables were a measure of survivors' perceptual change over time and selected demographic variables (Extension organization of employment during downsizing; age; gender; personal relationship status; length of Extension career; length of employment with Extension organization downsized; personal education level; tenure status; office on or off campus); geographic area(s) and program/discipline area(s) of responsibility prior to, and following downsizing. Data were gathered using a web based instrument. ^ Recommendations arising from the study include: (a) Extension administrators should be aware of growing negative attitudes by those remaining in the organization and take steps to address survivor needs as part of the downsizing plan; (b) administrators and Extension personnel surviving the downsizing both need to be aware of the change in employee/employer relationship; and (c) survivors expressed negative opinions about some downsizing strategies and positive attitudes toward other strategies. This provides administrators clues to more positive options when planning a reduction in force. No respondents referenced a downsizing more than five years previous to the study. ^

Subject Area

Political Science, Public Administration

Recommended Citation

Martikainen, Keith R, "The impact of downsizing Cooperative Extension on survivors' perceptions of the organization" (2004). ETD collection for University of Nebraska - Lincoln. AAI3126956.
http://digitalcommons.unl.edu/dissertations/AAI3126956

Share

COinS