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.


40th Annual Convention; Chicago, IL; 2014

Event Details

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Paper Session #394
Analyzing Complex Social Behaviors in Organizations
Monday, May 26, 2014
2:00 PM–2:50 PM
W192b (McCormick Place Convention Center)
Area: OBM
Chair: Amber Marie Candido (University of Nevada, Reno)
Workplace Bullying: A Behavior Analytic Conceptualization
Domain: Theory
CHARALAMBOS C. CLEANTHOUS (Eastern Washington University)
Abstract: The statistics on workplace bullying indicate a staggering cost to both the institution and the individuals involved, whether it is the bully or the bullied. A review of the literature on workplace bullying indicates the many directions the definitions can take; these definitions range from the relatively useful to the reified. I define workplace bullying as the manipulation of controlling variables to the advantage of oneself and to the disadvantage of the targeted person(s). This definition stays within the theoretical domain of behavior analysis and the philosophical tradition of radical behaviorism. The importance of a functional analysis is that it permits the identification and, consequently, the opportunity to modify the environment that will support non-bullying behaviors. Such an orientation allows an analysis of the workplace environment that takes place in a network of influences both within and outside the immediate institution. Thus, an analysis of the role of contingencies, metacontingencies and macrocontingencies that may establish and maintain workplace bullying is necessary and will be presented. The current analysis opens the opportunities for interventions at the individual, group, and organizational level.
What’s in Your Office Memo? A Conceptual Account of MOs and Their Verbal Implications for Organizational Leaders
Domain: Theory
AMBER MARIE CANDIDO (University of Nevada, Reno), Ramona Houmanfar (University of Nevada, Reno)
Abstract: Increasing “employee motivation” is a goal of most organizational leaders. Common (and usually untested) techniques to increase employee motivation, often take the form of motivational speeches, memos, incentives, etc. Within behavior analysis however, a historical attempt has been made to account for such phenomenon. To begin, operant psychology has referred to motivation as states of deprivation and/or escape from aversive stimuli. In that regard, the establishing/abolishing operations (see Michael, 1982), and later motivating operations (see Laraway, et. al., 2003), have offered a behavioral scientific approach for the analysis of related phenomena. More recently, a verbal account of motivating operations, known as augmentals, has provided a ground for the analysis of verbal products (e.g., statements or rules) that acquire motivative functions by establishing (i.e., fomative augmenting) and/or temporality altering (i.e., motivative augmenting) the value of the relative reinforcement contingency. The purpose of this presentation is to provide a review of the literature associated with the abovementioned concepts, address the significance of developed distinctions, and discuss the implications for future application of the concepts in the analyses of complex phenomena such as the efficacy of leadership communication.



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