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Chapter 8

ADM2336 Chapter 8

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University of Ottawa
Craig Kuziemsky

Chapter 8 Learning and Decision Making LEARNING AND DECISION MAKING  Learning: a relatively permanent change in an employee’s knowledge or skills that result from experience.  Decision making: the process of generating and choosing from a set of alternatives to solve a problem. WHY DO SOME EMPLOYEES LEARN TO MAKE DECISIONS BETTER THAN OTHERS?  Expertise: the knowledge and skills that distinguish experts from novices. TYPES OF KNOWLEDGE  Employees learn two basic types of knowledge: o Explicit knowledge: knowledge that is easily communicated and available to everyone.  Easily transferred through written or verbal communication  Readily available to most  Can be learned through books  General information o Tacit knowledge: knowledge that employees can only learn through experience  Very difficult to articulate to others  Highly personal in nature  Based on experience  Typically job/situation specific METHODS OF LEARNING REINFORCEMENT  Managers use various methods of reinforcement to induce desirable or reduce undesirable behaviours by their employees.  Operant conditioning: Antecedent Behaviour Consequence Conditions that Action Result that precedes performed by occurs after behaviour employee behaviour Manager sets specific and Employee meets Employee difficult goals assigned goal receives a bonus  Contingencies of reinforcement: four specific components used by organizations to modify employee behaviour: o Positive reinforcement: a reinforcement contingency in which a positive outcome follows a desired behaviour. o Negative reinforcement: a reinforcement contingency in which an unwanted outcome is removed by following a desired behaviour. o Punishment: an unwanted outcome that follows an unwanted outcome that follows an unwanted behaviour. o Extinction: the removal of a positive outcome following an unwanted behaviour.  Positive reinforcement and extinction should be the most common forms of reinforcement to create learning among their employees.  Schedules of reinforcement: the timing of when contingencies are applied or removed. o Continuous reinforcement: a schedule of reinforcement in which specific consequences follows each and every occurrence of a certain behaviour.  Praise o Fixed-interval schedule: a schedule whereby reinforcement occurs at fixed time periods.  Paycheque o Variable-interval schedule: a schedule whereby reinforcement occurs at random periods of time.  Supervisor walk-by o Fixed ratio schedule: a schedule whereby reinforcement occurs following a fixed number of desired behaviours.  Piece-rate pay o Variable-ratio schedule: a schedule whereby behaviours are reinforced after a varying number of them have been exhibited.  Commission pay o Variable schedules lead to higher levels of performance than fixed schedules . OBSERVATION  Social learning theory: theory that argues that people in organizations learn by observing others. o Behavioural modelling: when employees observe the actions of others, learn from what they observe and then repeat the observed behaviour.  The modelling process: Attentional Retention Production Reinforcement Processes Processes Processes The learner must Learner focuses Learner must Learner must have view the model attention on the remember the the appropriate receiving critical behaviours behaviours of the skill set and be able reinforcement for exhibited by the model once the to reproduce the the behaviour and model model is no longer behaviour then receive it present themselves GOAL ORIENTATION  Learning orientation: a predisposition or attitude according to which building competence is deemed more important by an employee than demonstrating competence.  Performance-prove orientation: a predisposition or attitude by which employees focus on demonstrating their competence so that others will think favourably of them.  Performance-avoid orientation: a predisposition or attitude by which employees focus on demonstrating their competence so that oth
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