Many studies on cutback management have suggested that cutbacks may have negative consequences for employee well-being in the public sector. However, the relationship between cutbacks and the work-related attitudes of top-level managers has received little attention. In this study, we assess the relationships between five commonly used cutback measures and the job satisfaction of top-level public managers in 12 European countries. We propose and test a model in which autonomy serves as an explanatory variable for the relationship between cutbacks and job satisfaction. The results indicate that cutback measures have little direct effect on the job satisfaction of managers. However, as cutback measures are related negatively to the perceived managerial autonomy of public managers and positively to the degree in which politicians interfere in the affairs of managers, autonomy may function as a mechanism to explain decreased job satisfaction as a result of cutback implementation.

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Keywords autonomy, cutback management, financial crisis, job satisfaction
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Journal Review of Public Personnel Administration
van der Voet, J, & Van de Walle, S.G.J. (2018). How Cutbacks and Job Satisfaction Are Related: The Role of Top-Level Public Managers’ Autonomy. Review of Public Personnel Administration, 38(1), 5–23. doi:10.1177/0734371X15609409