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Conditional Discriminations and Derived Relations: Pinpointing the Moment of Emergence

Description: Four subjects were exposed to the four trial types that define stimulus equivalence from the beginning of the experiment. Procedures were designed to identify acquisition dynamics and relate these observations to responding indicative of equivalence class formation. The data show that, for all subjects, the acquisition of training conditional discriminations was correlated with systematic changes in the subjects' selection responses. The results also indicate that the traditional percent correct measures obscure some important information about the subjects' behavior. The data are discussed in the context of the following statements. 1) Subjects' performances on derived trials are not indicative of relations among stimuli at some other level of analysis but are instances of "equivalencing". 2) "Equivalencing" itself can be characterized as changes in the conditional and conditionally discriminative functions of stimuli involved in the experiment. The potential benefits of this preparation are discussed.
Date: August 1994
Creator: Vaidya, Manish

Effect of Small Group Incentives on Sales Productivity in Two Retail Shops: A Case Study

Description: To meet global competition many companies have reorganized work process systems, eliminated management levels, formed employee work groups and implemented variable compensation systems. This study investigated the effect of group incentives on individual sales performance in two specialty shops located in a large metropolitan hotel. Two questions were addressed: What effect would adding a group bonus plan have on individual employee's sales performance who had previously received hourly wages in one shop; and, what effect would changing an individual incentive plan to a group plan have on the individual employee's sales performance in the other shop. In one shop 5 of 7 employees' productivity increased: in the other, 1 of 3 subjects' productivity increased. Contingencies in both shops are analyzed and suggestions offered for future research.
Date: May 1994
Creator: Bohrer, Kathleen

The Effect of Verbal and Graphic Feedback on Direct Care Trainers' Data-Tecording Behavior

Description: This study investigated the effects of verbal and graphic feedback alone and in combination with praise on the data-recording behavior of 12 direct care trainers (DCTs) who recorded their reinforcer deliveries as they interacted with mentally retarded clients. An additional variable examined was the effect of time of delivering feedback on subsequent data-recording behavior. Feedback was delivered by the experimenter. Correspondence checks were conducted and a three-phase multiple condition experimental design was used. All feedback conditions produced an observable difference in DCT data-recording behavior. Time of delivery of feedback also appeared to have an effect on the amount of data recorded by DCTs.
Date: May 1994
Creator: Morris, Timothy Jewlon

The Effects of a Performance Improvement Strategy in a Work Team Setting: a Case Study

Description: A popular approach to operating organizations in the 1990s is the implementation of work teams. The current literature offers little information on the use of performance management techniques in work team settings. This case study examined the effects of employing a performance improvement strategy on employee performance in a work team environment comprised of part-time graduate students. The performance improvement strategy included composing job descriptions, job aids (e.g., work organization charts), task request logs and posting weekly and monthly performance feedback. Improvements were observed in some aspects of team performance. Some of the improvement was due to task clarification and improved scheduling produced by the antecedent interventions. Performance feedback had little effect on measured performance but seemed to facilitate discussion and problem-solving.
Date: May 1994
Creator: McHale, Carrie L. (Carrie Lynn)

Improving the Quality of Hotel Banquet Staff Performance: a Case Study in Organizational Behavior Management

Description: The banquet staff at a north Texas hotel were responsible for setting up 11 different functions (e.g., buffet dinners) for conferences and meetings. The functions were often set up late and items were often omitted. An analysis suggested that performance problems were the result of weak antecedents, inefficient work procedures, inadequate training and a lack of motivating consequences. An intervention consisting of task checklists, feedback, goal setting, monetary bonuses, training and job aids was designed to enhance the accuracy and timeliness of function setups. Performance increased from an average of 68.8% on the quality measure (accuracy plus timeliness) in baseline, to 99.7% during the intervention phase. Performance decreased to 82.3% during a follow-up phase in which parts of the intervention were discontinued by hotel management. Performance increased to 99.3% with the reintroduction of the intervention phase.
Date: May 1994
Creator: LaFleur, Tobias C. (Tobias Christopher)