Managed decline

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Managed decline is a phrase that refers to the management of the decline (or "sunset") phase at the end of a lifecycle, with the goal of minimizing costs or other forms of losses and harm. The concept originated in business where it referred to the management of companies and industries, but has since spread beyond to be used in other contexts.

Examples of managed decline include the handling of the textiles, shipbuilding, coal and steel industries in North America and Europe in the 1980s,[1][2] of the postal delivery services in Europe and the United States in the first decades of the 21st century,[3] of the established churches in western Europe since the 1970s,[4] management of Blackpool FC by Chairman Karl Oyston following the club's single season in The Premier League, and that of an individual's quality of life in their final years as they face old age or terminal illness.

Decline can be managed through multiple means, including public or industrial policy efforts such as government provision of retraining.


  1. ^ Coen, David and Wyn Grant, Graham Wilson (2010). The Oxford handbook of business and government. Oxford University Press. p. 332. ISBN 0199214271.
  2. ^ Zan, Luca and Stefano Zambon, Andrew M. Pettigrew (1993). Perspectives on Strategic Change. Springer. pp. x.
  3. ^ Enterprise and Department for Business (2008). Modernise or Decline: Policies to Maintain the Universal Postal Service in the United Kingdom, an Independent Review of the Uk Postal Services Sector. UK Stationery Office. pp. 59–60. ISBN 010175292X.
  4. ^ Martin, David (2005). On secularization: towards a revised general theory. Ashgate Publishing Company. p. 162. ISBN 0754653226.