Fear as a strategy: effects and impact within the organization

Steven H. Appelbaum (Professor of Management, Concordia University, Montreal, Quebec, Canada)
Michael Bregman (Financial Administrator, Dr N.B. Bregman Associates, Montreal, Quebec, Canada)
Peter Moroz (Production Manager, Nova International, Montreal, Quebec, Canada)

Journal of European Industrial Training

ISSN: 0309-0590

Publication date: 1 April 1998


The use of reinforcement and punishment have been studied extensively in laboratory and organizational settings. It has been found that positive reinforcement is the most effective way to achieve the required behavior. Many theories and models have been developed in order to explain the relationship between punishment and fear and it has been found that these are correlated. The use of punishment and fear in the organizational setting has proved to be ineffective and undesirable. Managers must try to create an environment and climate where employees can express their full potential and respond to difficult challenges by letting go of fear of failure, fear of change, or fear of risk taking. Human resource management offers some alternatives and programs to assist in executing this task.



Appelbaum, S., Bregman, M. and Moroz, P. (1998), "Fear as a strategy: effects and impact within the organization", Journal of European Industrial Training, Vol. 22 No. 3, pp. 113-127. https://doi.org/10.1108/03090599810207944

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Copyright © 1998, MCB UP Limited

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