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Airline downsizing and its impact on team performance

Airline downsizing and its impact on team performance
Airline downsizing and its impact on team performance
Purpose
– The article draws on a mixed method study of US airline pilots in order to examine the impact of corporate downsizing on pilots' trust, morale, and organizational commitment. The aim of the paper is to review current literature on downsizing and high‐risk teams and to identify gaps in the understanding of how external influences like downsizing can impact high‐risk team's operational performance through an increase in mistakes, distraction, and stress.

Design/methodology/approach
– Data were obtained from 127 in depth pilot survey responses from captains and first officers from major US airlines and 43 semi‐structured interviews of one to two hours in length.

Findings
– Commercial pilots working in downsized airlines reported increased stress, distraction, and suspicion with a corresponding reduction in trust, morale, and organizational commitment.

Research limitations/implications
– The article contributes to the literature in corporate downsizing and high‐risk team performance. Insights from these areas provide a lens by which to evaluate post‐9/11 managerial decision‐making in one high‐risk field, aviation, with implications for leadership in other fields of risky work.

Originality/value
– Although research examining leadership and teamwork in high‐risk fields has been growing, few studies consider managerial decisions and the resultant organizational climate within which these teams must operate, particularly in the post‐9/11 period. Findings suggest that this is a unique, emerging area that warrants further research.
1352-7592
109-126
Fraher, Amy L.
5c2ad136-717b-43b1-be85-c7a970f85116
Fraher, Amy L.
5c2ad136-717b-43b1-be85-c7a970f85116

Fraher, Amy L. (2013) Airline downsizing and its impact on team performance. Team Performance Management, 19 (1/2), 109-126. (doi:10.1108/13527591311312123).

Record type: Article

Abstract

Purpose
– The article draws on a mixed method study of US airline pilots in order to examine the impact of corporate downsizing on pilots' trust, morale, and organizational commitment. The aim of the paper is to review current literature on downsizing and high‐risk teams and to identify gaps in the understanding of how external influences like downsizing can impact high‐risk team's operational performance through an increase in mistakes, distraction, and stress.

Design/methodology/approach
– Data were obtained from 127 in depth pilot survey responses from captains and first officers from major US airlines and 43 semi‐structured interviews of one to two hours in length.

Findings
– Commercial pilots working in downsized airlines reported increased stress, distraction, and suspicion with a corresponding reduction in trust, morale, and organizational commitment.

Research limitations/implications
– The article contributes to the literature in corporate downsizing and high‐risk team performance. Insights from these areas provide a lens by which to evaluate post‐9/11 managerial decision‐making in one high‐risk field, aviation, with implications for leadership in other fields of risky work.

Originality/value
– Although research examining leadership and teamwork in high‐risk fields has been growing, few studies consider managerial decisions and the resultant organizational climate within which these teams must operate, particularly in the post‐9/11 period. Findings suggest that this is a unique, emerging area that warrants further research.

Full text not available from this repository.

More information

Published date: 1 March 2013

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 428184
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/428184
ISSN: 1352-7592
PURE UUID: c1b1e781-e7bd-4a88-82cf-cc03b547338e
ORCID for Amy L. Fraher: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0003-2093-5164

Catalogue record

Date deposited: 14 Feb 2019 17:30
Last modified: 30 Jan 2020 01:50

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