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Chapter 2

Foundations of
Individual Behavior

ORGANIZATIONAL BEHAVIOR
S T E P H E N P. R O B B I N S
E L E V E N T H E D I T I O N
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Biographical
Biographical Characteristics
Characteristics

Biographical Characteristics
Personal characteristics—such as age, gender, and
marital status—that are objective and easily obtained
from personnel records.

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Ability,
Ability, Intellect,
Intellect, and
and Intelligence
Intelligence

Ability
An individual’s capacity to perform the various tasks
in a job.

Intellectual Ability
The capacity to do mental activities.

Multiple Intelligences
Intelligence contains four subparts:
cognitive, social, emotional, and cultural.

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Physical
Physical Abilities
Abilities

Physical Abilities
The capacity to do tasks demanding stamina,
dexterity, strength, and similar characteristics.

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Learning
Learning

Learning
Any relatively permanent change in behavior
that occurs as a result of experience.

Learning
Learning
••Involves
Involveschange
change
••Is
Isrelatively
relativelypermanent
permanent
••Is
Isacquired
acquiredthrough
throughexperience
experience

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Theories
Theories of
of Learning
Learning

Classical Conditioning
A type of conditioning in which an individual
responds to some stimulus that would not
ordinarily produce such a response.

Key
KeyConcepts
Concepts
••Unconditioned
Unconditionedstimulus
stimulus
••Unconditioned
Unconditionedresponse
response
••Conditioned
Conditionedstimulus
stimulus
••Conditioned
Conditioned response
response
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Theories
Theories of
of Learning
Learning (cont’d)
(cont’d)

Operant Conditioning
A type of conditioning in which desired voluntary
behavior leads to a reward or prevents a punishment.

Key
KeyConcepts
Concepts
••Reflexive
Reflexive(unlearned)
(unlearned)behavior
behavior
••Conditioned
Conditioned(learned)
(learned)behavior
behavior
••Reinforcement
Reinforcement

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Theories
Theories of
of Learning
Learning (cont’d)
(cont’d)

Social-Learning Theory
People can learn through observation and direct
experience.

Key
KeyConcepts
Concepts
••Attentional
Attentionalprocesses
processes
••Retention
Retentionprocesses
processes
••Motor
Motorreproduction
reproductionprocesses
processes
••Reinforcement
Reinforcementprocesses
processes
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Theories
Theories of
of Learning
Learning (cont’d)
(cont’d)

Shaping Behavior
Systematically reinforcing each successive step that
moves an individual closer to the desired response.

Key
KeyConcepts
Concepts
••Reinforcement
Reinforcementis
isrequired
requiredto
tochange
changebehavior.
behavior.
••Some
Somerewards
rewardsare
aremore
moreeffective
effectivethan
thanothers.
others.
••The
Thetiming
timingof
ofreinforcement
reinforcementaffects
affectslearning
learning
speed
speedand
andpermanence.
permanence.

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Types
Types of
of Reinforcement
Reinforcement
 Positive reinforcement
– Providing a reward for a desired behavior.
 Negative reinforcement
– Removing an unpleasant consequence when the
desired behavior occurs.
 Punishment
– Applying an undesirable condition to eliminate an
undesirable behavior.
 Extinction
– Withholding reinforcement of a behavior to cause its
cessation.

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Schedules
Schedules of
of Reinforcement
Reinforcement

Continuous Reinforcement
A desired behavior is reinforced each time it is
demonstrated.

Intermittent Reinforcement
A desired behavior is reinforced often enough to
make the behavior worth repeating but not every
time it is demonstrated.

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Schedules
Schedules of
of Reinforcement
Reinforcement (cont’d)
(cont’d)

Fixed-Interval Schedule
Rewards are spaced at uniform time intervals.

Variable-Interval Schedule
Rewards are initiated after a fixed or constant
number of responses.

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Behavior
Behavior Modification
Modification

OB Mod
The application of reinforcement concepts
to individuals in the work setting.

Five
FiveStep
StepProblem-Solving
Problem-SolvingModel
Model
1.1. Identify
Identifycritical
criticalbehaviors
behaviors
2.2. Develop
Developbaseline
baselinedata
data
3.3. Identify
Identifybehavioral
behavioralconsequences
consequences
4.4. Develop
Developandandapply
applyintervention
intervention
5. Evaluate performance
performanceimprovement
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OB
OB MOD
MOD Organizational
Organizational Applications
Applications

 Well Pay versus Sick Pay


– Reduces absenteeism by rewarding attendance, not
absence.
 Employee Discipline
– The use of punishment can be counter-productive.
 Developing Training Programs
– OB MOD methods improve training effectiveness.
 Self-management
– Reduces the need for external management control.

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