“Tough Love” and Organizational Performance |

“Tough Love” and Organizational Performance


One of the most-pervasive debates in literature on managing people is whether using "hard" or "soft" approaches produces better organizational performance - those seeking to influence behavior by pressuring or by nurturing. This paper examines this question in the context of a cross-organizational collaboration in English local government between police, probation, social work, and other organizations designed to reduce crime. Using a survey to gather data about cultural features of those collaborations and actual crime data, we find interaction effects between the joint presence of "hard" and "soft" cultural features in explaining crime reduction. Taking a phrase from pop psychology, it appears that cultures characterized by "tough love" perform better than those with only "hard" or "soft" features by themselves. We suggest that further research be conducted surrounding the relationship of the "tough love" construct to organizational performance.

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Prof. Steven Kelman, Li Ka Shing Professor, Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy; Weatherhead Professor of Public Management, Harvard University, John F. Kennedy School of Government

Thursday, 15 March 2012
12.15 p.m. - 1.30 p.m.

Seminar Room 3-4
Level 3, Manasseh Meyer
Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy
469C Bukit Timah Road
Singapore 259772

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