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Related to carrot-and-stick: carrot and stick approach
A motivational tactic that uses a reward and punishment system to encourage improved performance or behavior. Often hyphenated and used as a modifier before a noun. Companies are slowly learning that the carrot-and-stick approach to management is ineffective—employees are much more motivated to do a better job when they are recognized for their hard work.
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.
carrot and stick
Reward and punishment used as persuasive measures, as in Management dangled the carrot of a possible raise before strikers, but at the same time waved the stick of losing their pension benefits . This term alludes to enticing a horse or donkey to move by dangling a carrot before it and, either alternately or at the same time, urging it forward by beating it with a stick. [Late 1800s]
The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer. Copyright © 2003, 1997 by The Christine Ammer 1992 Trust. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
carrot and stick
COMMON If someone uses a carrot and stick method to make you do something, they try to make you do it, partly by offering you rewards and partly by threatening you. But Congress also wants to use a carrot and stick approach to force both sides to negotiate an end to the war. With the announcement that the hostages are to be released, it appears that Washington's new carrot-and-stick policy may already have brought results. Note: Carrot and stick are used in many other structures with a similar meaning. Protests continued, however, so the authorities substituted the carrot for the stick. When the Security Council waves a stick at an offending country, the secretary-general can also offer a carrot as encouragement. Note: The idea behind this expression is that an animal such as a donkey can be encouraged to move forward either by dangling a carrot in front of it or by hitting it with a stick. The carrot represents the tempting offer and the stick represents the threat.
Collins COBUILD Idioms Dictionary, 3rd ed. © HarperCollins Publishers 2012
carrot and stickthe promise of reward combined with the threat of force or punishment.
The image in this expression is of offering a carrot to a donkey to encourage it to move and using a stick to beat it if it refuses to budge.
1998 New Scientist And if your powers of persuasion prove insufficient, here's a carrot and stick policy.
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