Professional Sports: Rewarding and Punishing the Same Behavior?

The type of reinforcement schedules that random drug testing represent is the variable interval type. This type of schedule is done randomly and unexpected. It is typically effective because athletes are unaware of when these tests will be taken place. Therefore, athletes are unprepared. This is unlike a fixed variable reinforcement schedule. Athletes have a fixed time of when the tests will be scheduled so they can prepare and make sure their systems are clean before the test takes place. An example of a behavior in a typical organization that supervisors reward but may actually be detrimental to others or to the organization as a whole is baseball players taking steroids. When baseball players take steroids to enhance their performance abilities, they are misleading their managers and their fans. Initially, it may be rewarding because everyone involved gains from the profitability, i.e. revenue from increased game attendance, sports merchandise, increased popularity and success. But in the end, when it is discovered that the baseball player achieved recognition with the aid of steroids he destroys the teams reputation and the loyalty the fans had for the team. As a manager, in order to avoid this quandary, if I was made aware of someone using steroids, I would do a random drug testing as soon as possible instead having the whole team suffer for that one insubordinate team player. If I was the commissioner of baseball, there are several steps that I would take to try to reduce the use of steroids in baseball. First of all, I would reinforce to all the athletes that if someone is caught using steroids they will be thrown off the team. Second, I would continue to do random drug testing. Punishment is not likely to be the most effective deterrent. This will only cause athletes to stop playing and taking steroids for a certain period of time. But it will not teach them that they should not use it...

No, it is not ever “okay” to allow potentially unethical behaviors, which on the surface may benefit organizations to persist. For example, if a baseball player is taking steroids, doing exceptionally well on the team and if the team is aware he is taking steroids, even though the team will not do well without this player they should ban that player from the team. It is the right thing to do. Even though the player is causing harm to the team, the player is causing even more harm to himself. If the player does get caught doing steroids, it may be publicized and it will give the fans a bad perception of the team. I found this article on steroids very interesting. It talked about a “secret steroid” which drug testers discovered later after the steroid was used by many athletes. No one knows who made this steroid (THG). “Secret steroids” are one of the sports physicians’ biggest fears. Everyday more and more athletes are taking steroids and when a steroid cannot be detected this causes problems. Luckily, the drug testers were able to develop a test that can detect this steroid. Athletes believe they can get away by either not taking steroids months before a testing or just using a steroid that cannot be detected but there are new developments everyday for steroids. I believe that this is not the only “secret steroid” used among athletes but if an athlete is using a non detectable steroid I recommend they stop before they get caught. Assigmnt 2 Question #1 What type of reinforcement schedule does random drug testing represent? Is this type of schedule typically effective or ineffective? Random drug testing represents an intermittent schedule, since not every instance of drug used is detected, or punished. This type of schedule is typically ineffective. Actually, the word random itself represents no schedule at all. If all the players are randomly tested then the effectiveness of the drug testing is increased. But if only random players are tested, then the drug testing schedule would not apply to all of the players, thus rendering it 100%

If we remove the reinforcement. priorities. and then there is no motivation. then the cohesive whole does not suffer. This type of shaping behavior by the withdrawal of something is called negative reinforcement (Robbins & Judge. i. which on the surface may benefit organizations. whilst orchestrating opportunities for the identified party to come forward on his own. The military has long prized itself on the cohesion of its organization. and there will be no desire to be “super” humans. The tendency to repeat such behavior is influenced by the reinforcement … Therefore. 2007). This is the most effective deterrent. and then who would care about a sports game? Question #4 Is it ever “okay” to allow potentially unethical behaviors. The dilemma is that the owner and corporate sponsors of the athletes want them to have “super” human prowess. and no large pocket owners. rather than call him out.ineffective towards the players not tested. the financial gain. Question #2 What are some examples of behaviors in typical organizations that supervisors reward but may actually be detrimental to others or to the organization as a whole? As a manager. The reason the players take steroids is athletic success and financial gain. They are rewarded financially beyond mere mortals. vision. but the organizational cohesion suffers. I would thank the “snitcher” for coming forward.e. It is an operant behavior …or learned behavior. and then there are no corporate sponsors. But homicide and bank robberies are another thing. or persist? Why or why not? The law is black and white. what might you do to try to avoid this quandary? For want of a better word. but the enforcement is also grey. The organization’s CEO creates the climate of tolerance or lack thereof by publicizing the organization’s mission. Cops look the other way at jay walkers and small time crooks that pick pocket all the time. then the individual “snitching” is rewarded. The motivation for most illegal act is financial gain. if say. what steps would you take to try to reduce the use of steroids in baseball? Is punishment likely to be the most effective deterrent? Why or why not? The superstars in baseball are not unlike the superstars in any athletic field or organization. “snitching” has long been rewarded in all organizations. If there are no “super” humans. Question #3 If you were the commissioner of baseball. thus will be less likely to repeat the act. goals. Every organization has a formal written code of conduct that provides functional operational guidelines (Fuqua & Newman 2006). It’s “okay” to me to allow potentially unethical behaviors to persist if it benefits the . Although I do not condone the military’s policy on sexual orientation. Ethics are also black and white. The “snitcher” receives no positive reinforcement in “snitching”. so the public will buy anything these “super” human endorses. reinforcement strengthens a behavior and increases the likelihood that it will be repeated. If the individual took responsibility for his actions. Crooks are usually caught and punished to the full extent of the law. then there are no fans. The individual is sacrificed for the group and the common good. but is made stronger by supporting the weakest link. As a manager. but the enforcement is always grey. The motivation for steroid use is financial gain. and objectives. I would fine the athlete one year’s salary for each positive drug test. a soldier’s homosexual orientation was reported to an officer.

. If the corporate climate is not. and the corporate climate is tolerant.organization. then unethical behaviors will not be tolerated.

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