8 December, 2010
Debbie Ruisard, LCSW, LCADC
Behavior Modification and Absenteeism: Intervention In One Industrial Setting. In this part of the paper I researched information to see if reinforcement can cause behavioral modification. In industrial organizations there was a growing need to reduce absenteeism and increase performance with the marginal worker in order to have a more productive day. In this paper a marginal worker is defined as an individual who has failed to demonstrate consistent work attendance and or/has failed to meet organizationally defined standards of adequate performance (Porter, 1973). Two researcher Lawler and Hackman performed a study i which they used pay incentives to decrease absenteeism, the study was based on research data provided by B.F. Skinner who stated in an interview some of his ideas on how behavior modification could be used in industrial organizations. B.F. Skinner used a door prize or a lottery ticket as an example of what the employee with the best attendance could win. Lawler and Hackman conducted their experiment at a manufacturing/distribution center that handles different products with each product in a different plant. Each plant had four levels with a plant manager at the top who was responsible for a group of 14 to 26 employees. Only one plant was used to conduct the experiment while the other plants operated as usual. The plants were broken down into four groups 1, 2, 3, and 4, with group 4 being the experimental group. Before this intervention group 4 had the a lower absentee rate than the other groups. Absentee records for group four were obtained and measured to find a base line. Any employee not out for vacation, bereavement, jury duty or paid holidays were considered absent. A lottery incentive system was used. A poker game was created. Each day an employee comes to work on time he or she will...