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The Psychology of Fear in Organizations

Book Description

In the context of global economic recession, fear has become institutionalized in many organizations, both in the private and public sectors. Board directors are under pressure from shareholders, senior executives are attempting to maintain sales in a nervous market and many people are concerned about job security and maintaining their living standards. This book shows how fear manifests itself in large organizations, how it impacts on the workforce and how by reducing our willingness to take risks and to innovate, it can inhibit economic growth and innovation, at both an individual and corporate level. The Psychology of Fear in Organizations examines the psychological barriers to innovation and presents initiatives to loosen the paralysis caused by the economic downturn.

Table of Contents

  1. Cover
  2. Praise for The Psychology of Fear in Organizations
  3. Dedication
  4. Title Page
  5. Imprint
  6. Contents
  7. Preface
  8. Part One: The nature of fear and how it shapes organizations
    1. 01: The paradox of fear
      1. The scope of this book
      2. What instils fear in organizations?
      3. Fear as a cultural norm
      4. Fear in different organizations
      5. And yet, some things don’t change
      6. The impact of the recession
      7. Organizational diversity
      8. Organizational styles
      9. Psychological health at work
      10. Managing and using fear
      11. Re-humanizing the workplace
    2. 02: The cultural backdrop of fear
      1. The backdrop of fear and uncertainty within the workplace
      2. 2007/8 and the cold winds of recession blew in
      3. The economists’ explanation
      4. The widespread residue of fear in the workplace
    3. 03: Perspectives on fear
      1. Exploring the boundaries of fear
      2. Fear and the unexpected
      3. The role of fear
      4. The physiology of fear
      5. Fear is contagious
      6. The Hillsborough disaster
      7. Distortion of fear
      8. Superhumans
      9. Using fear to our advantage
      10. Fear in the workplace – and elsewhere
    4. 04: Cultures of fear within organizations
      1. The long tail of the recession
      2. Symptoms of fear in the workplace
      3. How can we gauge fear?
      4. The effects of fear on organizational life
      5. The tendency to do what we have always done
      6. Following the leader
      7. Fear undermines performance
      8. Workplace productivity at an all-time low
      9. Studies on mental health in the workplace
      10. Studies on workplace climate and trends
      11. Gauging ‘reality’
      12. Fear as a management tool
    5. 05: Feeling fear at work
      1. The hidden fear at work
      2. Recognizing fear and mistrust in organizations
      3. The growth of mistrust
      4. Bullying at work
      5. The complexities of whistle-blowing within an organizational context
      6. When fear stimulates, energizes and motivates us
      7. Differences in how people respond to fear in the workplace
    6. 06: Over-control and manipulation in the workplace
      1. The power of control
      2. Control and order
      3. The Industrial Revolution
      4. The Hawthorne experiments
      5. The unintended consequences of target culture
      6. Target culture within the UK police service
      7. Personal judgement vs procedures
      8. What role should targets play?
      9. How did this situation come about?
    7. 07: Organizations in crisis
      1. Organizations in transition
      2. Clutching at old straws
      3. Bringing in the consultants
      4. Breaking the culture of fear
      5. Leadership in uncertain times
      6. Improvisation in leadership
      7. Make time. Prepare your mind. Think creatively
      8. Revolving CEOS
      9. The ‘stuck’ organization
      10. Greed and fear
      11. Corporate psychopaths
      12. The paradox of recruiting leaders
      13. Promises of reform
  9. Part Two: How we can harness fear to improve productivity and organizational health through promoting human values
    1. 08: Being human
      1. The halfway house
      2. What does it mean to be human?
      3. The beginnings of humanistic psychology
      4. Using all our brain power
      5. Our evolutionary heritage
      6. The effects of ‘mechanized’ language
      7. Survival of the fittest vs cooperative behaviour
      8. The relentless drive to mechanize brains
      9. Developing attitudes, beliefs and habits
      10. The importance of emotion in a work environment
      11. Groupthink
      12. In conclusion
    2. 09: Creating psychologically healthy workplaces
      1. Creating healthier futures
      2. Why organizational health matters
      3. Engagement and return on investment
      4. How return on investment can be measured and optimized
      5. Psychological health, happiness and productivity
      6. A Western perspective on a Japanese workplace
      7. Bhutan, work and well-being
      8. The qualitative–quantitative divide
      9. Fresh approaches to organizational life
      10. Developing employee engagement and well-being
      11. A time to think differently about organizations
      12. From the broad to the focused
    3. 10: Leadership and appreciative inquiry
      1. The emergence of positive psychology
      2. Positive psychology in the workplace
      3. Appreciative inquiry (AI): a route towards improving positive affect within organizations
      4. The principles of appreciative inquiry
      5. Appreciative inquiry in action
      6. How to initiate an appreciative inquiry process
      7. Does appreciative inquiry work?
      8. The scope of appreciative inquiry
      9. Appreciative inquiry feeds leadership
    4. 11: Developing resilience
      1. Some are born with super-resilience
      2. Resilience: the drive to keep going
      3. Characteristics of resilient individuals
      4. Building up resilience
      5. A study of resilience in the nursing profession
      6. Resilience at individual, team and organizational levels
      7. The economic benefits of resilience
      8. When resilience is thrust upon us
    5. 12: Building trust within organizations
      1. The foundation of trust
      2. Trust in the workplace
      3. The human face of trust
      4. Building trust in the workplace: the Continental story
      5. Trust in action
      6. Introducing a trust-building programme within a mental health organization
      7. How else can we build trust in organizations?
    6. 13: The power of language
      1. The power of everyday conversation
      2. Active listening
      3. Two different brain systems – and two styles of communication
      4. Dogs do it so well
      5. The interpretation of language
      6. Living in the moment – or not
      7. Changing organizations through conversation
      8. Non-verbal communication (NVC)
      9. Language tools to aid understanding
      10. The meaning of language, revealed through qualitative research
      11. How talk transformed the East Coast main-line railway
    7. 14: Building a culture of innovation
      1. Banishing fear of the unknown
      2. Creating ideas
      3. Thinking differently as a way of life
      4. Innovation is what we are
      5. The paradox of innovation
      6. The concept of jugaad
      7. Bring on the new
      8. Why do birds fly in a V formation?
      9. ‘We are family’
      10. Cultural preparedness and reducing risk
      11. Finding a voice
      12. Innovation and shame
      13. Innovation as a way of seeing things differently
      14. The improvisational nature of innovation
      15. A model of marginal gain
      16. Try, try and try again . . .
      17. Inspirational market research and creative development work
      18. Developing an innovative organization
    8. 15: What about the future?
      1. The age of transformation
      2. Living in a brave new world
      3. A human workforce
      4. A fruity option
      5. In the flow
      6. Flow in action
      7. In conclusion
  10. Index
  11. Full Imprint