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.


31st Annual Convention; Chicago, IL; 2005

Event Details

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Symposium #295
Discerning Patterns in Complex Environments: Challenges in Organizational Interventions
Monday, May 30, 2005
9:00 AM–10:20 AM
Marquette (3rd floor)
Area: OBM; Domain: Applied Research
Chair: Thomas E. Boyce (Center for Behavioral Safety, LLC)
Discussant: Ned Carter (The Swedish Association of Local Authorities and Regions)
Abstract: Organizational and community settings provide an opportunity to assess a wide variety of variables and methodological considerations. They are unique in that there is a wealth of information and data to analyze and many unique challenges provided by these situations. This symposium seeks to address some of these considerations, more specifically related to how more extensive data analysis can deepen these investigations in complex organizations and seek to identify the function of behavior in these settings.
The Challenge of Identifying the Function of Behavior in an Organizational Setting
SHARLET D. BUTTEFIELD (University of Nevada, Reno), Thomas E. Boyce (Center for Behavioral Safety, LLC)
Abstract: Interventions in organizational and community settings deal with many complex factors and challenges, in addition to those seen in clinics or in the laboratory. This presentation discusses some of these factors more generally, and specifically as related to an anti-theft intervention in a specific organizational setting. Some of the issues discussed relate to methodological concerns, but in addition, explore the challenge of establishing function of a behavior as it relates to the intervention. More specifically, a low-cost intervention was implemented to decrease theft in an organization, and results indicate that the function of the theft behavior may have varied based on product selection. This presentation will discuss these findings as they relate to the function of theft behavior in this specific study, as well as possible implications for other organizational and community interventions
Having Tidied Up, Patterns Reveal: Analysis of Occupational Health and Safety in Complex Settings
BISMARCK J. MANES (Western Michigan University), Grisel M. Puertos (Western Michigan University), Mark P. Alavosius (Western Michigan University)
Abstract: Large organizations require thorough analyses of large and potentially complex data sets to reveal orderly patterns suggesting interventions. Analyses support meaningful interpretation of environmental conditions and their effects on behavior. Advancements in computer technology have expanded our ability to work with large data sets and explore complex patterns. Hospital settings are representative of complex environments consisting of many separate departments and/or units; assessment data are reviewed from one large community hospital. Yet, hospitals are small when contrasted with self-insured groups (SIGs), where individual companies in an industry or region pool funds to cover the workers' compensation costs incurred by the group, and unused worker's compensation funds are redistributed back to member companies potentially as reinforcement of safety management. Given these contingencies, SIGs offer especially interesting niches for behavior-based safety technologists due to the contingencies in place that establish safe work environments as valuable conditions. Analysis of injury data is a necessary method for assessing areas of improvement relevant to health and safety in complex organizations like hospitals and SIG situations. Important dimensions of injuries, such as severity and cost, and consideration of contextual variables add depth to traditional safety measures (e.g. frequency of injury reports). Sulzer-Azaroff and Fellner (1984) outlined a strategy for assessing performance targets in occupational settings. This presentation extends this strategy to include more extensive explorations of large data sets obtained from several projects now underway.
A Model of Performance Diagnosis and the Development of a Job Performance Diagnostic Questionnaire
RYAN B. OLSON (Santa Clara University), Stephanie Capodanno (Santa Clara University), Jeanine Plowman Stratton (Florida State University, BMC)
Abstract: Organizational performance diagnostic methods often focus upon a few critical behaviors or accomplishments and may require a subject matter expert to implement. While this type of customization leads to effective interventions, the process is not likely to be repeated broadly by non-experts. In our view, society and the field of OBM will benefit from the development of performance analysis techniques that are applicable at the level of job performance and less dependent upon special expertise. The current project describes a model of performance and reports on the development and pilot testing of an informant assessment questionnaire designed to diagnosis general weaknesses in support for job performance.



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