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Seasoned software Architect, a passionate Agile, Lean Practitioner and a successful trainer. Always inspired by innovative ideas and human behavior/psychology. Trying to find a balance between pragmatism and purity. Venkatesh is a DZone MVB and is not an employee of DZone and has posted 41 posts at DZone. You can read more from them at their website. View Full User Profile

Psychological impact of public criticism – AOL Story

08.25.2013
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A lot of people have heard of AOL, but until last week they may not have known much about Tim Armstrong, the company’s CEO. Recently during an internal team meeting of nearly 1,000 employees, Armstrong fired one his employees, Abel Lenz. This incident sent ripples all over the business world.

Some people believe that Abel was fired for taking pictures; others believe it is his association with the failing Patch project. Irrespective of the cause, this incident raises several questions: Is firing an employee in public the right thing to do? What are the repercussions of doing so in regards to the rest of the employees? What is the CEO’s role in the failure of a product?

This kind of firing,  impacts not only the psychological safety net of employees but impacts the employees morale, company’s bottom-line as well.

Read the complete the article on Techwell here…  I have shared many psychological research to show the impacts. In this article I have also covered different leadership styles impacting the employees.

Published at DZone with permission of Venkatesh Krishnamurthy, author and DZone MVB. (source)

(Note: Opinions expressed in this article and its replies are the opinions of their respective authors and not those of DZone, Inc.)

Comments

Ian Mitchell replied on Tue, 2013/08/27 - 9:22am

In an agile organization a CEO must be careful not to exceed his or her authority. At scale it's a servant leadership role much like a Scrum Master. Voting someone off the island, as it were, is a team decision...even if it's a line manager's responsibility to actually fire them.

So, if this story is true, was this CEO acting at the behest of a team that had made representations to him, following an appropriate "inspect and adapt" opportunity? If not, why not? If so, why act on it in a public forum, and outside of the team context where it belongs?

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