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Parady, M. (1995).  7 Secrets for Successful Living: Tapping the Wisdom of Ralph Waldo Emerson to Achieve Love, Happiness, and Self-Reliance.
"Emerson wrote about the dangers of looking to others for approval and validation. Yet in our day, as in his, we are programmed to look to others for our sense of self-worth and dignity. This tendency, rooted deep within us, leads people away from themselves and toward lives and behaviors foreign to their individual needs and proclivities, causing low self-esteem and eventually self-hatred. And when we hate ourselves, we allow people to inflict all kinds of abuse upon us, because we unconsciously feel we deserve it." (p. 16)
D'Alessandro, D., & Owens M. (2003).  Career Warfare: 10 Rules for Building a Successful Personal Brand and Fighting to Keep It.
"Extreme sycophancy has been observed in animals as well, particularly in wolves and apes in captivity, where the weaker cannot escape the frustrated energies of the stronger. A weaker wolf may passively roll over on its back when stronger wolves come near, or may demonstrate extreme friendliness toward stronger wolves, wagging its tail so determinedly that its entire hindquarters sway. Scientist L. David Mech describes the posture that these sycophantic wolves adopt toward their superiors as an 'active lack of challenge.' That is a pretty good description of those weaker animals in corporate captivity as well." (p. 45)
Friedman, M., & Arnett R. C. (1986).  Communication and Community: implications of Martin Buber's Dialogue.
"Labor unions, faculty organizations and unions, the student protests and civil-rights actions of the 1960s and 1970s, and the women's movement all sought or continue to seek to empower the subordinate.

Such organization and unionization arise from a desire for power parity or an equalization of power. There is an unwillingness to settle for submissiveness. Such acts have led Rollo May to describe rebellion as a central element in one's humanness. 'It is the capacity to sense injustice and take a stand against it in the form of I will be destroyed rather than submit .... [T]his elemental capacity to fight against injustice remains the distinguishing characteristic of human beings. It is, in short, the capacity to rebel.'" (p. 18)

Adams, S. (2002).  Dilbert and the Way of the Weasel.
"Thanks to evolution, humans made the leap from sniffing butts to kissing butts, and the seeds of capitalism were sown." (p. 82)
Heitler, S. M. (1990).  From Conflict to Resolution: Strategies for Diagnosis and Treatment of Distressed Individuals, Couples, and Families.
"Similarly, the term 'submissive' is not meant to imply any particular tone or style of yielding or surrender, but simply that the concerns of that side do not become incorporated into the solution-building database. In depressogenic interactions, responsivity to the concerns of the submissive side is minimal, with those concerns relegated to second-class status. If the concerns on this side are of only minimal importance, they may be given up in a willingly compliant manner without engendering depressed feelings. When the issue is more critical, giving up may incur more sense of loss, suppressed anger, hopelessness, and helplessness. Still, the style and tone of submission can vary widely, engendering reactions varying from a brief sigh to prolonged despair." (p. 75)
Nair, K. (1997).  A higher standard of leadership: lessons from the life of Gandhi.
"As a bear a great responsibility. If you set the direction, analysis and support will appear throughout the organization even if you are wrong. Those who are not in positions of power will find it difficult to disagree—to be truthful—because they fear for their careers and their futures." (p. 113)
Frost, P. J., Nord W. R., & Krefting L. A. (2003).  Managerial and organizational reality: stories of life and work.
"Thus, although narsistic leaders often say that they want teamwork, what that means in practice is that they want a group of yes-men. As the more indepedent-minded players leave or are pushed out, succession becomes a particular problem." (p. 286, Michael Maccoby)
Hirschorn, L. (1993).  The Psychodynamics of Organizations. (Howell S. Baum, Eric L. Trist, James Krantz, Carole K. Barnett, Steven P. Feldman, Thomas N. Gilmore, Laurence J. Gould, Larry Hirschorn, Manfred F.R. KetsDeVries, Laurent Lapierre, Howard S. Schwartz, Glenn Swogger, David A. Thomas, Donald R. Young, Abraham Zaleznik, Michael A. Diamond, Ed.).
"In explaining his failure to get ahead, he used the following analogy to to describe the dangers of acting aggressively or politically at work.

Among coyotes, males are born into a pack; you have a whole litter. You have men who will never become leaders because of their biology, their genetics. And you have some more aggressive cubs, and they will do whatever they need to do to become leaders. And they have to eat the pack leader. And he never gives up until he can't resist any longer. I think I was born in that other group. When puppies are born, they do all sorts of things to give the dominant male his rights, and they will do all sorts of growling, and the puppy will turn over. There are linkages back and forth between humans and coyotes. Somehow I must not ever have given my bosses that yelp and stomach up, and they sensed it. And I never got the membership and support I needed." (p. 34)

See also: conformity, walking wounded, helplessness, organizational psychodynamics, domination

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SKOS Concept Scheme

SKOS concepts and relations

Concept Scheme: business culture/management vocabulary

URI: business culture/management vocabulary


  • Concept: submissiveness
    • preferred: submissiveness
    • alternate: docility
    • alternate: submissivity
    • alternate: obedience
    • definition: the trait of being willing to yield to the will of another person or a superior force etc.
    • related: conformity
    • related: walking_wounded
    • related: helplessness
    • broader: organizational_psychodynamics
    • closeMatch:
    • keyword-185
    • antonym: domination
    • linked content:
      • in scheme:
      • gloss: the trait of being willing to yield to the will of another person or a superior force etc.
      • hyponym of:
      • sense: submissiveness
      • synset id: 104906471
  • W3C SKOS spec
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