Sample Social work and Human services Paper on Coercion

The pros and cons of coercion

Psychologists Bertram Raven and John French identified Coercive Power as one of the five
types of power, (Moran & Farley, 2018, 5). They defined it as a situation where employees
follow instructions forcefully. In such a situation, supervisors or employers punish
employees not complying with the orders or instructions given. For instance, an employee
complies with an order because he or she fears losing an annual bonus or the job in entirety.
Leaders can use direct or indirect coercion while giving instructions. The use of coercion has
its advantages and disadvantages.
First, coercion leads to compliance amongst employees. They are able to adhere to
company rules, meet deadlines, maintain organizational culture and attain optimal
productivity. In situations where employees exhibit insubordination, managers or
supervisors can use coercion so that employees can keep time during lunch breaks, or
maintain the right dress code at work, (Bomory, 2018, 15). Acts of discrimination can be
avoided when employees are coerced by termination or suspension. Lastly, coercion helps
when a turnaround is needed. This is in relation to situations where a company is facing
closure or getting losses.
On the other hand, coercion has its own disadvantages. For example, job satisfaction is
lowered amongst employees because they feel as if they are taken for granted. In addition,
employees may retaliate by seeking alternative companies, have a strike or have poor
productivity. Lastly, innovation is reduced especially when employees are forced to work
according to an employer’s instructions as opposed to contributing new ideas which boost

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In a nutshell, coercion is useful in certain situations where change is required in a company
or when there is poor performance. Excessive use of coercion leads to a negative reputation
thus poor productivity and possible losses by the company in the long run.

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Gomory, T., & Dunleavy, D. (2018). Social Work and Coercion. In Encyclopedia of Social
Work. 10- 23
Moran & Farley, M. (2019). Consent, coercion, and culpability: is prostitution stigmatized
work or an exploitive and violent practice rooted in sex, race,