Behaviour Modification

22/03/2021 0 By indiafreenotes

Organisational Behaviour Modification is a technique for personnel management that focuses on improving observable and measurable work-related behaviour. Examples include absence or tardiness, but also quality or quantity of work. Organisational Behaviour Modification argues for intervention to encourage desired performance behaviour and discourage undesired behaviour.


An attitude constitutes a way of thinking or feeling about something, a certain emotional state at that specific moment.


Behaviour is defined as the way in which a person acts towards themselves and to those around them.

Organisational behaviour

A way to change behaviour and attitudes through technology and use newly discovered knowledge to influence employees to act in various ways.

A-B-C’s of Behaviour Modification:

Behaviour modification as has been just explained helps the manager in eliminating or modifying undesirable behaviour and replacing it with behaviour that’s more compatible. It further helps us to understand how environmental contingencies influence behaviour.

There can be two contingencies of behaviour:

(i) The Antecedents. These are the events preceding the behaviour.

(ii) The consequences i.e. the events that follow a particular behaviour.

Both these variables put together form the A-B-C model.

The main aim of this model is to change Behaviour by managing its antecedents and consequences as is shown in the following diagram:

Steps in OB Modification:

Fred Luthans and R. Kreitner developed and used OB Mod to represent a behavioural approach to the management of human resources for performance improvement.

The steps given by them in applying the OB Mod are summarized in the following figure:

These steps are discussed as follows:

  1. Identification:

The first step in the OB Mod is identification of performance related behaviours. First of all the behaviour should be identified as desirable or undesirable from the point of view of the organisation. Then in the next stage, critical behaviours, that have significant impact on the employees’ performance, should be given due attention. The critical behaviours can be identified through discussions with the particular employee and his immediate superior as both are closely intimated with the job behaviours.

Some of the critical behaviours which affect job performance are absenteeism or attendance, tardiness or promptness, complaints or constructive criticism, listening to or not listening to the instructions, etc. If such behaviours are modified, good results could be expected. Due attention should be given to the critical behaviour because they get repeated again and again.

  1. Measurement:

After the critical behaviours of the employees have been identified, the next step for the manager is to measure the frequency of the critical behaviour over time. The measurement can be done by observation and by extraction of information from records. If the frequency is within the acceptable limit, it will require no action, but if it exceeds the acceptable limit,

it will need immediate attention. The measurement of behaviour will also help the managers in determining the success in changing the employees’ behaviour.

  1. Analysis:

At the next step, the managers will have to do a functional analysis of the behaviour that requires modification. This analysis will determine what circumstances lead to a particular type of behaviour, what are the consequences of such behaviour etc. Contingent consequences of behaviour should be identified because these consequences have impact on subsequent behaviour. Moreover, some contingent consequences appear to be affecting the critical behaviour on the surface only, the functional analysis should try to find out the competing contingencies for every behaviour also.

  1. Intervention:

Once the critical behaviours have been identified and the circumstances which cause such behaviours have been determined, the next step will be to develop an effective intervention strategy. There are several strategies that can be used at this stage. These include positive or negative reinforcement, extinction or punishment.

The use of a particular strategy will depend upon the type of situation faced. After developing and implementing a particular strategy, the frequency of resulting behaviour is measured. If a behaviour change has occurred in the right direction, the manager will select a reinforcement schedule that will maintain the desired behaviour.

  1. Evaluation:

The last stage in OB Mod is the evaluation whether the intervention strategies are working properly or not. The basic purpose of OB Mod is to bring change in undesirable behaviours so as to improve performance. Evaluation will reveal whether the undesirable behaviours have been substituted by desirable behaviour or not. If there has been a change in behaviour, whether it is permanent or just temporary.

Further, the evaluation will also show whether there is improvement in the performance or not. If there is a positive change, it suggests that the interventions are successful. However, if the change is not significant, it may call for adoption of alternate and more appropriate strategies.