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MHR 505
Week 3
OBXtra 3 Behaviour Modification
Reinforcement Strategies
Behaviour modification/reinforcement theory B.F. Skinners principle that
behaviour is largely a function of its consequences, which may be either positive or
Behaviour modification has been used successfully in a variety of organizations to
shape behaviour and is also considered to be a theory of motivation or learning
It has significant and positive influences on task performance in manufacturing and
service organizations, but more powerful in manufacturing organizations
Incentive-based reinforcement improved performance more than routine pay, social
recognition, or performance feedback
Recent research reveals that nonfinancial incentives had impacts on profits and
customer service that were as significant as the financial ones in the long term
Reinforcement strategies rely on the use of positive and negative consequences
following a specific behaviour that either reinforce or punish that behaviour
oPositive consequences are those that are attractive or pleasurable
oNegative consequences are those that are unattractive or aversive
Law of effect states that behaviours followed by positive consequences are more
likely to recur and behaviours followed by negative consequences are less likely to
Positive/negative consequences must be defined for the person receiving them, so
individual, gender, and cultural differences are important to consider when selecting
Positive Reinforcement
Positive reinforcement an attempt to increase or maintain the frequency of a
desirable behaviour by following It with positive consequences
It can take the form of money, feedback, and social recognition
Research indicates that when positive reinforcers are combined, performance
improved by as much as 45 percent
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