Work environments, which are widely acknowledged to exert strong influences on employee attitudes and behavior, have been studied since the initiation of formal work entities. Over this time, scholars have identified myriad impact-ful internal and external factors. Absent though are investigations examining economic downturns despite their acknowledged pervasiveness and destructive effects on worker performance and well-being. To address this theoretical gap, a multistage model acknowledging the impact of recessions on workplace responses, response effects, and environmental considerations is proposed. Inherent in this discussion is the role of economic decline on reactive change processes, the nature of work, and the structure and design of organizations. These significant changes affect employee attitudes and behaviors in ways that increase the political nature of these work environments. Organizational factors and employee responses to heightened recession-driven politics are discussed. Additionally, theoretically relevant intervening variables capable of influencing work outcomes are described. The chapter is concluded by discussing the implications of this theoretical framework as well as directions for future research.