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SEP 562 ASU Performance Management Group Discussion

SEP 562 ASU Performance Management Group Discussion


Part 1: Punishment Trap and Negative Side-Effects of Punishment

  1. Punishment Trap Examples:

    a. Micromanagement: In a workplace, a manager constantly criticizes and closely monitors an employee’s every action. The punishment in this case is the constant surveillance and criticism. The employee may become demotivated, anxious, and may start making more mistakes due to the stress.

    b. Excessive Penalties for Errors: If an employee makes a mistake, and the punishment is a severe reprimand or a harsh penalty, they might become anxious and fearful. This can lead to a fear of taking risks, which can stifle creativity and innovation in the workplace.

    c. Public Humiliation: A manager reprimands an employee in front of their colleagues for a mistake. The punishment here is public humiliation. This can lead to a toxic work environment, decreased morale, and even retaliation.

  2. Negative Side-Effects of Punishment:

    a. Escape and Avoidance: Employees may engage in behaviors to avoid punishment rather than performing the desired task effectively.

    b. Aggression and Hostility: Punishment can lead to resentment and hostility, damaging workplace relationships.

    c. Temporary Suppression: Punishment may only temporarily suppress unwanted behavior, and the behavior may reappear when the threat of punishment diminishes.

    d. Generalization to Other Behaviors: Employees may associate punishment with the entire workplace environment, leading to a decrease in overall morale and job satisfaction.

    e. Emotional Side-Effects: Employees subjected to punishment may experience emotional distress, affecting their well-being.

    f. Unpredictability of Punishment: If punishment is inconsistent or arbitrary, it can create confusion and frustration among employees.

Part 1: Three Ways to Decrease Unwanted Behavior

  1. Positive Reinforcement:


    • Encourages desired behavior.
    • Fosters a positive work environment.
    • Increases employee motivation.


    • Requires identifying suitable reinforcers.
    • May not work for all individuals or situations.

    Workplace Example: Offering praise and recognition for meeting targets. Effective because it motivates employees to maintain good performance.

  2. Extinction:


    • Removes reinforcement for unwanted behavior.
    • Can lead to the natural decline of undesired behavior.


    • May require patience as behavior may initially worsen.
    • May not work for highly ingrained behaviors.

    Workplace Example: Ignoring attention-seeking behavior in meetings. Effective as the behavior decreases over time when it no longer receives attention.

  3. Positive Punishment (with caution):


    • Can deter immediate unwanted behavior.


    • May lead to negative emotional side-effects.
    • Can damage relationships if used excessively.

    Workplace Example: Giving a mild reprimand for repeatedly arriving late. Effective if used sparingly, but excessive use can lead to negative side-effects.

Personal Preferences:

Each team member’s personal preference for reducing unwanted behavior may vary based on their management style and the specific situation. It’s crucial to consider the context and the individual’s response to different methods.

Part 2: Article Summary and Application

Unfortunately, you haven’t mentioned which article you read in Module 5, so I can’t provide a specific summary or application. Please provide the details of the article, and I’ll be happy to help with that.

SEP 562 ASU Performance Management Group Discussion





  1. In Daniels and Bailey (2014), chapter 19 they speak of a “punishment trap” (p. 255). Discuss at least 3 examples of this phenomenon and how it impacted the behavior of both the punisher and the person being punished (this can be from a real life work situation, or other experience). (1 point each; 3 points total).
  2. In Daniels and Bailey (2014), chapter 19, they list 6 “Negative Side-Effects of Punishment” in the workplace (pp. 257-262). As a team, discuss one example of each of these side-effects you have seen (preferably in the workplace but it may be in other environments as well). (1 point each; 6 points total).
  3. In Daniels and Bailey (2014), chapter 20), they share “Three Ways to Decrease Unwanted Behavior” in the workplace (pp. 263-276). Discuss perceived or listed pros and cons of each (1 point each, 3 points total). Share at least one workplace example (used with an employee or supervisee) of each that a member of the team has experience with (1 point each, 3 points total). How effective was each at reducing the unwanted behavior from the employee? Why do you feel it was (either effective or not effective)? (1 point each, 3 points total). Which do you personally feel would work best for each of you? (1 point).

Part 2 (10 points): Readings

  1. Share your article summary, questions and how you will apply information from the article your read from Module 5 (not Module 6!) to your future career. (5 points)
  2. What additional questions or applications did you think of when you discussed the articles? List those. (5 points)
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