Reinforcement Theory

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University of Wales
&
Management Development Institute of Singapore

SUBJECT Organizational Behaviour and Organizational Development LECTURER Prof. Allan Kwok
COURSE Master of Business Administration
TITLE Assignment 1

Student Name(full name as in the attendance file)| FIN (Student) Number| Batch Code| Signature| SNEHA BHOOTRA| G0983360P| MBWD51025B| |

Submitted on Due Date? YES (Date submitted: 03-12-2010) Word limit observed? YES (No of words: 3075)

TABLE OF CONTENTS

Serial Number| Content| Page Number|
1| INTRODUCTION| 3|
2| CHANGE| 4|
2.1| RESISTANCE TO CHANGE| 4|
2.2| MANAGING CHANGE| 7|
2.3| REINFORCEMENT THEORY| 8|
2.4| PROCESS OF REINFORCEMENT| 8|
2.5| TYPES OF REINFORCERS| 9|
2.6| SCHEDULE OF REINFORCEMENT| 11|
3| CONCLUSION| 13|
4| CASE STUDIES| 14|
(i)| REFERENCE| 16|
(ii)| APPENDIX| 17|

1. INTRODUCTION

The business organisations operate in a dynamic environment and thus changes in it are inevitable. To be successful, organizations have to adapt to the changes, be it planned or unplanned. Any organization that does not adjust to the changing environment, will soon go out of business. Thus we can say that accepting change is very important, be it in the processes, technology, consumer taste or preference. However, when businesses introduce changes in their organizations, people and the groups working in it, tend to resist it due to some fear and mindset. The managers have to facilitate these changes. It can be done by various methods.

In the following report, we explain how the reinforcement theory can be applied by the organizations to overcome individual and organisational resistance and manage change. The report begins by introducing what is change and the reasons why individuals and groups resist change. It is then followed by a process of managing change. Reinforcement is one of the motivational methods by which resistance to change can be managed. There is a model that shows how the managers can effectively choose the type of reinforce to use and the schedules at which it should be applied. Other ways of overcoming resistance is analyzed in brief followed by cases of real life which successfully used the reinforcement theory.

2. CHANGE IN THE ORGANISATION:
In the words of Machiavelli, “There’s nothing more difficult to take in hand, more perilous to conduct, or more uncertain in its success, than to take the lead in introducing a new order of things.” The above statement of Machiavelli points out 2 very important concepts about change: * No change is final: Every business organisation operates in an environment that is dynamic; it keeps changing. Thus the organisation that choose by design or default, not to adopt these changes in its working, is bound to go out of business because it is not about only one change but a set of changes that is followed by a change.

* Change is difficult: This view says that the people in an organisation get habituated to a certain way of doing work. Thus it becomes very difficult to get them to accept a change by modifying their habits, behaviour patterns and attitude.

2.1 RESISTANCE TO CHANGE:
(i) INDIVIDUAL: Most individuals do not like change. Even if a change is for the good, they tend to fear and resist it.

Dependence
Reluctance to experiment

Fear of unknown

Fear of failure
Security and Regression

Lack of information
Economic

Individual resistance to change
Threat to existing power base
Lack of perceived benefit

Previous experience
Habit

Threat to existing status
Change shock

Uncertainty

Threat to skill or competence Parochial self-interest...
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