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Survivors and Victims, a Meta-analytical Review of Fairness and Organizational Commitment after Downsizing



There is a lack of consistent evidence that downsizing leads to improved financial performance. Lowered commitment after painful downsizing periods is identified as an important reason why downsizing does not show the intended long-term effects. This paper provides a meta-analytical overview of the impact of fairness on organizational commitment for survivors and victims after a downsizing operation. Among 37 samples (11,256 persons), a positive relationship was found between fairness and affective organizational commitment (ρ=0.40) for both survivors and victims. Three moderators of the fairness–commitment relationship were identified: (1) for survivors, procedural justice matters more than distributive justice; (2) the impact of fairness is stronger in countries with an individualistic (versus collectivistic) culture; (3) fairness matters more when mass layoff is initiated for profit maximization (versus economic necessity).