Managers Who Use Punishment

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MT302 Organizational Behavior Joe Butts Unit Two: Case Incident 1 Managers who use Punishment July 9, 2007 1. What conditions, if any, do you think justify the use of punishment? Conditions that justify the use of punishment would be ones in which safety concerns are violated, privacy is breeched, or trust is broken by an employee. Anytime an employee makes a decision that can negatively affect the business or his coworkers, punishment is justifiable. Situations where punishment would not be appropriate, except for perhaps a verbal warning, would be in situations where performance is adequate but not exceeding the company’s expectations. At some level, I believe all forms of punishment could be replaced by positive reinforcement. 2. Do you think most managers use punishment? If so, why? I believe that most managers probably use punishment when they feel trapped or pressured from people above themselves. Ultimately, punishment is used as a means of coercing someone into doing something they otherwise are not doing. With any sort of punishment, the offender must be convinced that the consequences of the punishment outweigh the benefit of continuing to do business as usual. If the offender feels as if it is more beneficial to continue to slack off because of the work required to put forth an effort, the punishment will be useless. 3. What’s the downside of using punishment? Of using positive reinforcement? The downside of using punishment is that it can make the punished feel coerced and sometimes trapped, and in extreme cases actually lash out against the punisher in an act of retribution. Punishment can also push people in the wrong direction. A company that chooses to implore termination threat tactics will most likely see a larger turnover rate than a company that encourages their employees by making them feel as if they
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