Does privatization affect corporate culture and employee wellbeing?

Rita Cunha, Cary L. Cooper

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

49 Citations (Scopus)


This article analyses how privatization influences corporate culture and employee wellbeing in the privatized companies. We hypothesized that the change process initiated with privatization and preparation for privatization would lead to a change in corporate culture and also to an increase in employees’ perceptions of occupational stress and symptoms of mental and physical ill health, as well as a decrease in job satisfaction. In the long term, these symptoms should be reversed. The study was carried out in three companies, one of them with two data collections, which allowed for a cross-sectional analysis and a quasi-longitudinal one. The two types of analyses supported most of the hypotheses. In general, corporate culture changed towards a greater emphasis on performance and people orientation and on organizational integration. Occupational stress was found to be higher and job satisfaction lower before privatization. Mental and physical ill health, however, were found to be higher in the companies that had already been privatized for some time.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)21-49
Number of pages29
JournalJournal of Managerial Psychology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 2002


  • Employees
  • Organizational culture
  • Privatization


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