Association for Behavior Analysis International

The Association for Behavior Analysis International® (ABAI) is a nonprofit membership organization with the mission to contribute to the well-being of society by developing, enhancing, and supporting the growth and vitality of the science of behavior analysis through research, education, and practice.


32nd Annual Convention; Atlanta, GA; 2006

Event Details

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Symposium #344
International Symposium - Behavioral Approaches to Changing Organizational Culture
Monday, May 29, 2006
1:30 PM–2:50 PM
Area: OBM; Domain: Theory
Chair: Scott A. Herbst (University of Nevada, Reno)

Organizational psychologists have recognized the importance of cultural change as an impetus for successful intervention. This symposium will present perspectives detailing how cultural change might be approached and concepts relevant to doing so from a behavioral perspective.

A Behavioral Approach to Value Alignment in Organizations.
SCOTT A. HERBST (University of Nevada, Reno), Ramona Houmanfar (University of Nevada, Reno)
Abstract: The alignment of employee and employer values has been a focus of organizational psychologists for a number of years. This paper will provide an overview of different ways in which values are conceptualized, discuss how these conceptualizations drive applications, provide a behavioral account of what it means to "value" something, and provide recommendations as to how behaviorists might approach value alignment.
The Impact of Pay-for-Performance on Organizational Culture: A Review of the Literature and a Proposed Theoretical Account.
KRISTEN A. MAGLIERI (University of Nevada, Reno), Ramona Houmanfar (University of Nevada, Reno), Denis P. O'Hora (University of Ulster)
Abstract: Traditional compensation systems pay employees for time spent on the job. Behavioral researchers have been amongst the most vocal critics of this practice and have suggested that instead, pay be provided as reinforcement for behaviors that support profit making by the organization. In fact, in recent years, the use of pay-for-performance (PFP) has grown considerably in the United States (Rynes, Gerhart, & Parks, 2005). Not all PFP systems are the same, however, and such systems have been shown to have negative effects as well as positive effects on profit making. The current paper first describes the different types of PFP systems used in organizations and reviews previous research on their effects. We then consider the impact of these forms of PFP on the verbal behaviors of employees. In particular, using the concepts provided by Zettle and Hayes (1982), we suggest that effective forms of PFP promote tracking, rule governed behavior maintained by the accuracy of rules, and reduce pliance, rule governed behavior maintained by social reinforcement of rule following per se.
Metacontingencies and Macrocontingencies Revisited: Theoretical Analysis.
DIANA M. DELGADO (University of Nevada, Reno), Ramona Houmanfar (University of Nevada, Reno)
Abstract: The use of behavioral concepts such as those of macrocontingencies and metacontingencies has been justified by the study of complex behavioral relations that involve more than one individual. In the most complex cases, where the subject of interest involves the analysis of cultural systems these concepts have been useful to describe patterns of behavioral relations between individuals, and groups of individuals. The extent to which these notions show continuity and coherence with the basic philosophical and theoretical assumptions of a science of behavior, has been a subject of discussion and merits further analysis. Recognizing that a frame of analysis different from that of the behavior of an individual organism is needed we will discuss: a) some of the concerns raised with respect to the identification of the unit of analysis and selection as the interlocking behavioral contingency, b) the definition of macrocontingencies, c) an interpretation of the functional relations that these concepts describe form a molecular operant perspective and c) some practical implications of this analysis on the design of cultural contingencies.



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