Organizational grief: An emotional perspective on understanding employee reactions to job redundancy

Rachel Davey, Colm Fearon, Heather McLaughlin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)


The purpose of this paper is to analyze the role of organizational grief in understanding employee reactions to redundancy, managing change and personal development in the UK public sector. In today's UK public sector, learning and managing the realities of redundancy and organizational change is explored using a case study of a civil service/ public sector agency. The authors use the lens of the Kübler-Ross grief cycle to examine employee reactions to organizational change. There is no easy way of managing this type of change, and many employees were at different stages of coming to terms with organizational closure and eventual redundancy. Some employees were reacting to change progressively and accepting their new organizational reality, whilst others had not yet reached acceptance. Nevertheless, an important finding has been that a number of staff did appear to be moving on, readjusting and thinking about their future career aspirations and wider life options. The article uses a unique narrative style to examine common employee emotions and behaviours associated with organizational change in a redundancy and closure situation. It offers unique insight for senior managers in public sector administrations, in both the UK and elsewhere.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)5-8
Number of pages4
JournalDevelopment and Learning in Organizations: An International Journal
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 8 Feb 2013
Externally publishedYes


  • Employees behaviour
  • Organizational change
  • Organizational grief
  • Public sector organizations
  • Redundancy
  • United Kingdom

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Organizational Behavior and Human Resource Management
  • Library and Information Sciences


Dive into the research topics of 'Organizational grief: An emotional perspective on understanding employee reactions to job redundancy'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this