|Abstract: In 1972, the world of business and industry was proclaimed "practically virgin territory" for the operant conditioning field (Goodall, 1972). Since then, the applied behavior analysis (ABA) approach has been successfully applied in a variety of work settings. Researchers and consultants have:
* Used the principle of positive reinforcement to solve work motivation problems, resulting in the improvement of occupational safety in manufacturing organizations, preventive maintenance of heavy equipment in the military, and quality of service provided in department stores, restaurants, and banks.
* Developed operant-based ways of appraising performance, incorporating such well- established practices as direct and frequent sampling and tests of inter observer agreement. These alternatives to traditional performance appraisal methods (e.g., the trait-based rating scale) have been used to ensure more fair and accurate evaluations. Implications exist for preventing employment discrimination.
* Attempted to identify effective leadership skills to serve as the core for the selection and promotion of supervisory personnel and for training programs in management development. In this tutorial, I will discuss in detail three cases, one about motivation, another dealing with leaders and followers, and the last about performance appraisal. All occur in the workplace -- "unquestionably the major civil rights battleground of the 21st century" (Roberts, 1998, back cover). The cases are drawn from my published and ongoing research. Cutting-edge applications and field-enhancing research directions will be identified. To maximize our time together, participants will be asked to read material ahead of time. An extensive list will be provided.|