Market Shaping Employee Behavior

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Daniel Threlkeld SID 61004 May 13, 2012 BAM315 Principles of Management
Unit # 4
Question 1 Explain the four ways that managers can shape employees’ behavior. Managers have four different ways to shape an employees’ behavior. The four different ways are positive reinforcement, negative reinforcement, punishment, and extinction. Positive reinforcement can be an effective way to change behavior and at the same time maintain a positive work environment. When an employee does something that is desirable, such as providing outstanding customer service, that employee can be immediately rewarded with praise in front of the other coworkers. This reward reinforces the positive behavior and increases the chances of the behavior being repeated. Negative reinforcement works like positive reinforcement except the manager would remove something negative from the situation. A good example of this would be the manager telling the employee your pay will not be docked if you get to work on time. The correct behavior is being rewarded by withdrawing something unpleasant. Punishment is a way of deterring the wrong behavior by penalizing the employee for an undesirable action. Suspending a professional basketball player for several games without pay for getting into a fight during a game is an example of punishment. The fourth and final way managers can shape employee behavior is through extinction. Removing any motivation that may be maintaining an inappropriate behavior is considered using extinction. An example would be a manager ignoring questions during a meeting that don’t relate to the subject being discussed. Each of these four behavior modifying techniques result in learning. They either reinforce a good behavior to help it continue or they discourage a bad behavior so it doesn’t continue. Management needs to be diligent in making sure employees are getting the right message....
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