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Bassman, E. S. (1992).  Abuse in the Workplace: Management Remedies and Bottom Line Impact.
"Employees are well aware of the risks involved in confronting the boss. Those risks contribute heavily to the level of fear experienced by employees. Ryan and Osterich 1, in their study of fear in organizations, found that management practice, meaning the behavior of direct supervisors, was by far the largest category of issues that people in organizations are afraid to discuss." (p. 49)
Bing, S. (1993).  Crazy Bosses: Spotting Them, Serving Them, Surviving Them.
"Today, American workers exist in the most primitive form of group, one that is tradition-free and free of loyalty. Such an environment generates tremendous fear in people, fear of loss, of death, of dissolution and shame. Fear that drives people together. Fear that keeps people apart. It is a fear produced by the incessant demand for short-term results and the feeling of danger supplied by a variety of villians. And it is not irrational. It is real. It is sane." (p. 94)
Walton, M. (1988).  The Deming Management Method.
"Fear takes a horrible toll. Fear is all around, robbing people of their pride, hurting them, robbing them of a chance to contribute to the company. It is unbelievable what happens when you unloose fear." (p. 73)
Ryan, K. D., & Oestreich D. K. (1991).  Driving Fear Out of the Workplace: How to Overcome the Invisible Barriers to Quality, Productivity, and Innovation.
"W. Edwards Deming tells those who attend his seminars, 'We are here to make another kind of world.' He expresses the broad scope of the goal, and its enormity....
To achieve another kind of world requires a deep understanding of where we are now. The awareness of fear can help us move to this point. In the same way that many organizations have had to face harsh news about waste, scrap, and rework within their production processes, there is also harsh news about fear in human interactions in the workplace. But once past the denial that is so common, the real possibilities begin to emerge. When managers accept the role of facilitator, coach, and consultant, a dramatic shift takes place. Traditional notions of controlling and telling give way to inviting and guiding. Commitment switches to the long term—to the development of quality products and services, to long-lasting, mutually satisfying relationships with customers, vendors, and employees." (p. 240)
Flory, C. D. (1967).  Managers for tomorrow.
"The motivations for work that stem from the desire to hang on and protect ourselves from real or imaginary attack have one common core—the direction of the motivational force is negative. The aim is to avoid or minimize trouble. Work under such conditions is at best burdensome and at its worst approaches the nightmare fringes of terror. Short-range output may be high, but the endurance of the worker is as yet undetermined." (p. 134)
Duffy, M., & Sperry L. (2013).  Overcoming Mobbing: A Recovery Guide for Workplace Aggression and Bullying.
"Work is a basic need, and its threatened loss, especially as a result of mobbing, results in primal fear."
Deming, E. W. (1982).  Quality Productivity and Competitive Position.
"The economic loss from fear is appalling. It is necessary, for better quality and productivity, that people feel secure." (p. 33)
Shorris, E. (1984).  Scenes from Corporate.
"The men and women who work in middle management and technical jobs in corporations suffer from fear, but not from cowardice. Their ability to endure fear in the struggle to achieve happiness as it has been defined for them proves that they are not cowards. They lack options. They may move from corporation to corporation, but the systems in which they live do not change with the change of employment. As they grow older, even that illusory option disappears. Then they must choose between human alienation and their accustomed standard of living." (p. 284)
Dundon, E. (2002).  Seeds of Innovation : Cultivating the Synergy That Fosters New Ideas.
"The uncertainty surrounding one's ability to hold on to a certain position within an organization can lead to increased fear and anxiety, which, in turn, can lead to decreased job performance and the loss of creativity. If someone fears the loss of their job, they will be less likely to take risks and may attempt to hide any potential signs of weakness to avoid becoming the next candidate for downsizing. If this fear is not addressed, they may lose the passion for embracing anything new and innovative." (p. 146)
Scott-Morgan, P. (1994).  The Unwritten Rules of the Game: Master Them, Shatter Them, and Break Through the Barriers to Organizational Change.
"The orthodox wisdom tells us that if we want major and rapid changes in behavior, then the only way to achieve them is for people to feel that their jobs are on the line. So, we are supposed to engineer circumstances that will create a sense of urgency—let us be honest, a sense of fear—within the body of our organizations. And with that stick we can beat our employees into a new mindset.
The established dogma is a lie. Worse, it is a self serving and dangerous lie. It has become a myth that we have all been told for so long by so many people, that we in turn have passed it on to our own colleagues and so reinforced the apparent validity and common sense of the gospel." (p. 137)
Ciulla, J. B. (2001).  The Working Life: The Promise and Betrayal of Modern Work.
"fear is the oldest way to get people to work. Explicit fear, such as knowing that we will be fired, has limited benefit because it can depress, paralyze, debilitate, or infuriate us... Employees may eventually burn out or self-destruct, but they will put in more work, for a while. Today's company men and women work longer hours and tolerate greater pressure than Whyte's organization man."1 (p. 162)

See also: stress, anxiety, vulnerability, weakness, helplessness, security

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SKOS Concept Scheme

SKOS concepts and relations

Concept Scheme: business culture/management vocabulary

URI: business culture/management vocabulary


  • Concept: fear
    • preferred: fear
    • alternate: afraid
    • alternate: scare
    • alternate: fright
    • alternate: uneasiness
    • definition: the trait of being afraid
    • related: stress
    • related: anxiety
    • related: vulnerability
    • related: weakness
    • related: helplessness
    • closeMatch:
    • keyword-19
    • antonym: security
    • linked content:
      • in scheme:
      • gloss: the trait of being afraid
      • hyponym of:
      • sense: fearfulness
      • synset id: 104860586
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