Dismissal: Important criteria in managerial decision-making

Main Article Content

Fabricio Stocker
Eduardo Guedes Villar
Karina de Déa Roglio
Gustavo Abib


Knowledge about dismissal decision-making, particularly concerning the criteria used by managers in choosing who will be dismissed and why, is scarce. Considering the implications of such decisions for organizations and society, in this paper, we identify the seven most frequently used criteria in dismissal decisions and examine their importance for managers. We collected data through a survey among 385 managers and used the rational ranking and the multicriteria Analytic Hierarchy Process (AHP) to analyze them. The results show that commitment, performance records, and trust have the greatest impact on the dismissal decision, whereas interpersonal relationship, growth potential, and professional experience are considered secondary criteria. These results contribute to extending our knowledge about dismissal decisions and showing the most relevant criteria in these choices and the relevance assigned to each of the criteria so that greater transparency can be achieved.


Download data is not yet available.






Metrics Loading ...

Article Details

How to Cite
STOCKER, F.; VILLAR, E. G.; ROGLIO, K. de D.; ABIB, G. Dismissal: Important criteria in managerial decision-making. RAE - Revista de Administracao de Empresas , [S. l.], v. 58, n. 2, p. 116–129, 2018. DOI: 10.1590/S0034-759020180202. Disponível em: https://periodicos.fgv.br/rae/article/view/74641. Acesso em: 9 dec. 2023.


Adkins, C. L. (1995). Previous work experience and organizational socialization: A longitudinal examination. Academy of Management Journal, 38(3), 839-862.

Allen, N. J., & Meyer, J. P. (1990). The measurement and antecedents of affective, continuance and normative commitment to the organization. Journal of Occupational and Organizational Psychology, 63(1), 1-18. doi:10.1111/j.2044-8325.1990.tb00506.x

Armstrong, M., & Taylor, S. (2014). Armstrong’s handbook of human resource management practice. London, UK: Kogan Page Publishers.

Bratton, J., & Gold, J. (2012). Human resource management: Theory and practice. Basingstoke, UK: Palgrave Macmillan.

Butler, J. K. (1991). Toward understanding and measuring conditions of trust: Evolution of a conditions of trust inventory. Journal of Management, 17(3), 643-663. doi:10.1177/014920639101700307

Caldas, M. P. (2000). Enxugamento de pessoal no Brasil: Podem-se atenuar seus efeitos em empresa e indivíduo? RAE-Revista de Administração de Empresas, 40(1), 29-41. doi:10.1590/S0034- 75902000000100004

Campion, M. A., Guerrero, L., & Posthuma, R. (2011). Reasonable human resource practices for making employee downsizing decisions. Organizational Dynamics, 40(3), 174-180. doi:10.1016/j.orgdyn.2011.04.004

Chen, C. F. (2006). Applying the analytical hierarchy process (AHP) approach to convention site selection. Journal of Travel Research, 45(2), 167-174. doi:10.1177/0047287506291593

Child, J., Elbanna, S., & Rodrigues, S. (2010). The political aspects of strategic decision making. In P. C. Nutt and D. Wilson (Eds.), The Handbook of Decision Making (pp. 105-137). Chichester, UK: Wiley.

Crossland, C., & Chen, G. (2013). Executive accountability around the world: Sources of cross-national variation in firm performance– CEO dismissal sensitivity. Strategic Organization, 11(1), 78-109. doi:10.1177/1476127012460946

Ertugrul, M., & Krishnan, K. (2011). Can CEO dismissals be proactive? Journal of Corporate Finance, 17(1), 134-151. doi:10.1016/j.jcorpfin.2010.09.008

Freitas, M. E. D. (2006). Por uma ética na demissão? RAE-Revista de Administração de Empresas, 46(1), 102-106. doi:10.1590/S0034-75902006000100007

Giniger, S., Dispenzieri, A., & Eisenberg, J. (1983). Age, experience, and performance on speed and skill jobs in an applied setting. Journal of Applied Psychology, 68(3), 469-475. doi:10.1037/0021- 9010.68.3.469

Goldman, A. (2011). Demagogue to dialogue: An alternative to toxic leadership in corporate downsizings. Organizational Dynamics, 40(3), 235-241. doi:10.1016/j.orgdyn.2011.04.011

Goodman, L. A. (1961). Snowball sampling. The Annals of Mathematical Statistics, 32(1), 148-170.

