n. The reduction of a workforce to the point where the company goes under.
Why doesn't downsizing work in most cases? Because the company typically cuts the people but not the work. So now you've got fewer people doing more work than ever. … And when the dust settles, the company finds that its short-term savings have evaporated and in order to stop from capsizing, it has to hire more people, increase morale, and correct quality problems that have emerged.
—Richard Hodgetts, “Downsize Bureaucracy Before People,” Sun-Sentinel, July 20, 1998
1991 (earliest)
Speakers at a recent conference on outsourcing and systems integration held in Sydney, Australia, came up with two useful additions to the outsourcing/insourcing/downsizing/ rightsizing page of the lexicon: capsizing — a handy word to describe what happens when you go overboard in revamping your systems; and outsorcerers — meaning outsourcing vendors who promise to work magic for their clients.
—“What's the buzz?,” Computerworld, October 21, 1991
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