College of Liberal Arts & Social Sciences Theses and Dissertations

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survivor's syndrome, reductions, layoffs, motivation, employee retention


Due to the current economical times [e.g. the economic depression and millions of jobs cut from the American workforce], the current literature review had two main goals. First, the current literature aimed to not only define the term the survivor's syndrome and the term's history, but also to provide a comprehensive review of the literature surrounding the survivor's syndrome. The survivor's syndrome as defined within the literature is described as the set of emotional and attitudinal characteristics shared by those who have survived a reduction. After reviewing over 60 articles, about 20 articles are presented revealing three main consequences [feelings of job insecurity; injustice and mistrust; and stress and burnout] employees experience due to the survivor's syndrome. The second goal of the current literature review is aimed at providing suggestions and recommendations based in research and theory towards overcoming the particular outcomes of the survivor's syndrome. For example, to overcome job insecurity, companies should provide necessary skills, technical and employee training to build confidence in employees with many new responsibilities. This may also reduce stress and burnout. Further examples are provided within the literature. Overall, the current literature review not only defines and further explains the survivor's syndrome but also provides suggestions and recommendations to researchers, practitioners, and companies in order to overcome the survivor's syndrome to ultimately retain current employees.