Diskussionspapiere des Fachbereichs Wirtschaftswissenschaften, Universität Hannover 328
In recent years layoffs have increasingly become the focus of public attention. So far, however , there has been no representative study for Germany of how far and under what conditions layoffs are accepted by the population - in other words by people who are not immediately affected. Principles of ditributive justice, rules of procedural justice, attribution theory, and psychological contract theory form the framework of the analysis.On this basis, hypothenuses are generated, which are tested empirically in a telephone survey conducted among East and West Germany in 2004 (n=3039).Key findings are: - By relinquishing their own bonus payment, the management of a firm can increase the acceptance of layoffs. - Generous compensation payments for those made redundant are preceived to be fairer than wage cuts to avoid layoffs. Wage cuts are not even preferred to layoffswhere no measure are taken to soften the blow of job loss. - Opt-out clauses ("tarifvertragliche Öffnungsklauseln") to undercut collective bargaining agreements are preceived to be fairer than outsourcing especially when women are outsourced. - There is a negative impact of layoffs on workers´ motivation and on the cooperation between co-workers as well as between the workforce and management. - Union members preceive layoffs as less fair and survivors sanctions as more fair than non-union members.