A look from an insider from outside
I´ve found an interesting blog entry of someone who used to work for Sun writing about Sun at “Creating passionate users:
Yet as things began to slide, and the layoffs began, we were magically transformed into people who were just "lucky to have a job and better shut up with the complaints" (one of my manager's exact words) This isn't about layoffs--they were necessary (and in Sun's case, still are). This is about how a company treats the ones who weren't laid off.
To some extend Kathy is perfectly right in her comments: In a company at a resonable size there are only two important groups: The real top management (the CxO-level) as the left part of the brain, the voice and the eyes of the company, and the customer facing engineers and sales reps as the hands and the right part of the brain. The rest of a company is only life support for both helping both to do their work. Surely important, but not the centre of the universe …