Behavior Modification and Needs

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In many companies, managers struggle to improve or motivate employee actions or behaviors to get desired results. Many managers turn to organizational behavior modification. Behavior modification is used in organizations to shape individual behavior though the use of positive and negative consequences. Organizational behavior modification relies on several factors including, the law of effect, alternative consequences, schedules of reinforcement, and understanding human needs, to successfully operate. The law of effect states that a person tends to repeat behavior that is accompanied by a favorable consequence. For example, if an employee is recognized and encouraged for going above and beyond for a customer, the employee is more likely to repeat this action. For the law of effect to remain effective, a manager needs to recognize what the employee see’s as major consequences, and must be able to respond in a way that the employee will see the connection between their actions and the consequence. An employee doesn’t always have to learn from personal experience. The theory of social learning suggests that employees are likely to learn by observing the actions of others and understanding the consequences that others are experiencing. Through the law of effect, the employee is able to connect the relation of; good actions equal good consequences, therefore motivating the employee to act in a positive way. Once a manager has indentified the employee’s behavior, the manager needs to decide on the alternative consequences he/she wants to apply. Alternative consequences include: positive reinforcement, negative reinforcement, punishment, and extinction. The key to alternative consequences is to make the consequence contingent on the employee’s correct behavior. Through the use of these consequences, employees and managers will be able to accurately assess the result or planned result of an action. Once a manager monitors an employee’s behavior and learns how often...
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