Layoffs are a useful tool when a company's business model is broken, but too many businesses now use downsizing simply to offset temporary dips in demand, writes Jeffrey Pfeffer. That's misguided, Pfeffer argues: Layoffs bring substantial costs, from severance packages to dented morale, and often ultimately do more harm than good. "Layoffs have become America's export to the world," he writes. "But the more you examine this universally accepted tactic of modern management, the more wrongheaded it seems to be."

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