Organizational Behavior Management: Why Is It Still Relevant For Modern Businesses?
Today, most organizations are constantly in flux as they respond to the fast-moving external business environment. This means that employee behaviors must change for an organization to remain competitive. This article focuses on the steps of effective organizational behavior management.
Contemporary behaviorists lay great emphasis on operant conditioning for molding the behavior of individuals and motivating them. Behavior management makes use of various reinforcements to influence the behavior of individuals. This helps managers modify or eliminate undesirable behavior and replace it with behavior that is more compatible in an organization.
Organizational behavior management is a program where managers recognize performance-related employee behaviors and implement an intervention strategy to strengthen desirable behavior and eliminate undesirable behaviors.
Behavior management helps to understand how environmental contingencies influence an individual’s behavior. There can be two contingencies of behavior:
- The Antecedents: Events that precede the behavior
- The Consequences: Events that follow a particular behavior
Steps in Organizational Behavior Management
These steps are discussed as follows:
The first step in behavior management is the identification of performance-related behaviors. First, the behavior should be recognized as desirable or undesirable from the organization’s point of view. Then, essential behaviors that significantly impact employees’ performance should be given attention.
Once critical behaviors of employees have been identified, it is time to measure the frequency of those essential behaviors over time. This can be done by observation and extraction of information from records. It will help managers determine the success of changing employees’ behavior for good.
Now managers will have to do a functional analysis of the behavior that needs to be managed. This will help determine which circumstances lead to a particular type of behavior, the consequences of such behavior, and more. Contingent consequences of behavior should be recognized as these consequences impact subsequent behavior.
Once the essential behaviors have been determined and the circumstances that cause such behaviors have been determined, it is time to develop an effective intervention strategy. Several strategies can be used at this stage, including positive or negative reinforcement, extinction, or punishment.
Using a particular strategy will depend on the type of situation being dealt with. After developing and implementing a specific strategy, the frequency of resulting behavior is analyzed. If a change in behavior has been identified, a reinforcement schedule will be kept in place to maintain the desired behavior.
The last stage in behavior management is evaluating whether the intervention strategies are working correctly or not. The basic purpose of behavior management is to bring change in undesirable behaviors to improve performance. This will reveal whether the unwanted behaviors have been substituted by desirable behavior or not.
Also, the evaluation will show whether there is a performance improvement. If there is a positive change, meaning that the interventions have been successful. However, if the change is not evident, it may call for the adoption of alternate yet relevant strategies.
Dr. Karen Walker
Personnel Research Psychologist at Department of Justice
Founder of KW Productions