Since the 1980’s, corporate downsizing has taken center stage in the world of business. Because this type of change is difficult for a leader to manage and difficult for an employee to accept, communication is very important. Leadership style is crucial to the sucess of downsizing or any changes made in the fast-changing corporate world. The purpose of this paper is to give a change leader a more attentive perspective of communicating during corporate downsizing. The paper is based on reasearch regarding the relationship between effective leader communication and the effect it has on organizational change People process change differently and therefore accept change as either positive or negative. This paper reviews literature pertaining to the emotional processing of change. Leadership can be either transactional or transformational. But the role emotional intelligence plays as an influencer for both the leader and the employee affected by the change is crucial. This paper discusses literature about the role of emotional intelligence of people and the benefits of leading with emotional intelligence. Finally, from the knowledge gained from the literature review, this paper seeks to give the change leader a better understanding of the the importance of communication with all stakeholders when change occurs. Studies have shown that effective communication from a change leader can benefit the organization in terms of perfromance, public awareness, job satisfaction plus many others. In contrast, studies have shown that poorly executed communication will result in resistance to change. This type of resistance has been linked to job dissatisfaction, public defomation, company ineffiency, and severe negative effects to the overall bottom line. Companies expect their leaders to make drastic changes within their organization smoothly. To do so change leaders must realize how these changes affect those being displaced or terminated.

Year Manuscript Completed

Spring 2019

Senior Project Advisor

Melynda Conner

Degree Awarded

Bachelor of Integrated Studies Degree

Field of Study


Document Type

Thesis - Murray State Access only

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