Catfish Effect

    The catfish effect is used in human resource management to describe how the presence of a strong competitor can motivate groups to work toward a common goal. The idea for this study was prompted by observations of how two differently sized schools of sardines interacted in Norwegian waters. The smaller fish seemed to be feeding, “pulling” on the larger ones and keeping them moving. Some companies use competitions, such as sales leader boards, to benefit from it.

    The “catfish effect” is a term coined by business leaders to describe a dynamic they use to inspire employees and is a crucial measure of effective leadership. It is expressed in two ways:

    1. Enterprises should hire young employees and motivate older employees by applying competitive pressure to encourage the “sardines” to compete and make do with their survival instincts.
    2. Enterprises should continue to introduce new technologies and processes and the latest equipment and management concepts to enable the enterprises to stay afloat in the marketplace and increase their competitiveness.
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