Association for Behavior Analysis International

The Association for Behavior Analysis International® (ABAI) is a nonprofit membership organization with the mission to contribute to the well-being of society by developing, enhancing, and supporting the growth and vitality of the science of behavior analysis through research, education, and practice.

Practitioner Webinar Series

Dysfunctional Practices That Kill Your Work Culture (And What to do About Them)

Timothy Ludwig Ph.D. (Appalachian State University)


LudwigBiography: Timothy Ludwig earned his Ph.D. at Virginia Tech researching the benefits of employee-driven behavioral safety programs under E. Scott Geller continuing his post-doctoral work in industrial engineering studying applications of W. Edwards Deming to quality and safety improvement. His popular website is a content-rich resource of safety culture stories, blogs, research, videos, and services. Dr. Ludwig was cited in Industrial Safety and Hygiene News (ISHN) “50 Leaders for Today and Tomorrow”. Dr. Ludwig serves on the Cambridge Center for Behavioral Studies’ Behavioral Safety Accreditation Commission that reviews best-in-industry safety practices and offers objective feedback on safety programs.


Dr. Ludwig is a Distinguished Graduate Professor at Appalachian State University where he teaches in the nationally recognized Industrial/Organizational Psychology and Human Resources Management Masters program. Dr. Ludwig's teaching has been recognized with the North Carolina University Board of Governors’ Excellence award and has been inducted into the University's Academy of Outstanding Teachers. Dr. Ludwig served as editor of the Journal of Organizational Behavior Management and is the past President of the Organizational Behavior Management Network.


Dr. Ludwig is the author of dozens of scholarly articles that empirically document the successes of methods to improve safety and quality in industry through behavior-based solutions. His books include Intervening to Improve the Safety of Occupational Driving (2001), Behavioral Systems: Understanding Complexity in Organizations (2010), Behavioral Science Approaches to Process Safety: A Response to Industry’s Call (2018), and Dysfunctional Practices that Kill your Safety Culture (2018).


Dr. Ludwig has over 30 years experience in research and practice in behavioral safety where he integrates empirical findings into his safety consulting. Within his consulting practice Dr. Ludwig has helped assess, design, and implement safety and quality improvement programs in over 50 companies. Dr. Ludwig has delivered over 50 of his popular keynote presentations in 15 countries worldwide.


Abstract: Our tendency is to blame workers for errors and label their personal failings as the cause of the error. Labeling does not solve problems that cause error and, frankly, it may all be an illusion of human perception leading us to false conclusions. Our human tendencies result in interactions that hurt the culture among our workers and the effectiveness of the systems we put in place to support them.


These tendencies build dysfunctional management practices that create fear associated with your workplace programs. I want to teach you a better way to analyze the behaviors of your employees to understand why they were put in a position to take the risk in the first place. Your system may be perfectly designed to promote risks and create error traps. By analyzing the context of behavior we can discover ways to change your system to optimize behavior related to employee performance.


Learning Objectives: At the conclusion of the webinar, participants will be able to: (1) describe the dysfunctional practices that harm work cultures including labeling, blaming, single data-point management, and instilling fear through negative reinforcement; (2) define behavior in the context of the work environment; (3) describe sources of Behavioral Variance such as behavioral variants of productive work behavior; (4) discriminate the context when analyzing the causes of behavior; (5) determine the system variable that need adapting to change behavior on a permanent basis across all workers.


CE Package

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This item is available to current ABAI members only.

Learning Center Video and Quiz

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