Rethinking change: downsizing businesses, changing behaviours and still managing to come out on top

Michael J.R. Butler, David Crundwell, Mike Sweeney

Research output: Other contribution


As an indicator of global change and shifting balances of power, every September in Dalian, China, the World Economic Forum meets. The subject in 2011 – Mastering Quality Growth. On the agenda is pursuing new frontiers of growth linked to embracing disruptive innovation. With growth coming from emerging markets, and European and North American economies treading water, many firms in the West are facing the reality of having to not just downsize but actually close manufacturing operations and re-open them elsewhere, where costs are lower, to remain competitive. There are thousands of books on “change management”. Yet very few of these devote much time to downsizing preferring to talk about re-engineering or restructuring. What lessons are available from the past to achieve a positive outcome from what will inevitably be something of a human, as well as an economic, tragedy. The authors reached three fundamental conclusions from their experience and research in facility closure management within Vauxhall, UK: put your people first, make sure you keep running the business and manage your legacy. They devlop the ideas into a new business model linked to the emotions of change.
Original languageEnglish
PublisherEuropean Foundation for Management Development
Publication statusPublished - 2012

Bibliographical note

Winner of the first ever Chartered Management Institute (CMI) Management Articles of the Year competition


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