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Organizational Size, Layoffs, and Quits in Norway


Kalleberg, Arne L. & Mastekaasa, Arne (1998). Organizational Size, Layoffs, and Quits in Norway. Social Forces, 76(4), 1243-1273.


This article documents and seeks to explain the relationships between an organization's size and a person's probability of experiencing interorganizational mobility (i.e., quits and layoffs). Our analyses are based on data from a broadly representative panel study of Norwegian organizations and their employees. We find that employees of larger establishments in the private sector are less likely to be laid off and to quit their jobs. We then test possible explanations of these relationships between organization size and mobility. We find that larger organizations in the private sector have lower quit rates mainly because they are more likely to be unionized. The relationship between size and layoffs, on the other hand, remained significant even after we controlled for our explanatory variables. There was no relationship between size and quits in the public sector.


Reference Type

Journal Article

Year Published


Journal Title

Social Forces


Kalleberg, Arne L.
Mastekaasa, Arne