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Meaning of Carrot and Stick


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When both rewards and punishments are offered at the same time in order to get work done or deal with a difficult situation, it is known as carrot and stick approach.

“If you will clean your room, you will get to eat a Pizza but if you don’t then you will not be allowed to watch television for one day”.
This is an example of carrot and stick policy adopted by parents to coax their children to do something.


Carrot here represents sympathy, reward or coaxing and stick represents force, punishment or aggression and both are used as motivation to get something done.

It is a policy where a person is offered incentives in order to persuade him to do something and punish him if he fails to comply.





Sample Usage

1. Teachers sometimes use the carrot and stick approach for motivating students to finish their assignments.

2. Residents of heritage buildings who are involved in their upkeep are being offered direct tax benefits on one hand and on the other hand are being penalized heavily whenever they fail to meet the standards. This seems to be the carrot and stick policy of the government for maintaining heritage buildings.

3. Carrot and stick approach sometimes proves successful while dealing with terrorism.


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