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In the context of the work environment, differentiate between ‘coercion’ and ‘undue influence’ with suitable examples. (Answer in 150 words)10



The productivity and effectiveness of any organisation is largely dependent on its work environment. However, ‘coercion and undue influence’ are among the unethical practices that can affect overall workplace culture.

‘Coercion and undue influence’ can be distinguished as

  Coercion Undue Influence



involves explicit threats, force or intimidation to force someone into a decision. is a form of persuasion that exploits trust or authority to manipulate someone into making a choice that may not be in their best interest.
Nature Often more overt/explicit Often subtle/implicit



Impact on work culture

can lead to a hostile and fear-driven work environment.

erodes trust, damages morale resulting in reduced employee satisfaction and productivity.

can undermine fair decision-making processes in the workplace.

can lead to unfair, biased practices, and conflicts of interest









1)     A senior official in a Government Department threatens to transfer an employee to a remote location if he doesn’t manipulate a tendering process to favour a particular contractor, though that is not in the best interest of the Government. The employee complies out of fear of the punitive transfer.


2)     An aggressive sales manager pressures a sales representative to meet unrealistic targets by threatening to fire him if he fails to do so. The sales representative complies out of fear of job loss and engages in unethical sales practices to meet the targets.

1)     A senior officer in a Government Department, who is also a close relative of a subordinate employee, persuades the subordinate to leak sensitive government information for personal gain. The subordinate complies because of the undue influence exerted due to their familial relationship.


2)     A senior executive in a company offers a junior employee a promotion in exchange for the employee supporting the senior executive’s proposal in a board meeting. The junior employee complies due to the undue influence exerted by the senior executive’s authority, even though the proposal may not be in the best interest of the company.



Initiatives like the Internal Complaints Committee, and culture keepers are significant steps in tackling such unethical practices. Further, organizations should strive to maintain a fair and ethical work environment that respects employees’ rights and avoids the use of either coercion or undue influence.