Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Restoring Lost Privileges An Overlooked Key To Discipline

Date:
July 9, 2009
Source:
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Summary:
Managers who dole out discipline by taking away privileges -- without considering the implications of restoring them -- are missing a key in their bid to improve performance and behavior, a new study says.

Managers who dole out discipline by taking away privileges – without considering the implications of restoring them – are missing a key in their bid to improve performance and behavior, a new University of Illinois study says.

Denying privileges is a widely used disciplinary tool, from workplaces to churches and other member-based organizations, but the consequences of giving them back have been largely ignored, according to research by Matthew McCarter and Arran Caza, of the U. of I. College of Business.

“It’s not just how you punish the person. The way privileges are reinstated can make or break how effective the punishment was,” said McCarter, who earned his doctoral degree this summer and will teach business at Chapman University in the fall.

McCarter and Caza, a former U. of I. business administration professor now on the faculty at Wake Forest University, found that restoring lost privileges is more common than most people suspect, based on information gathered through interviews and accounts in the media and academic journals.

Along with the workplace, lifting sanctions also extends into areas ranging from sports, where athletes are benched for rules violations, to religion, where parishioners can be denied communion or other sacraments for breaches of church doctrine, the research maintains.

“Colleagues thought reinstatement would be very rare, and that even if it did occur the privileges being restored would be very extreme, such as a person getting their job back after termination,” McCarter said. “However we found that is not the case at all. It happens all the time through all stages of life and involves a wide range of privileges, from kids getting back the keys to the car to lawyers who are readmitted to the bar.”

Because restoring privileges was considered uncommon, McCarter says past research has focused largely on the motivational impact of punishment alone. But the way bosses handle giving them back can have just as much influence, he said.

“Organizations can use reinstatement to their benefit, offering it as a reward to make a more committed worker,” he said. “The old adage that we tend to love what we’ve suffered for applies very much here.”

McCarter says the findings offer hope to workers and others who lose privileges.

“They don’t necessarily have to be at the mercy of the organization,” he said. “This shows they have some control over their destiny.”

The study, under review for publication in an academic journal, found four general reasons why businesses and organizations reinstate privileges:

  • External forces, such as court orders ordering that privileges be restored or negative publicity stemming from the discipline that taints the organization’s image.
  • Financial pressures if denied privileges create additional costs, such as overtime for other workers because a colleague has been barred from certain tasks.
  • Established rules or norms that spell out procedures for reinstatement and encourage it.
  • A determination that the violation leading to lost privileges stemmed from something beyond the worker’s control. For example, a worker disciplined for harassing a client could have privileges restored if manager later learned a medical condition such as bi-polar disorder or alcoholism was a factor.

McCarter says follow-up research is under way to get a clearer picture of how managers can use reinstatement most effectively and how workers best respond to regaining privileges.

“There are still a lot of unanswered questions, but two things are for sure,” he said. “One, reinstatement happens and it happens very commonly. Two, reinstatement can make or break how effective the punishment was. How people are treated when getting privileges back really affects their performance and how they view the organization.”


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. "Restoring Lost Privileges An Overlooked Key To Discipline." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 9 July 2009. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/07/090709110841.htm>.
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. (2009, July 9). Restoring Lost Privileges An Overlooked Key To Discipline. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 23, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/07/090709110841.htm
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. "Restoring Lost Privileges An Overlooked Key To Discipline." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/07/090709110841.htm (accessed July 23, 2014).

Share This




More Science & Society News

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Boeing Ups Outlook on 52% Profit Jump

Boeing Ups Outlook on 52% Profit Jump

Reuters - Business Video Online (July 23, 2014) Commercial aircraft deliveries rose seven percent at Boeing, prompting the aerospace company to boost full-year profit guidance- though quarterly revenues missed analyst estimates. Bobbi Rebell reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Thousands Who Can't Afford Medical Care Flock to Free US Clinic

Thousands Who Can't Afford Medical Care Flock to Free US Clinic

AFP (July 23, 2014) America may be the world’s richest country, but in terms of healthcare, the World Health Organisation ranks it 37th. Thousands turned out for a free clinic run by "Remote Area Medical" with a visit from the Governor of Virginia. Duration: 2:40 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Six Indicted in StubHub Hacking Scheme

Six Indicted in StubHub Hacking Scheme

AP (July 23, 2014) Six people were indicted Wednesday in an international ring that took over more than 1,000 StubHub users' accounts and fraudulently bought tickets that were then resold. (July 23) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
9/11 Commission Members Warn of Terror "fatigue" Among American Public

9/11 Commission Members Warn of Terror "fatigue" Among American Public

Reuters - US Online Video (July 22, 2014) Ten years after releasing its initial report, members of the 9/11 Commission warn of the "waning sense of urgency" in combating terrorists attacks. Mana Rabiee reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins