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Old 10-17-2016, 06:34 PM
1,122 posts, read 423,566 times
Reputation: 1026


Is coercing what you see as good behavior an effective way to bring about change?

I can see two sides to this argument.
  1. Coercion is self-defeating. It engenders a backlash that negates the original action. It fails to transform people's beliefs, which leads to outward compliance and inward dissidence. When the coercive force is removed, the dissident behavior returns.
  2. Coercion is necessary and effective. Some people can never be convinced to change their ways. Coercion can also have a lasting effect if the coercive force is applied long enough. Those being coerced, and bystanders, may come to see the coercion as insurmountable, and psychically accept the new regime to make their new lives easier.

Further arguments against coercion are that it is often used by those who are impatient or unpersuasive as a crutch, since they cannot effect voluntary change fast enough to appreciate the effects, or at all. The evangelist who can convince someone to change their behavior is almost universally seen as morally superior to the dictator. Coercion is top-down change, while conversion is bottom-up change. Finally, memories are long and coercion will be remembered even if its effects gain a foothold. Eventually those effects will be undone by the methods used to pursue them.

Coercion also has other arguments in favor. Those opposing coercion are often cowardly or lazy, too passive to make change in the face of injustice. They may also be complicit in the status quo and elevate consent as a virtue to protect their position. Coercion can also demonstrate new ways of living that could only be described by the evangelist. Showing is better than telling. Lastly, coercion may be necessary here and now to stop an imminent injustice.
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Old 11-05-2016, 07:49 PM
4 posts, read 1,119 times
Reputation: 15
As it happens with manipulation, using coercion as a method for dealing with resistance to change is a risky process. People strongly resent forced change. However, in some situations change is not the popular option, regardless of how they are introduced, and sometimes these situations require an immediate transition. Coercion may be the only option. Most successful organizations constantly change their efforts and approaches when dealing with resistance to change. “However, successful efforts share two characteristics: Managers employ the approaches with a sensitivity to their strengths and limitations and appraise the situation realistically.” (Kotter and Schlesinger, 2008). The most common mistake is using only one approach (coercion) regardless of the situation.
To answer the question: Is coercing what you see as good behavior an effective way to bring about change?, I think that would depend on what you think "good behavior" is. "Good" and "bad" are very relative terms. Regardless, manipulating people by using coercion to attain a personal gain of what you consider "good behavior" may be effective, but it could also be a direct contraction to your goal of "good behavior".
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Old 11-10-2016, 08:56 PM
161 posts, read 111,980 times
Reputation: 398
Look at the results of the election to see how well coercion works. Push back is a normal response to coercion.
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