Chapter 4 fostering learning and reinforcement
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Chapter 4 Fostering Learning and Reinforcement. Overview of Learning Theories Learning Through Rewards and Punishments* Contingencies of Reinforcement* Schedules of Reinforcement* Social Learning Theory Case: Henry Butts Oldsmobile. Nature of Learning.

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Chapter 4 Fostering Learning and Reinforcement

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Chapter 4 fostering learning and reinforcement

Chapter 4Fostering Learning and Reinforcement

  • Overview of Learning Theories

  • Learning Through Rewards and Punishments*

  • Contingencies of Reinforcement*

  • Schedules of Reinforcement*

  • Social Learning Theory

  • Case: Henry Butts Oldsmobile


Nature of learning

Nature of Learning

  • Learning is a relatively permanent change in knowledge or observable behavior that results from practice or experience.

  • Importance of Learning to OB* [Not in Text]

    • Most organizational behavior is learned (remember that only 2-12% of behavior is directly linked to personality)

    • By controlling the situation, a manager can influence behavior/performance

    • The manager is held accountable for the performance of his/her subordinates


Overview of the three types of learning

Overview of the Three Types of Learning

  • Classical Conditioning: The learning of “involuntary,” reflexive behavior, such as emotional reactions

  • Operant Conditioning: The learning of voluntary, goal-directedbehavior through the direct experience of consequences

  • Social Learning: The learning of voluntary, goal-directedbehavior through observation and imitation of others


Classical conditioning

Classical Conditioning

Unconditioned

stimulus

(food)

Reflex

response

(salivation)

Conditioned

stimulus

(metronome)


Examples of operant behaviors and their consequences

Examples of Operant Behaviors and Their Consequences

  • works andis paid.

  • is late to work andis docked pay.

  • enters a restaurant andeats.

  • enters a football stadium andwatches a football game.

  • enters a grocery store andbuys food.

BEHAVIORS

CONSEQUENCES

The Individual


Examples of the three types of learning which example illustrates each type

Examples of the Three Types of Learning:Which Example Illustrates Each Type?

  • After a tightening in policy regarding lateness, a worker sees a coworker fired for excessive tardiness, resulting in increased attention to arriving on time

  • After a tightening in policy regarding lateness, a worker receives a written reprimand for being late twice in one month, resulting in increased attention to arriving on time

  • After witnessing a coworker’s accidental loss of several fingers in a machinery accident, a worker experiences anxiety when operating the same piece of machinery


Contingency of reinforcement

Contingency of Reinforcement*

  • Definition: The relationship between a behavior and the preceding and following environmental events that influence that behavior

  • Basic Components:

    • Antecedent -- the stimulus that precedes the behavior

    • Behavior -- the behavior emitted in response to the stimulus

    • Consequence -- the positive or negative consequence of the behavior

  • Important Note: Managers can often control the contingencies of reinforcement influencing their subordinate’s behavior, and thereby, the behavior itself


Example of contingent reinforcement

Example of Contingent Reinforcement

NO

Manager is silent or

reprimands employee

Manager and

employee

set goal

Does employee

achieve goal?

Manager compliments

employee for

accomplishment

YES

Employee

Task

Behavior

Consequences

(result of the

behavior)

Reinforcement

Contingent

on Consequence

Antecedent

(precedes the

behavior)


Categories of reinforcers

Categories of Reinforcers

  • All reinforcers fall into one of two categories:

    • Primary Reinforcers -- Based upon the satisfaction of physiological needs, such as food, water, air, sex, escape from pain, etc. (Note that the text defines this as: “an event for which the individual already knows the value.”)

    • Secondary Reinforcers -- Learned reinforcers; the text defines this as “an event that once had neutral value but has taken on some positive or negative value for an individual because of past experience.”


Types of contingencies of reinforcement

Types of Contingencies of Reinforcement*

Event is Added

Event is Removed

(best to use)

Positive

reinforcement

(increases behavior)

Pleasant

Event

Omission

(decreases behavior)

Unpleasant

Event

Negative

reinforcement

(increases behavior)

Punishment

(decreases behavior)

(worst to use)


Rewards used by organizations

Rewards Used by Organizations

MATERIAL REWARDS

Pay

Pay raises

Stock options

Profit sharing

Deferred compensation

Bonuses/bonus plans

Incentive plans

Expense accounts

SUPPLEMENTAL BENEFITS

Company automobiles

Health insurance plans

Pension contributions

Vacation and sick leave

Recreation facilities

Child care support

Club privileges

Parental leave

STATUS SYMBOLS

Corner offices

Offices with windows

Carpeting

Drapes

Paintings

Watches

Rings

Private restrooms

SOCIAL/INTER-

PERSONAL REWARDS

Praise

Developmental feedback

Smiles, pats on the back, and

other nonverbal signals

Requests for suggestions

Invitations to coffee or lunch

Wall plaques

REWARDS FROM

THE TASK

Sense of achievement

Jobs with more responsibility

Job autonomy/self-direction

Performing important tasks

SELF-ADMINISTERED

REWARDS

Self-congratulation

Self-recognition

Self-praise

Self-development through

expanded knowledge/skills

Greater sense of self-worth


Negative reinforcement

Negative Reinforcement*

  • Definition: An unpleasant event is occurring which can be removed by emitting the desired behavior

  • Differs from punishment, but may result from the fear of punishment

  • Two types are identified:

    • Escape Learning: An unpleasant event occurs until the employee emits an “escape response” to terminate it

    • Avoidance Learning: An employee prevents an unpleasant event from occurring by emitting the proper behavior [Not in Text]


