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Beyond letting go and moving on: New perspectives on organizational death, loss and grief

Bell, Emma and Taylor, Scott (2011). Beyond letting go and moving on: New perspectives on organizational death, loss and grief. Scandinavian Journal of Management, 27(1) pp. 1–10.

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Understandings of organizational death, a term used to describe events including downsizing, site closure and business failure, are dominated by psychological stage models that promote letting go as a solution to collective loss. This approach neglects the empirical and conceptual shift which has transformed understandings of bereavement at the individual level through the theory of continuing bonds. This is the consequence of: (i) a managerialist focus on grief as a problem to be solved; (ii) a cultural orientation that constructs relationships between life and death, self and others, positive and negative emotions in dualistic terms and; (iii) an empirical emphasis on North American organizations. We conclude by suggesting how a continuing bonds perspective could enhance understandings of organizational death as a cultural phenomenon that is fundamental to the construction of meaning.

Item Type: Journal Item
Copyright Holders: 2010 Elsevier Ltd
ISSN: 0956-5221
Keywords: Organization; Death; Grief; Loss; Change; Resistance; Closure; Downsizing; Restructuring
Academic Unit/School: Faculty of Business and Law (FBL) > Business > Department for People and Organisations
Faculty of Business and Law (FBL) > Business
Faculty of Business and Law (FBL)
Item ID: 48611
Depositing User: Emma Bell
Date Deposited: 14 Mar 2017 15:31
Last Modified: 20 Jun 2019 05:30
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