Organizational Behavior Modification Theory

The organizational behavior of modification theory is widely used as a reinforcement theory in order to modify the behaviors of the employees in the organization. As organizations become global; they are forced to change their organizational culture and their standard of operation due to the change in the immediate digital information and communication and the service based economy .Organizational structure keeps on changing from hierarchical bureaucracy to decentralized operation structure that supports innovation. Such change does not come naturally and here is why the Organizational behavior of modification comes into play.

The OB theory is based on the plan that a behavior depends on the consequences and therefore, a manager in the organization can control over most of the employee’s behavior by maneuvering their end results. The theory follows the law of effect which states that a person tends to demonstrate the same behavior again if he/she considers it as a favorable consequence (reinforcement) and tends to avoid the behavior that seems to have unfavorable consequences. Both these conditions hold a strong impact for the successful implementation of this theory. The manager of the organization has the responsibility to assess the powerful consequences (from employee’s perspective) and must be able to manipulate the behavior in such a way that the employee could see a strong connection between the behavior to be affected and the outcome.

According to B.F Skinner, the needs of an individual employee are inferred by his/her behavior. If the employee performs badly either he is not satisfied with work or he is not being rewarded as expected. The OB theory postulates that the employee reflects on how various consequences of their performances can have an effect on them individually and then gear all their efforts on the outcomes that could provide the best pay-off.

The OB theory actually identifies performance –related behaviors, understands the frequency level and no. of occurrences, determine the triggering points, develops different intervention strategy to apply and maintains the performance level through proper rewards systems.

The managers practice many reinforcement techniques through various incentive plans, bonuses, wages etc. When employees believe that they are performing well as much possible but their performance well is not meeting organization’s goals or they need to adapt to new organizational policies, it becomes vital to inform the employees about such discrepancies. The incentive rewards and recognition are used to create positive behavior change while the threat to terminate and disciplinary action are taken to create their own problems.

In order to modify the behavior of the entire organization, it involves collecting information from the front-line managers and employees as they are the first to figure out the external forces required for the corporate change. The information flows from the front-line to top management as the reward for excellent information gathering can lead to better decision making power given to the line managers. Recognition and rewards given in the form of promotions, training and awards can make the front line managers fervent about their assigned task given to serve the company in achieving the competitive edge.

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