Hr Professional & Trainer
Training & Development
Hr Executive

Here's an interesting story of an experiment done to analyse the process of behavioural conditioning in a group. The charecters are monkeys, but the experiment reveals in a humorous manner how people get conditioned in organisations!

The monkey tale is as follows:

Eight monkeys were put in a room. In the middle of the room was a ladder, leading to a bunch of bananas hanging from a hook on the ceiling. Each time a monkey tried to climb the ladder; all the monkeys were sprayed with ice water, which made them miserable.

Soon enough, whenever a monkey attempted to climb the ladder, all of the other monkeys, not wanting to be sprayed, set upon him and beat him up.

Soon, none of the eight monkeys ever attempts to climb the ladder. One of the original monkeys is then removed, and a new monkey is put in the room.

Seeing the bananas and the ladder, he wonders why none of the other monkeys are doing the obvious, but, undaunted, he immediately begins to climb the ladder. All the other monkeys fall upon him and beat him silly.

He has no idea why. However, he no longer attempts to climb the ladder.

A second original monkey is removed and replaced. The newcomer again

attempts to climb the ladder, but all the other monkeys hammer the hell out of him. This includes the previous new monkey, who, grateful that he's not on the receiving end this time, participates in the beating because all the other monkeys are doing it. However, he has no idea why he's attacking the new monkey.

One by one, all the original monkeys are replaced. Eight new monkeys are now in the room. None of them have ever been sprayed by ice water. None of them attempts to climb the ladder.

All of them will enthusiastically beat up any new monkey who tries, without

having any idea why.


From India
Hi Rajeev,
This is one of the best illustrations I have seen on corporate culture. The sequence of beliefs- attitudes-individual behaviour-group behaviour is very strong in organisations. A reason why the most silly practices get cemented to the behavioural pattern. Sometimes we indulge in the most ridiculous rituals because it is a way of life in our respective organisation irrespective of its logic.
The humour in the story makes it more interesting.
keep it up

Hi Rajeev,
The tale is very interesting & so very true. As, Mohan wrote, this is actually a true pciture of what happens in Corporates. I guess Everybody has a kind of feeling inside as to why they follow the trend so blindly & without investigating and reading such illustrations can help all of us to follow things after a proper reasearch on the matter.

From India, Pune
Thanks for your comments. I should confess that there had been occasions when I had been acting like one of those monkeys in the story. It is a simple truth of the compelling nature of the organisation on its members.

From India
:lol: :lol: :lol: excellent story.......quite a personal connect to many i guess....well...i am presently reciving...hope one day i will also be beating...... :lol: :twisted: :twisted:

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