Potential negative effects of punishment

Potential Negative Effects of Punishment*

Recurrence

of undesirable

employee behavior

Undesirable

emotional reaction

Short-term

decrease in

frequency

of

undesirable

employee

behavior

But

leads to

long-term

  • Aggressive,

  • disruptive

  • behavior

Undesirable

employee

behavior

Punishment

by

manager

Antecedent

Apathetic,

noncreative

performance

Fear of

manager

Which tends

to reinforce

High turnover

and absenteeism


Punishment and interpersonal relations not in text

Punishment and Interpersonal Relations*[Not in Text]

  • The inappropriate use of punishment increases with:

    • Anger and/or frustration on the part of the manager

    • Inadequate interpersonal communication

  • In such cases, this inappropriate punishment creates long term interpersonal problems, by:

    • Reducing trust

    • Stifling motivation

    • Undermining and/or destroying relationships


How to make punishment effective

How to Make Punishment Effective

Managers should:

  • Use the principles of contingent punishment, immediate punishment, and punishment size

  • Praise in public, punish in private

  • Develop alternative desired behavior

  • Balance the use of pleasant and unpleasant events

  • Use “positive discipline” (i.e., change behavior through reasoning, with an emphasis on personal responsibility or “self control,” rather than by imposing increasingly severe punishments)


Guidelines for using contingencies of reinforcement

Guidelines for UsingContingencies of Reinforcement

Managers should:

  • Not reward all employees the same (i.e., take individual differences into account to reward employees with consequences that they personally value, within the constraints of perceived equity)

  • Consider consequences of both actions and non-actions

  • Make employees aware of what behavior will be reinforced (and then be sure to reinforce it uniformly)

  • Let employees know what they are doing wrong

  • Not punish in front of others

  • Make their response equal to workers’ behavior


Schedules of reinforcement

Schedules of Reinforcement*

  • Definition: The determination of when reinforcers are applied; after every response or only after some responses

  • Two general categories of schedule are:

    • Continuous Reinforcement: Every behavior is reinforced; the simplest schedule

    • Intermittent Reinforcement: Only some behaviors are reinforced; four types are identified in the text:

      • Fixed Interval: based on a fixed time interval

      • Fixed Ratio: based on a fixed number of responses

      • Variable Interval: based on a variable time interval

      • Variable Ratio: based on a variable number of responses


Comparisons of schedules of reinforcement

Comparisons of Schedules of Reinforcement

FORM OF REWARD

INFLUENCE ON PERFORMANCE

EFFECTS ON BEHAVIOR

SCHEDULE

Fixed interval

Leads to average and irregular performance

Fast extinction of behavior

Reward on fixed time basis

Fixed ratio

Reward tied to specific number of responses

Moderately fast extinction of behavior

Leads quickly to very high and stable performance

Variable interval

Reward given after varying periods of time

Leads to moderately high and stable performance

Slow extinction of behavior

Variable ratio

Reward given for some behaviors

Leads to very high performance

Very slow extinction of behavior


Social learning theory

Social Learning Theory

  • Learning viewed as knowledge acquisition through the mental processing of information

  • Individuals learn voluntary behaviors by observing the behavior/consequences of others, cognitively processing that information, and then imitating, or not repeating, that behavior


Five dimensions of social learning theory

Five Dimensions ofSocial Learning Theory

Vicarious Learning

Symbolizing

Forethought

Self-Control

Self-Efficacy


Explanation of the five dimensions of social learning theory

Explanation of theFive Dimensions of Social Learning Theory

  • People use symbols as cognitive models that serve to guide their behavior

  • People use forethought to anticipate, plan, and guide their behaviors and actions

  • People learn vicariously (indirectly) by observing the behavior of others and the real or imagined consequences of those behaviors

  • People exhibit self-control by taking personal responsibility to learn new behavior even though there is no external pressure to do so

  • People have differing levels of self-efficacy, which differentially influences their learning and behavior


Self efficacy

Self-Efficacy*

Definition: Refers to the individual’s confidence in their ability to perform a specific task in a specific situation

  • Varies by people and tasks

  • Strongly influences learning, with higher levels facilitating learning by enhancing goal setting, effort, and persistence toward success

  • Managers can and should influence subordinate’s self-efficacy levels


Self efficacy at work

Self-Efficacy at Work

HIGH

“I know I can do the job and have outstanding quality”

  • Set goals

  • Preserve/practice

  • Creatively solve

    problems

  • Visualize success

  • Learn from failure

Past Accomplishments

Performance of Others

LOW

Self-efficacy

  • Avoid difficult tasks

  • Think of excuses

    for failing

  • Develop low

    aspirations

  • Quit

  • Blame setbacks on

    lack of ability or luck

Emotional State

“I don’t think I can do the job on time and have outstanding quality”


How managers can apply social learning theory

How Managers Can ApplySocial Learning Theory

Managers should:

  • Identify behaviors that lead to improved performance

  • Select an appropriate model

  • Make sure that employees have requisite skills

  • Create a positive learning situation

  • Provide positive consequences for successful performance (i.e., reinforcement)

  • Develop organizational support for new behaviors (i.e., maintain proper contingencies of reinforcement)


Henry butts oldsmobile case questions

Henry Butts Oldsmobile Case Questions

  • How effective is Henry Butts’ management strategy?

  • Which component of this strategy is now illegal? What is used in its place?

  • Identify or speculate on examples in the case of the following concepts from the chapter:

    • Operant learning; social learning

    • Secondary reinforcement

    • Positive reinforcement, negative reinforcement, punishment

    • Escape or avoidance learning

    • Continuous, fixed ratio, and fixed or variable interval reinforcement schedules


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