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Organizational downsizing places many strains on surviving employees. Despite the implicit relationship between changes to communication networks and employee responses, few studies examine downsizing-induced network changes or the impact of these changes on employees. This longitudinal investigation examined fluctuations in structural holes within a hospitality company's corporate headquarters resulting from the loss and gain of communication contacts. Building on Burt's treatise on structural holes, we tested a measurement of structural holes and its relationship to layoff survivors' perceptions of organizational chaos and their willingness to participate in planned, post downsizing changes. Although the downsizing had a modest impact on surviving employees' structural hole experiences overall, the structural hole index was a significant predictor in longitudinal and within time period comparisons of employees’ perceptions of chaos and openness to change.


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© SAGE. Final version published as: Susskind, A. M., Miller, V. D., & Johnson, J. D. (1998). Downsizing and structural holes: Their impact on layoff survivors’ perceptions of organizational chaos and openness to change. Communication Research 25(1), 30-65. Reprinted with permission. All rights reserved.