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.


34th Annual Convention; Chicago, IL; 2008

Event Details

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Poster Session #478
#479 Poster Session (OBM)
Monday, May 26, 2008
6:00 PM–7:30 PM
South Exhibit Hall
142. Performance Management After Hours: Improving Service and Interactions with Customers at a Rural Bar.
Area: OBM; Domain: Applied Research
MARISA SNOW (Florida State University), Marco D. Tomasi (Florida State University), Jon S. Bailey (Florida State University/BMC/Florida Association for Behavior Analysis), Lindsay Harrington (Florida State University)
Abstract: Customer retention is a vital factor to consider when running a profitable organization. Consistently providing effective customer service is a key element for generating repeat business. The current study analyzed customer service at a rural bar setting. Prior to the start of the project, employees were spending the majority of their time behind the bar, thus, less time interacting with customers sitting at the tables. This study sought to increase interactions between the employees and the customers sitting at the tables, increase the percentage of time spent on the floor and decrease the latency of delivering customer orders. The effects of task clarification and managerial feedback on several performances were analyzed for the dependent variables.
143. The Effects of Task Clarification, Feedback, and Performance Contingent Consequences on Task Completion in a Restaurant.
Area: OBM; Domain: Applied Research
CHRIS A. SAWYER (Furman University), Jeanine Plowman Stratton (Furman University)
Abstract: This study investigated the effectiveness of task clarification, feedback, and performance contingent consequences to produce a higher level of cleaning task completion at closing time in a restaurant. Participants were wait staff at the restaurant. The intervention consisted of two phases: task clarification and feedback alone, followed by a combination of task clarification, feedback, and performance contingent consequences. Percentage of cleaning task behaviors completed at closing was recorded as a dependent variable using scorecard. Results indicated that task clarification and feedback were effective, increasing average cleaning task completion by 15.7% over baseline, and that the addition of goal setting and performance contingent consequences increased the efficacy of the intervention, increasing average cleaning task completion by 22.7% over baseline.
144. Bringing Organizational Behavior Management into the Research Center: A multicomponent Intervention to Increase Compliance with Center Guidelines.
Area: OBM; Domain: Applied Research
MADISON R. EARNEST, III (Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University), Thomas R. Cunningham (Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University), E. Scott Geller (Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University)
Abstract: Managing a research center presents many challenges, one of which is managing data collection. This study examined data collection behavior in a 35-student applied behavioral research center. Two behaviors were investigated including (1) being at the correct location and (2) beginning data collection at the assigned time. Also being measured was the total number of hours of center-related activity the research assistants (RA’s) performed. The goal of the present study was to increase center participation (hours) and decrease the number of missed data collection slots. This was done using three separate interventions, each one week apart. Baseline data were collected for four weeks prior to implementing the first phase of intervention. Intervention one consisted of presenting graphic, group feedback on successfully completed data-collection timeslots and hour-completion progress to the RA’s. The second intervention utilized goal setting and incentives for increased data collection attendance. For intervention three, personalized feedback emails with either reinforcement in the form of praise, or punishment in the form of corrective action were sent to each participant. Intervention results will be discussed with implications for future research.
145. The Effects of Task Clarification on Greeting Behaviors at a Movie Theater.
Area: OBM; Domain: Applied Research
MELISSA A. WILSON (Furman University), Dimitar Simidchiev (Furman University), Jeanine Plowman Stratton (Furman University)
Abstract: The current Performance Improvement Project was conducted at a movie theater. Issues pinpointed for the study included low rates of employee greeting behavior. The greeting behaviors included welcoming customers, asking “How may I help you?”, and telling the customers to enjoy their show. After conducting a functional assessment, including the Performance Diagnostic Checklist (Austin, 2000), an AB design was used to implement an antecedent intervention consisting of task clarification across each designated location within the movie theater, including the box office, entrance door, and concession areas. The intervention improved greeting behavior as much as 25%.
146. Establishing a Relationship between Customers and Cashiers: An Analysis of Cashier Customer Interaction Behavior.
Area: OBM; Domain: Applied Research
AMY MURDOCK (Furman University), Sarah Best (Furman University), Jeanine Plowman Stratton (Furman University)
Abstract: An upscale grocer sought to improve customer relations by increasing cashier-customer conversations during checkout. While general greeting and closure statements occurred at a satisfactory rate, content-specific conversation (CSC) was sparse. The participants included cashiers and those who bagged groceries at each checkout station. A functional assessment tool was used to suggest improvement could be obtained by increased use of job aids, task clarification, and managerial feedback on progress. After introducing the intervention in an AB design, results indicated an increase in the use of CSC by cashiers. Discussion of customer service interaction is discussed.
147. Vigilance and Graphic Feedback Effects on Increasing Customer Greeting Time in a Restaurant.
Area: OBM; Domain: Applied Research
AUSTIN JOHNSON (Furman University), Kenneth Haas (Furman University), Jeanine Plowman Stratton (Furman University)
Abstract: Customer service is of high importance in America’s growing service industry. This study addressed elements of customer service in a Mexican-themed restaurant. The dependent measure was the duration of time for employees to address a seated table and present complimentary chips and salsa to the patrons. A functional assessment was conducted, including the Performance Diagnostic Checklist (Austin, 2000). An intervention consisting of “vigilance”, meaning employees were instructed to conduct walk-throughs of the restaurant at fixed intervals, looking for any newly seated tables and inspecting for chip and salsa baskets to be filled, and weekly graphic and verbal feedback were introduced in an ABC design. Results indicated improvements in reducing the amount of time patrons were greeted and served. The intervention suggests positive impact on tasks that require frequent checking and attention to sustain quality customer service.
148. Reducing Profit Loss in a Restaurant.
Area: OBM; Domain: Applied Research
GEORGE HANCOCK (Furman University), J.B. Tharp (Furman University), Jeanine Plowman Stratton (Furman University)
Abstract: This Performance Improvement Project was conducted with a privately-owned restaurant in which the manager wanted to investigate a profit loss. It was believed that a daily profit loss was due to inaccurate ticket pricing of patron meals. A functional assessment was conducted, including the PIC/NIC Analysis© (Daniels & Daniels, 2005). An intervention package was designed which included task clarification, graphic feedback, and social reinforcement for improved performance. The intervention was introduced in an AB(B+C) fashion. While the intervention produced reduced and more stable profit loss, the problem was not completely solved. Implications for profit-loss prevention are discussed.
149. Training Management to Use Positive Reinforcement to Increase Employee Morale.
Area: OBM; Domain: Applied Research
AMANDA B. COONS (Anderson Center for Autism), Stacey A. Trapani-Barber (Anderson Center for Autism)
Abstract: The purpose of this study was to determine if the implementation of a positive reinforcement system had an impact on the agency’s employee morale. Employee morale has a profound impact on many aspects of successful workplace performance (Sirota, Mischkind & Meltzer 2006). In the human services field where turnover is especially high, low morale can be detrimental to any organization. Eighteen employees from an Adult Day Habilitation site participated in the study. A survey was administered as a pre-test to determine baseline morale before implementation of the system. The survey consisted of twenty likert scale questions to determine the extent to which employees agreed or disagreed with questions regarding positive feedback by, support from, and approachability of supervisors. An Employee Motivation Survey (University of Colorado at Boulder, 2005) was used to assess the types of recognition desired for work performance. The survey was re-administered as a post-test after management training was provided. Results indicated an increase in reported morale following implementation of a positive reinforcement system in the workplace. Limitations to this study can be attributed to a small convenience sample.



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