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.


33rd Annual Convention; San Diego, CA; 2007

Event Details

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Symposium #189
CE Offered: BACB
Recent Research in Organizational Behavior Management
Sunday, May 27, 2007
10:30 AM–11:50 AM
Emma AB
Area: OBM; Domain: Applied Research
Chair: Timothy D. Ludwig (Appalachian State University)
CE Instructor: David A. Wilder, None

Four papers on recent research in Organizational Behavior Management (OBM) will be presented. First, the effects of a process change, feedback, and a tiered incentive system on warehouse quality were examined. The next study examined the effects of individual daily feedback and the withdrawal of disincentives on delivery errors among transit drivers (n = 45) in a national furniture distribution company. The third study examined telephone customer service behaviors in a medical clinic setting. The fourth paper used a descriptive assessment to examine the variables responsible for poor employee performance in a restaurant.

The Effects of Process Change, Feedback, and Incentive System on Quality.
KRISTIN BERGLUND (Appalachian State University), Timothy D. Ludwig (Appalachian State University)
Abstract: It is a well known fact that errors result in wasted time and resources (both human and capital). This study examined the effects of a process change, feedback, and a tiered incentive system on warehouse quality. Subjects were employees at a national retail furniture distribution warehouse located in the South Eastern United States. Archival records of attributed error codes were analyzed and aggregated as the measure of quality. The first intervention constituted a process change during which employees were formed into teams of between 5-9 employees and received daily and weekly performance feedback. A second intervention implemented a tiered pay for performance system in addition to the feedback from the previous phase. Results indicated a reduction in errors during the intervention phases.
The Use of Feedback and Disincentive Reversal to Decrease Delivery Errors.
MARIA MIHALIC (Appalachian State University), Timothy D. Ludwig (Appalachian State University)
Abstract: Delivery errors result in a negative impact on customer service and often incur rework and redelivery costs. This study examined the effects of individual daily feedback and the withdrawal of disincentives on delivery errors. The participants in this study were transit drivers (n = 45) in a national furniture distribution company. Data was collected using archival data of the error codes which were compiled and analyzed by driver for each trip over a 6 month period segmented by the interventions. The first intervention implemented was individual feedback delivered daily to each driver on their error codes for the trips completed the previous day. Driver delivery errors decreased substantially over the intervention phases.
Improving Telephone Customer Service Behaviors in a Medical Clinic Setting: A Follow-Up Study.
JULIE M. SLOWIAK (Western Michigan University), Gregory J. Madden (University of Kansas)
Abstract: As competition among health care providers increases, so does the importance of customer service. The quality of customer service affects the probability that customers will return to an organization. Appointment coordinators at a medical clinic were to provide exceptional telephone customer service. On an individual level, this included using a standard greeting and speaking in the appropriate tone of voice during the conversation. As a group, they were expected to answer every call received by their department. During a pilot study, an analysis suggested performance deficiencies resulted from weak antecedents, poor knowledge and skills, and weak performance contingencies. An intervention consisting of task clarification, goal setting, feedback, and performance contingent consequences was designed to improve these customer service behaviors. Results of the pilot study showed an increase in overall performance of four appointment coordinators. As an extension of the pilot study, similar procedures were carried out for all twenty full-time appointment coordinators at the clinic. The study employed an ABA reversal design with maintenance observations. Overall performance of all participants improved for greeting and voice tone; variable results were obtained for answering phone calls. Future research should examine whether improvements in customer service behaviors impact customer satisfaction and customer behavior.
Antecedent-Based Descriptive Analysis and Improvement of Employee Performance.
KIMBERLEY L. M. ZONNEVELD (Florida Institute of Technology), James L. Squires (Florida Institute of Technology), David A. Wilder (Florida Institute of Technology), Amanda A. M. Fixsen (Florida Institute of Technology), Erica Hess (Florida Institute of Technology), Kristen Rost (Florida Institute of Technology), Ryan Curran (Florida Institute of Technology)
Abstract: An antecedent-based descriptive analysis was used to identify the variables correlated with customer greeting and upselling by employees in a restaurant. The probability of greeting and upselling was calculated in the presence and absence of various antecedent events such as the sound of a door chime, the presence of more than 3 customers in line, the presence of a manager, more than two employees working, and more than one employee working on the production line. Greeting and upselling were as rare in the presence of the antecedent events as in their absence, suggesting that systematic manipulation of these variables would have little direct effect on the target performances. An intervention examining the separate effects of task clarification, visual prompts, and graphic feedback was then evaluated using a combination multiple baseline and reversal design. Although all interventions improved performance over baseline, the delivery of graphic feedback was most effective for both greeting and upselling.



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