Harcourt, M., Hannay, M., & Lam, H. (2013). Distributive justice, employment-at-will and just-cause dismissal. Journal of Business Ethics, 115(2), 311-325. doi:10.1007/s10551-012-1400-9

Hilger, S., Mankel, S., & Richter, A. (2013). The use and effectiveness of top executive dismissal. The Leadership Quarterly, 24(1), 9-28. doi:10.1016/j.leaqua.2012.07.001

Huang, I. B., Keisler, J., & Linkov, I. (2011). Multi-criteria decision analysis in environmental sciences: Ten years of applications and trends. Science of the Total Environment, 409(19), 3578-3594. doi:10.1016/j. scitotenv.2011.06.022

Iverson, R. D., & Zatzick, C. D. (2011). The effects of downsizing on labor productivity: The value of showing consideration for employees’ morale and welfare in high‐performance work systems. Human Resource Management, 50(1), 29-44. doi:10.1002/hrm.20407

Juhdi, N., Pa’wan, F., Hansaram, R. M., Kaur, S., & Othman, N. A. (2011). HR practices, organizational commitment and turnover intention: A study on employees in Klang Valley, Malaysia. In III World Multiconference on Applied Economics, Business and Development (AEBD ’11) (pp. 30-36). Recent Researches in Applied Economics: Iasi, Romania.

Kirschenbaum, S. S. (1992). Influence of experience on information-gathering strategies. Journal of Applied Psychology, 77(3), 343. doi:10.1037/0021-9010.77.3.343

Kraft, K. (1991). The incentive effects of dismissals, efficiency wages, piece-rates and profit-sharing. The Review of Economics and Statistics, 73(3), 451-459. doi:10.2307/2109569

Krishnan, R., Martin, X., & Noorderhaven, N. G. (2006). When does trust matter to alliance performance? Academy of Management Journal, 49(5), 894-917. doi:10.5465/AMJ.2006.22798171

McDaniel, M. A., Schmidt, F. L., & Hunter, J E (1988). Job experience correlates of job performance. Journal of Applied Psychology, 73(2), 327- 330. doi:10.1037/0021-9010.73.2.327

McDonald, P. K., Waterhouse, J. M., & Kellner, A. (2008). Sacked! Young worker’s dismissal and the psychological contract, Proceedings 22nd Conference of the Association of Industrial Relations Academics of Australia and New Zealand (pp. 305-315). Melbourne, Australia.

Meyer, J. P., Bobocel, D. R., & Allen, N. J. (1991). Development of organizational commitment during the first year of employment: A longitudinal study of pre-and post-entry influences. Journal of Management, 17(4), 717-733. doi:10.1177/014920639101700406

Mintzberg, H., Raisinghani, D., & Théorêt, A. (1976). The structure of “unstructured” decision processes. Administrative Science Quarterly, 21(2), 246-275. doi:10.2307/2392045

Morgeson, F. P., Reider, M. H., & Campion, M. A. (2005). Selecting individuals in team settings: The importance of social skills, personality characteristics, and teamwork knowledge. Personnel Psychology, 58(3), 583-611. doi:10.1111/j.1744-6570.2005.655.x

Moser, K., & Kraft, A. (2008). Eskalierendes Commitment gegenüber Mitarbeitern: EinRahmenmodell. Gruppendynamik und Organisationsberatung, 39(1), 106-125.

