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How can managers shape employee behavior? Essay

According to Robbins and Judge, positive reinforcement, negative reinforce, punishment and extinction are the four methods used by managers to shape employees behavior. Positive reinforcement, one of the methods most frequently used, rewards employees for performing well (Robbins, S, & Judge, T. , 2007). Many companies have some sort of recognition program, either formal or informal that identifies members who have performed exceptionally. These programs are designed to encourage employees and often have incentives both monetary and non-monetary (Teo, E.

, Ling, Y. , & Ong, D. , 2005). People typically perform at a higher level when they feel they are appreciated. Negative reinforcement, another behavior shaping tool can include supervisor’s constant nagging or criticism, unpleasant assignments or the threat of losing ones position (Teo et, al. , 2005). No one wants to hear constant nagging or be warned that their job is in jeopardy. Most people work because they need the income and with negative reinforcement managers can ensure employees are putting forth quality in their productivity.

Punishment as cited, is the presentation of an aversive event or the removal of a positive event following a response which decreases the frequency of the response (Arvery, R. , & Invancevich, J. ,

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1980). Most organizations have focused on positive reinforcement in the form of some sort of reward system because they fear punishment will result in employees showing aggression. Researchers have proven that punishment is effective in reducing and eliminating undesirable behavior (Arvery et, al. , 1980).

Extinction seems to have the least amount of impact in shaping employees behavior. Extinction is eliminating any reinforcement that is maintaining a behavior (Robbins et, at. , 2007). In some cases extinction may grant the employer with his or her desired result. In other cases where extinction could mean termination, productivity may increase but the moral in the organization may suffer (Teo et, al. , 2005). Discuss the main components of attitude? The three main components of attitude are cognitive, affective and behavior (Robbins et, al.

, 2007). It can be rather difficult breaking the components of attitude down into separate entities because in many cases they seem to co-exist or rather have a cause and effect relationship. As stated in our text, in many ways cognitive and affective attitudes are inseparable (Robbins et, al. , 2007). The definition for cognitive component of an attitude is the opinion or belief segment of an attitude and affective component of an attitude is defined as emotional or feeling segments of an attitude (Robbins et, al. , 2007).

It is safe to say we apply these components to virtually every interaction. It is also safe to assume that one cannot have cognitive and affective without some sort of action or reaction. This action or reaction is the behavioral component of an attitude (Robbins et, al. , 2007). “In many situations, behavior is not based on a general evaluation, but it is instead based more or less on the cognitive or affective components of the attitude” (Millar, M. & Tesser, A. , 1986). How is bounded rationality related to decision making?

Many decisions are made by constructing simplified models that extract the essential features from problems without capturing all their complexity defines bounded rationality (Robbins et, al. , 2007). Most complex decision making that results or can result in multiple outcomes uses bounded rationality in making a choice based off of previous experience or evidence without exhausting every possible solution; therefore, the decision made is not the optimum solution, but one the decision-maker is satisfied with (Robbins et, al.

, 2007). “In the face of an incalculable problem, decision-makers soon hit the limits of their cognitive and information processing abilities and therefore, as cited, must find ways to make the calculable within their mental capacities” (Augier, M. , & Kreiner, K. , 2000). Until this lesson the words bounded rationality were just two words put together, but in fact everyone at some point uses it. When one goes to the library it is not logical or conceivable to start reading every book on the shelf before finding one of interest.

Instead of this approach the average person will look at a few titles and may even read the summary and critic report, from that a decision is made using bounded rationality. What is quality circle? “Quality circles are defined as a work group of 8 to 10 employees and supervisors who have a shared area of responsibility and who meet regularly on company time and company premises to discuss their quality problems investigate causes of problems, recommend solutions and take corrective action (Robbins et, al. , 2007). Quality circles are established to ensure that production is flawless.

Each phase of the production usually have a team that reviews each product before it is sent forward to another phase of production or outside of the company. In a quality circle there must be a clear understanding of the role of the customer and employees at every level must be involved and committed to the success of the organization. There has to be open communication between managers and employees, between organizations and suppliers and between functions (Goh, M. , 2000).


Augier, M. & Kreiner, K. , (2000). Rationality, imagination and intelligence: Some boundaries in human decision-making .

Industrial and Corporate Change, 9(4), 659. Retrieved May 5, 2007, from ABI/INFORM Global database. (Document ID: 390367301 Arvey, R. & Ivancevich, J. (1980). Punishment in Organizations: A Review, Propositions, and Research Suggestions. Academy of Management, 5(1), 123-132. Retrieved May 3, 2007, from ABI/INFORM Global database. (Document ID:) Goh, M. (2000). Quality circles: journey of an Asian public enterprise. The International Journal of Quality & Reliability Management, 17(7), 784-799. Retrieved May 5, 2007, from ABI/INFORM Global database. (Document ID: 115716496). Millar, M. & Tesser, A. (1986).

Effects of Affective and Cognitive Focus on the Attitude-Behavior Relation. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 51(2), 270. Retrieved May 3, 2007, from PsycARTICLES database. (Document ID: 1007461811). Robbins, S. , & Judge, T. (2007). What is organizational behavior. Organizational Behavior 12th ed. , p 12-14. Saddle River, NJ: Pearson Education Teo, E. , Ling, F. & Ong, D. (2005). Fostering safe work behaviour in workers at construction sites. Engineering, Construction and Architectural Management, 12(4), 410. Retrieved May 3, 2007, from ABI/INFORM Global database. (Document ID: 897518771).

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