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2007’s newspaper job-killers: outsourcing and centralization February 6, 2007

Posted by Lady in outsourcing, Workplaces.
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 http://www.editorsweblog.org/print_newspapers/2007/01/2007s_newspaper_jobkillers_outsourcing_a.php

I recently read an article titled “2007’s newspaper job-killers: outsourcing and centralization”. The writer Philip Stone explains that since newspapers are struggling to maintain their normal 20% profit margins, they are turning to these alternatives to protect their business and reduce costs. According to Stone, the staffs of these newspaper companies are the ones who are negatively affected by these changes. Stone even went so far as to say that the term centralizing “is the classic politically correct way to say ‘suppress and fire’.”

In our textbooks, we learned that centralization can allow an organization to be more effective by allowing top management to keep their employees “focused on its goals”. But our textbook also tells us that centralization causes top management to take on more responsibilities with daily operations and decision-making which could lead to problems if they become too overwhelmed and lose focus of their long-term goals and planning. Do you think that this is a risk to these newspaper companies? In my opinion, it does not seem to be posing a threat to the company and its top management in terms of cost-cutting and other efficiency measures. Stone doesn’t say that top management is dissatisfied with their decision to centralize. However, it does seem pose a threat to some of the employees as their jobs are threatened by this centralization.

Therefore, this article shows that centralization can lead to other problems as well. Might these employees who feel threatened start to lose faith in their company and simply look for new jobs? I do believe that this is a possibility as a result of the changes in the organization. Or is Stone’s definition of centralization simply too pessimistic? Isn’t centralization supposed to be beneficial to the organization? It seems to be working for them now but it will be interesting to see how these changes affect them in the long-run. In general, centralization may work well for one company but it could be a disaster for another company.

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