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A company's reduction in the number of employees, number of bureaucratic levels, and overall size in an attempt to increase efficiency and profitability.
To reduce the size of a company. A company downsizes when its operations are perceived to become inefficient and it wishes to concentrate on certain competencies in order to improve profitability and reduce expenses. Downsizing often reduces the number of jobs at the company. Because downsizing reduces expenses, it often increases the company's value and/or dividends for shareholders.
- the use of PERSONAL COMPUTERS in a business in place of large mainframe computers. The introduction of smaller, faster and more cost-effective microprocessors has made it possible for tasks which formerly could only be performed by mainframe computers to be carried out at the personal workstation level, allowing a greater devolution of DATA PROCESSING down to the ‘desk top’.
- a term for policies aimed at organizational contraction, usually leading to REDUNDANCY for some employees. The oft-stated rationale for downsizing is that a smaller, more flexible ORGANIZATION will be able to respond better to market forces. Cost reduction, however, is probably an equally important motive. See DELAYERING, RIGHTSIZING.