The element of fear in the practice of military leadership
Evered, Roger D.
Roberts, Benjamin J.
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As a contrast to Edward Deming's requirement to 'drive out fear' from the workplace many managers will view fear as an appropriate management tool. This was supported by the Ryan and Oestreich report in 1991. To explore the current status of fear in the military workplace, this study investigates a particular superior-subordinate relationship at company level in the Army environment at Fort Ord, California. A sequence of in-depth interviews with a Company Commander and his Executive Officer provide the data base. A fear model is developed to assist in categorizing and analyzing the articulated fears. The array of fears recorded during the interviews enabled us to address the following issues: (1) the extent to which fear is applied as a management tool, (2) whether the use of fear in a leadership context is viewed appropriate by the officers, and (3) the possible impact of the use of fear on the relationship between the two officers.