Nutt, P. C. (2011). Making decision-making research matter: Some issues and remedies. Management Research Review, 34(1), 5-16. doi:10.1108/01409171111096441

Ohana, M., & Meyer, M. (2010). Should I stay or should I go now? Investigating the intention to quit of the permanent staff in social enterprises. European Management Journal, 28(6), 441-454. doi:10.1016/j.emj.2010.06.007

Østhus, S., & Mastekaasa, A. (2010). The impact of downsizing on remaining workers’ sickness absence. Social Science & Medicine, 71(8), 1455-1462. doi:10.1016/j.socscimed.2010.06.045

Quiñones, M. A., Ford, J. K., & Teachout, M. S. (1995). The relationship between work experience and job performance: A conceptual and meta‐analytic review. Personnel Psychology, 48(4), 887-910. doi:10.1111/j.1744-6570.1995.tb01785.x

Saaty, T. L. (2006). Rank from comparisons and from ratings in the analytic hierarchy/network processes. European Journal of Operational Research, 168(2), 557-570. doi:10.1016/j.ejor.2004.04.032

Saaty, T. L. (2008). Decision-making with the analytic hierarchy process. International Journal of Services Sciences, 1(1), 83-98. doi:10.1504/IJSSci.2008.01759

Shah, P. P. (2000). Network destruction: The structural implications of downsizing. Academy of Management Journal, 43(1), 101-112.

Simon, H. (1997). Administrative behavior: A study of decision making processes in administrative organizations. New York, NY: The Free Press.

Stumpf, S. A., & Dawley, P. K. (1981). Predicting voluntary and involuntary turnover using absenteeism and performance indices. Academy of Management Journal, 24(1), 148-163. doi:10.2307/255830

Tonelli, M. J. (2000). Demissão: Causas, efeitos e alternativas para empresa e indivíduo. [Resenha do livro Demissão: Causas, efeitos e alternativas para empresa e indivíduo, de M. P. Caldas]. RAE-Revista de Administração de Empresas, 40(4), 103-108.

Tsai, C. F., & Yen, Y. F. (2008). A model to explore the mystery between organizations’ downsizing strategies and firm performance: Integrating the perspectives of organizational change, strategy and strategic human resource management. Journal of Organizational Change Management, 21(3), 367-384. doi:10.1108/09534810810874831

Tylcsak, L. (1991). Downsizing without disaster: A thoughtful approach to planned workforce reduction. Los Altos, CA: Crisp Publications.

Tzafrir, S. S., & Dolan, L. S. (2004). Trust ME: A scale for measuring employee manager trust. Journal of Management Research, 2(2), 117-134.

Tzafrir, S. S., & Eitam-Meilik, M. (2005). The impact of downsizing on trust and employee practices in high tech firms: A longitudinal analysis. The Journal of High Technology Management Research, 16(2), 193-207. doi:10.1016/j.hitech.2005.10.008

Ulrich, D., Younger, J., & Brockbank, W. (2008). The twenty‐first‐century HR organization. Human Resource Management, 47(4), 829-850. doi:10.1002/hrm.20247

Uppal, N., Mishra, S. K., & Vohra, N. (2014). Prior related work experience and job performance: Role of personality. International Journal of Selection and Assessment, 22(1), 39-51.doi:10.1111/ijsa.12055

Watrous, K. M., Huffman, A. H., & Pritchard, R. D. (2006). When coworkers and managers quit: The effects of turnover and shared values on performance. Journal of Business and Psychology, 21(1), 103- 126. doi:10.1007/s10869-005-9021-2

Wiersema, M. (2002). Holes at the top. Why CEO firings backfire. Harvard Business Review, 80(12). Recuperado de https://hbr.org

Williams, C. R., & Livingstone, L. P. (1994). Another look at the relationship between performance and voluntary turnover. Academy of Management Journal, 37(2), 269-298.doi:10.2307/256830